Thursday, July 7, 2016

ARC Review: Vindicate by Beth Yarnall

Vindicate (Recovered Innocence, #1)Vindicate by Beth Yarnall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Vindicate (Recovered Innocence #1) by Beth Yarnall

Cora has been on her own since she is sixteen years old. Her life since then has consisted of trying to prove her brother’s innocence. For five years he has been sitting in jail for the murder of his girlfriend. Cora believes him when says he is innocent. Now five years later she is still trying to vindicate him but he has given up. When Cora finds the Nash Security and Investigation private detective agency she can’t help but have hope that her brother will be set free. She never imagined that she would find love in the process.

Leo is about to finish law school as soon as he does he plans on leaving his father’s P.I. office and making his own way in the DA’s office. Then one day he meets Cora Hollis and her story makes him stop and take notice. He is drawn to her strength and her perseverance. She intrigues him like no other woman ever has.

My review:
This was the first book of Beth Yarnall’s I have read. I love the character of Leo, he was a jerk in the beginning but I could tell there was more to him than he showed. He wants to be a better man for Cora.

Cora and Leo had great chemistry. Leo starts off as just wanting Cora because she seems to not fall for his charms. But what he really notices is that she needs him, he wants to help her save her brother. Leo starts to care and tries to find ways to convince Cora they would be great together.
Cora’s life over the last five years has been taken up by trying to prove her brother’s innocence. She won’t rest until he is a free man. Cora is young and inexperienced; Leo is way above what she is used to when it comes to men. She has never been kissed or even been on a date. Everything about Leo is new and exciting to her.

The story was full of sexual tension, angst and plenty of mystery and suspense. I loved the story and the characters were well written and well developed. The only thing I did not like was that Cora’s parents apparently wrote off their son when he was convicted and believed him guilty. I thought the author could have given some more details about that. The little bit we read of the parents wasn’t enough for me to understand why parents would turn their back on their son while their daughter steadfastly believed in his innocence from the start. Over all it was a very enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend if you like your romance light with an extra dose of mystery.

The next book in the series will definitely be added to my TBR.


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Release Blitz: Mind Lies by Harlow Stone


Mind Lies
Title: Mind Lies
Author: Harlow Stone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7

Full length Standalone Contemporary romance novel
When Jerri wakes up from a twenty-two day coma post car accident- her memory is gone.
Well, most of it.
She doesn’t remember the friends she wakes up to, her home or the business she owns. The only thing she remembers is him.
Her pretty and reckless.
The passion between the two in her dreams is far too powerful to be a cruel joke of her amnesia filled mind. Portia - Jerri’s best friend of ten years- has no idea who the man is; leaving the doctors to think thirty two year old Jerri’s lost her fucking marbles a few decades too early.
But Jerri doesn’t give up.
“Sing to me, Jerri girl.”
Determined to find the motorcycle riding Irishman who begs her to sing in her dreams, she does just that.
One woman, and one heartbreaking YouTube video gone viral- Jerri soon finds out exactly why Locklin never comes. She finds out why sometimes memories of the past are best left exaLearn more
 ctly where they came from.
The past.

Mind Lies Teaser
Mind Lies Teaser 2

I stand from the uncomfortable chair I’ve been sitting in. I move to fix my hair before I get closer to the bed, but then I remember it doesn’t matter.
Nothing matters.
Because if I wasn’t worth enough at my best, surely my messy hair, torn gown, and filthy body covered with dried blood—me at my worst—will change nothing.
“Don’t speak,” I interrupt, holding up my hand, voice raspy.
I watch his face fall. His weary eyes shut in pain. Not pain due to his injuries. Not pain due to four hours of surgery.
Pain due to heartache.
We’ve come full circle. Only this time the emotional pain doesn’t belong to Portia, who watched her best friend wander lost in her mind.
This time—it’s him.
He knows.
Placing my hands on the bedrail at the foot of the hospital bed, I take in the man in front of me.
The bastard.
His clean-shaven jaw grew with stubble overnight.
Dark hair, not as long and shaggy as I like. Clearly he’s been back to the barber.
I follow the plains of his solid tattooed chest and the wisps of dark hair on his tanned arms, and only when I’m ready, only when I’m brave enough, do I finally meet his piercing blue eyes.
“You lied,” I strongly tell him, my voice deep and full of emotion. I softly raise my hand when I see he wants to speak again, but I know it hurts. I know the tube that was down his throat did some damage.
I continue, ignoring my blurry vision from tears that threaten to fall. “When I woke up in the hospital four months ago, I wanted one thing,” I pause, choking back my sob, “just one thing.”
“Jerri . . .”
I shake my head, eyes closing, tears falling free. I face him with all of it. Screw strong. I let him see it all: the hurt, the agony, and the heart-crushing pain that comes with not knowing.
The anguish that comes with not being wanted.
“You,” I whisper. “I just . . . wanted . . . you.”
Opening my eyes, I watch as the light leaves his. Any hope from waking, any wish he had to be alive, healthy, and happy when he had woken up is shattered.
Just like my heart.
“Do you have any idea what it’s like to wake up and not know who you are?” I ask him.
The selfish prick remains silent, but I press on. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to constantly dream of a man, to constantly ache for him, only to find out he’s not there? That he may very well be a product of your amnesia-filled mind?”
I don’t wait for him to answer before adding, angrily, “Do you have any idea what’s it’s like to yearn, sing, and beg the love of your life to come back to you? Only to find out he doesn’t want you?”
“I ca—” he rasps incoherently. 
I speak louder.
Push harder.
“It’s death! It hurts so goddamn bad you want to curl up, fall asleep, and never wake up again.” I shake my head, ignoring the determination in his eyes. His hands remain clenched at his side, the restraints having been put on after surgery to ensure he didn’t remove the chest tube when he had woken up.
“I wanted you so badly, I didn’t sleep. Barely ate. I would fall asleep just so I could dream of you. Because no matter how amazing Portia and my friends have been, I only wanted you.”
I laugh at myself mockingly. “But you never came. I hoped, I dreamed, I prayed, and I even fucking sang, clearly making a fool of myself, because I was singing to someone who didn’t want to be found in the first place!”
Fed up, he talks back as much as his battered throat and gunshot-wounded chest will allow him. “You should not have shared our song,” he rasps. “That . . . was . . . ours.”
The convicting tone in his rugged voice does nothing to deter me.
We’ve been here before.
And, as always . . . “I was never enough for you, Locklin. I won’t ever be enough.”
“Not true,” he whispers in agony.
Shaking my head sadly, I tell him, “You’ve left me, over and over again. But while I was lying in that hospital bed, like you are now, you truly and utterly departed. I don’t mean enough for you to console, and I don’t matter enough for you to ever stay.
“I had so little, and I was so desperate I would have given anything for an answer, let alone to have you by my side.” I pause, unable to control the sobs that wrack my body.
“Come here, Lass.”
The whimper leaving me will be the last one. I vow right now that I will not let myself mourn after this.
This is it.
It’s over.
“I’ve never had the option of leaving you, Locklin. I always chose to hold on and never let go.” I nod. “But it’s time. What you’ve done in the past was forgivable. But this,” I wave my hand between the two of us, “this, what you did and how you left me, is not forgivable. There’s no coming back from here. Because for once in my life when I truly needed you the most, you left me behind.”
“No, Lass. Don’t say that.”
I ignore the sign of tears that cloud his beautiful blue eyes. I ignore his outstretched fingers reaching for mine. Instead, I wipe the tears from my cheeks with the back of my hand and move to his bedside.
He tilts his head to the side, and I give in to the urge, running my fingers through his silky, dark hair. His eyes close briefly, soaking up the affection.
My touch. 
“At one time, you meant everything to me. I would have gone to hell and back just for a fraction of your attention, your love.” Leaning down, I place a kiss on his chapped lips and recognize the feel of him, the smell.
The taste. 
“That time is gone.”

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About the Author
"Reading is not just a hobby for me, it's a huge part of my life. When you lose yourself in the beauty a creative mind has conjured up; or when you get to that place where there is a movie in your mind and you cannot wait to see how it ends- that's where I find my happy place."
Harlow Stone is a thirty something woman from Southern Ontario who writes mature contemporary romance with steam to keep all you randy women interested in turning the pages.
She spends the majority of her days in the book world. When she is not busy writing her own books you can find her reading someone else's, usually with a glass of wine. (Or a bottle, but who's counting?)

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Release Blitz: Virtually Impossible by Lauren Stewart

Title: Virtually Impossible
Series: Once & Forever #2
Author: Lauren Stewart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Fairytales aren’t real…but love is.

Sara has a kick-ass life—loyal friends, a house in San Francisco, and an amazing job as a virtual assistant. It's perfect…except that Sara doesn’t actually exist. She’s just a borrowed name that Andi Clark hides behind. Using a fake identity lets Andi stay safely shielded behind the screen of her computer and concealed from the real world. With her history, pretending to be someone she’s not is the only way Andi can make up for the mistakes of her past. Not exactly ideal, but hey, no one’s life is perfect.


Hayden Bennett’s life is pretty damn perfect. He’s married to a beautiful woman, lives in a luxury apartment, and is prepped to take over the multi-million dollar company his father built. Perfect...except that his wife is madly in love with someone else, his career is meaningless, and he’s forgotten how to live, let alone be happy. But when Hayden hires a new virtual assistant named Sara, her sharp wit and intelligence leaves him wanting something more. Something real. Something incredible.

Two people need to wake up to understand how perfect they are...for each other. If they can't, any chance either of them have of finding a happily ever after will be virtually impossible.


This highly-anticipated sequel to DARKER WATER is a standalone contemporary romance inspired by Sleeping Beauty. VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE is Hayden and Andi's story, and this is how their fairytale begins: 

Once upon a time there was a woman who made the mistake of trusting the wrong man. And that mistake led to another. And another and another, each more damaging than the last. But the woman was as ignorant of her mistakes as she was of the damage they caused. Until she was punished for them. 

Around the same time, but in a totally separate part of the city, lived a noble man and his beautiful wife. Though their castle was the envy of all, its empty halls echoed of loneliness and regret. For the man had lived his entire life asleep, and both of them remained silent of who they truly were and what they truly wanted. And then one day, the woman entered the man's life and forced him to awaken...

Today’s torture was ‘spinning’. Seriously, who comes up with this shit? Twenty-five sweaty women pay good money to ride fake bikes while horrible music blares and a man in tight spandex shorts yells at us for being lazy. And we do this by choice? Even worse, we actually had to sign up in advance for this crap, just to get a spot.
“Do you want to press charges?” Emilia asked about a mile in. At least, I’m assuming we’ve gone a mile. I wouldn’t be sweating this much otherwise, right?
“What are you talking about?” I yelled back. Thankfully—and I use the word in the most ironic way—we’d gotten to the class early enough to snag two bikes next to each other. But even so, screaming was necessary.
“Hayden Bennett.”
“Hayden?” My guess is that she waited until now so that I’d have no more oxygen flow to my brain and wouldn’t be able to understand what she was talking about. Well, boy was she wrong—I wouldn’t have known what she was talking about five minutes ago. Did that mean we could stop now?
“I’m not sure how we’ll do it without your name coming up, Andi. But if you want to press changes, I’ll support you.”
“You have no idea how confused I am right now.” And I couldn’t blame a runner’s high because we’re biking to nowhere. Plus, I don’t actually know what a runner’s high feels like. It’s supposed to make this easier, isn’t it? And not so excruciating? “Why would I press charges against anyone, let alone Hayden?”
“Sexual harassment doesn’t have to be physical, Andi. It can be verbal too.”
I stopped spinning and waited for her to follow. Because obviously, I wasn’t the one with impeded oxygen flow. “He didn’t sexually harass me physically or verbally, Emilia. Why would you think that?”
The instructor yelled at me, his voice the only sound more piercing than the music. “Don’t stop now! We got a long way to go!”
He was kidding, right? We weren’t going anywhere. But, evident by the amount of glares I saw in the room, everyone else seemed to think I was holding back our journey or something, so I started pedaling again.
Emilia wiped her hair from her face. “First, you tell me to reassign him because you thought you might have crossed a line—which I totally didn’t believe, by the way and why I tried so hard and so successfully to talk you out of it.” She puffed out a few breaths as if she were in labor. No irony there. “But if my advice pushed you into something harassment-ish, I’ll never forgive myself.”
“There’s only one thing you should never forgive yourself for, and that’s making me do this class. But you didn’t miss anything where Hayden is concerned. Or was concerned. Promise.” I crossed my heart, holding it an extra moment to make sure it wouldn’t explode. I swear someone told me exercise was supposed to be healthy. Liars.
“I figured, but I had to ask.” Her non-pause made me wonder about the honesty of our relationship. But before I could call her on it, she started talking again. Well, huffing and puffing and talking again. “Especially after he called and practically begged me to convince you to work for him again. For more money, too.”

“He begged you? Are you sure you’re not getting him mixed up with one of the other men who can’t live without me?” At least that’s what I tried to say—my wheezing probably made some of the words incomprehensible. “I don’t think Hayden has needed to beg for anything in his entire life.”

Lauren Stewart grew up reading Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, James Clavell, Piers Anthony, and Agatha Christie, which explains why she can't seem to stick to one genre at a time. She loves emoticons and hates when people speak in the third person, so...

I got to the more romantic stuff pretty late, but romance was what changed me from an obsessed reader into an obsessed reader AND writer. I think my writing style comes from a mash-up of my early favorites and my new ones, women like JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Nalini Singh, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich. Wow, how much would you pay to be invited to that dinner party?

I want to make people think, cry, and giggle, not necessarily all at the same time (although it's great when it happens). In every one of my books, you'll find elements of other genres - fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor and a lot of sarcasm.

Because what doesn't kill us should make us laugh.