Well Summer is over and the kids are back in school. I had high hopes that this would mean a little more free time for me to read but the first week of school brought reality crashing back down on my head. There’s no free time. So I’ve been reading in little spurts here and there- waiting at the bus stop, waiting at football practice, staying up way too late to finish just one more chapter. I did read some great books in August though!
1. Taste by Cambria Hebert- Spencer Waller’s main purpose in life is to protect and serve. After spending years in the military, he gets a coveted spot on the Secret Service detail protecting the president. Spence doesn’t have time for women or all the work having a relationship with one requires. But just because he isn’t looking for a lady doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a beautiful one when he sees her. And he makes it a point to see one in particular every single day. Elle Bond has literally chopped and fried her way to the top of the food chain. Earning a coveted position in the White House as the president’s personal chef, she figures her professional life can only get better. Her personal life, on the other hand, could use a little bit of an overhaul, and because of that, she tries to ignore the charm-dripping cookie thief every time he comes into her kitchen. After all, she knows better than anyone that just one taste of something good is never enough. One night after work, Elle is assaulted, threatened, and given an ultimatum. She can’t go to the police, and she sure as hell can’t do what she was ordered. But she has to. Or else. Pale, shaken, and scared to death, Elle confides in Spence, and his protective instincts take over. Together, Elle and Spencer have to uncover a sinister plot and stop it before someone ends up dead.
This book is part of a series but they are all stand alone reads that don’t have to be read in order. I have read several of them and they are all fantastic. The perfect amount of romance, danger, and suspense. I highly recommend this series.
2. Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter- When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self. Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.
I went into this book blind based on the recommendation of a reader friend of mine. She said not to read the blurb, to just read the book. I never do this but I took her advice and I loved this book. It was strange, I had no idea what was coming, and I loved it. Throw away your preconceived notions and read this one!
3. A Will To Change by Beth Rinyu- Will McAdams is a New York City firefighter who has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, never quite measuring up to his parents standards. He lives his life without regrets, and answers to no one. The women love him and he uses that to his advantage, making it clear that he only has one use for them. Gabby Spencer is a nurse in the burn unit of a busy New York City hospital. Her guarded personality doesn’t allow many people into her life and her patients take the place of her lack of family. She masks the pain that she is harboring deep inside with quick wit and sarcasm. When Will becomes one of Gabby’s patients they form a special bond and soon become each other’s solace. But Will doesn’t see her like every other woman in his life. She means the world to him and he feels an underlying need to always protect her – most of all from himself. Even though he wants her more than he’s ever wanted any other woman, he’s not willing to take that next step and jeopardize everything they have. When jealousy and pain begin to overtake their once perfect friendship, will Will’s fear of falling in love and never measuring up, cause him to lose the one and only woman to ever own his heart?
I love this author. She makes me feel all the feels when I read her books. This is a companion novel to A Cry For Hope, which I also loved. If you’ve not read her work, you’re missing out!
4. Hard Knox by Nicole Williams- Knox Jagger. The name inspires resent in every male at Sinclair University, want in every female, and contempt in Charlie Chase. Charlie can be summed up in three words: independent, independent, and independent. To Charlie, Knox epitomizes everything that’s wrong with college males: prolific one-night stands, drunken senseless fights, and a body that hints at prioritizing gym time over study time. As an up-and-coming writer for Sinclair University’s newspaper, Charlie’s tasked with getting to the bottom of who’s been dropping little white pills into girls’ drinks at parties. In an ocean of All-American boys sporting polo shirts and innocent smiles, Knox is the obvious suspect. As evidence piles up against the bad boy of Sinclair, Charlie becomes more and more certain it isn’t Knox. But when her drink is dosed at a party and she wakes up on Knox’s couch the next morning, Charlie’s left with more questions than answers when it comes to Knox Jagger. How can Charlie ever hope to uncover the truth behind a guy so closed off he’s become . . .Hard Knox.
I love me some Hard Knox. I wasn’t sure I would like this story- the heroine is a little off-putting and judgmental in the beginning. But she grew on me. This was a great story.
5. Nikolai by Roxie Rivera- After a brush with death as a juvenile delinquent, Vivian swore she’d never stray across that line again—but there’s just one problem with her plan to stay on the right side of the law. She’s completely, irrevocably and unabashedly in love with Nikolai, the Russian mob boss who saved her life. From the moment Vivian appeared in his life on that tragic April night, Nikolai felt himself inextricably bonded to her. She’s the bright light in his dark world and the only thing that keeps him from sliding deeper into a life of crime and violence—a mobbed-up life he can’t escape no matter how hard he tries. After Vivian is ripped from his arms in a brazen blitz attack, Nikolai will stop at nothing to get her back—but rescuing her and keeping her safe in his arms isn’t enough. Suddenly, Nikolai’s only chance to keep her safe is to do the one thing he vowed never to do—he’ll drag her deeper into his shadowy world and bind her to him forever. Because their tangled pasts are about to collide and the shockwave threatens to bring Houston’s criminal underbelly to its knees.
You know how I love mob books and this one is fantastic. It’s part of a series that I recommend reading in order to get the full background. This one is probably my favorite of the series but it’s a close race.
6. A Whole New Crowd by Tijan- Taryn grew up in a different world. Her boyfriend was a criminal. His older brother was part of a gang. They weren’t great people, but they were her family. Then everything changes when she’s adopted by a family in the neighboring town. New family. New friends. A new world. She’s elated. This is her chance for a new beginning, but secrets start being revealed and Taryn learns her new life has ties to her old one, ties that she’s not happy about. Her new family might not have been the lucky break she thought she had. Now she’s not only fighting to live that new future, but she’s fighting to survive as well.
I love Tijan. It’s a fact. Her Fallen Crest High series is still one of my favorite series of all time. This book was a little darker but it was really a great story. I loved the heroine, she was bad ass!
7. Thin Love by Eden Butler- Love isn’t supposed to be an addiction. It isn’t supposed to leave you bleeding. Kona pushed, Keira pulled, and in their wake, they left behind destruction. She sacrificed everything for him. It wasn’t enough. But the wounds of the past can never be completely forgotten and still the flame remains, slumbers between the pleasure of yesterday and the thought of what might have been. Now, sixteen years later, Keira returns home to bury the mother who betrayed her, just as Kona tries to hold onto what remains of his NFL career with the New Orleans Steamers. Across the crowded bustle of a busy French Market, their paths collide, conjuring forgotten memories of a consuming touch, skin on skin, and the still smoldering fire that begs to be rekindled. When Kona realizes the trifecta of betrayal—his, Keira’s and those lies told to keep them apart—his life is irrevocably changed and he once again takes Keira down with him into the fire that threatens to ignite them both.
This book is so good. I loved that the author showed both the present and what happened in the past. There were 2 characters in this story that I wanted to kill. Like for real murder, y’all. I must say- this is not an easy love story. Kona and Keira were totally dysfunctional as a couple, bordering on toxic. It was intense and uncomfortable to read about at points but it was just so good. Highly recommend!
I’m hoping to carve out some time in September to read because several of my favorite authors have books coming out during the month. Did you read anything good in August?
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