Review: Bender (The Core Four #1) by Stacy Borel

All Keegan wanted was a roommate who was quiet, minded their own business, and paid for part of the rent. Instead, she got Camden Brooks.

Camden, with his sinful body, sharp tongue, and the inability to stay out of Keegan’s personal space, couldn’t seem to curb his interest in the new girl who wouldn’t put up with his domineering ways.

Feelings were running rampant, sexual tension was thick, and both were struggling to let go of control.

To some people, getting a roommate simply meant living with another person. But to both Camden and Keegan it was a curveball that neither was prepared to swing at.

Besides the initial setup of this story, Bender was a pretty decent read. It was nothing I haven't read before, still it was enjoyable. The characters were likeable, drama reasonable and the sexy scenes smoking and original.

It all starts of a little strange for me. That Keegan wants to move out of her house, I can totally understand, that Camden needs a roommate, I can't. The guy owns a gym, Keegan isn't even paying half the rent and Camden is so controlling he buys the groceries and does the cooking. So I'm left wondering why he would need a roommate. He's barely home, so not for the company and at first it seems he doesn't particularly likes Keegan.

Keegan is a pretty great character. Her mom is a bit of a flake, so she's had to take care of herself and her sister from a young age. This has been putting a lot of pressure on her and interfering with school. Finally Keegan realizes she needs to put herself first, hence her moving out.

Actually not much changes for her. Keegan had hoped she could be friends with her roommate, unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. Keegan knows Camden is hot, but his attitude needs some serious work. On the one hand she is often mature and responsible, but with other things she seems so naive and even childish. I had trouble coming to terms with these two sides of her. It didn't make sense to me.

Camden is a typical alpha male character. He's very protective, controlling and he has trouble giving in to his feelings. At first he behaves unkindly towards Keegan, all in the name of her putting him off balance by her mere existence. He feels some serious attraction towards her and usually he would just act on that, but this girl is of course different. So it's all a bit cliché for me. The part of him I liked the most, was his controlling nature. This led to some insanely hot scenes. I can never look at a thigh adductor machine in the gym the same way again.

This is the first book in the series, as there are four brothers and we get to meet them all. These guys definitely caught my interest, so I will be reading those as well.

Fans of the New adult genre, who are into the cavemen alpha males, will probably like this book. The chemistry between Keegan and Camden, plus the surrounding drama keeps it interesting enough.

The Core Four - Reading order and purchase links


The Author
I'm a Coast Guard wife and currently a stay at home mom. I want to be a nurse when I "grow up." My incredibly handsome husband and I have been married for 9 years and I have 2 amazing children that keep life interesting. 

I am an obsessive reader. I go through 3-5 books a week on my Kindle and I whole-heartedly support my indie authors. After reading well over a couple hundred books this year, I decided I might give it a shot writing my own book. I dabbled with a few ideas and finally settled on a story I know I'd personally read and I began the journey of creating Ever Enough. I appreciate all the support I've been given by my family, friends, and fellow indie authors. You've all shaped my view on life and books and I'll be forever grateful!

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#WattpadWednesday: The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley

Wattpad Wednesday is a weekly meme, where I review books that originated on Wattpad. So it can be published now and removed from Wattpad or currently still on this site. There is some crazy talent on that website and through this I want to help spread the word :)

The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window was also one of the first stories I read on Wattpad. With over 3 million reads, Kirsty Moseley decided to self publish her stories. She's still writing stories the website and meanwhile also published a couple of other stories.

Amber Walker and her older brother, Jake, have an abusive father. One night her brother's best friend, Liam, sees her crying and climbs through her bedroom window to comfort her. That one action sparks a love/hate relationship that spans over the next eight years.

Liam is now a confident, flirty player who has never had a girlfriend before. Amber is still emotionally scarred from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. Together they make an unlikely pair.

Their relationship has always been a rocky one, but what happens when Amber starts to view her brother's best friend a little differently? And how will her brother, who has always been a little overprotective, react when he finds out that the pair are growing closer? Find out in The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window.

There are a couple of subjects i have trouble reading about, like sexual abuse. Now there is no graphic description of it in this story, it is still a very present issue. The trouble I have with this subject is not just the act on its own, but often how it's dealt or rather not dealt with it. Here that was mostly the case.

Amber and her brother Jake have been physically abused by their father for most of their lives. With Amber he even went one step further, until Jake and his best friend Liam found out. This resulted in them beating the crap out of the father and throwing him out of the house, never to return again.

So my issues pretty much start from the beginning. I find it difficult to believe no one ever suspected anything was going on, since the dad really wasn't inconspicuous about where he was hurting his children. Then after two teenage boys put the hurt on him, he just left and that sounds too easy. I don't understand why the cops were never contacted at this point. Also the mom was scared of the father, so I can understand her fear of leaving him. Though once again, when you find out he's been sexually abusing your daughter, call the cops please!

Since their father is gone, life has turned for the better. Though their mom is now travelling a lot for her work and never really home, the kids don't mind this at all. Honestly it's a bit weird. Amber still has nightmares and trouble with people trying to touch her. Meanwhile Jake seems to have no scars from all the abuse. He just has a lot of anger towards their father and is very protective over Amber.

Now things are changing between Amber and Liam, Jake's best friend. Things move fast between them, too fast for my liking considering her past. With all my issues towards the subject, I had trouble really getting into the story. If those weren't present it would be a great, sweet love story, though a bit cheesy at times. Also it's a pretty long story and slow. I feel either the author should have let out the abuse or have dealt with the issue more severely.


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The Author
Kirsty Moseley has always been a passionate reader since she was a little girl, devouring books overnight, barely sleeping and paying for it at school the next day. Writing has come similarly to her and once she discovered Wattpad, she finally plucked up the courage to post one of her stories. Seven million reads later, she self-published her debut novel THE BOY WHO SNEAKS IN MY BEDROOM WINDOW, which later became one of 10 Finalists for the 2012 Goodreads' Choice Awards, Best YA Fiction. Shocked and overwhelmed by the response, she published her second novel ALWAYS YOU a few months later.

If she had to sum herself up in one word, it would probably be 'daydreamer' - but unlike most of her school teachers, she doesn't necessarily view that as a bad thing. After all, she read somewhere once that books are like waking dreams....

She lives in Norfolk, England with her husband and son.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: One Week by Zoey Derrick

A week in Las Vegas and she will feel better about herself. At least that is what Dacotah Miller is hoping will be the case.

Left at the alter, heart broken and ashamed, Dacotah takes the opportunity offered by her girlfriends - the chance to get away. The opportunity to escape her mundane life in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin.

But what Dacotah doesn't know is that lurking in Las Vegas is the chance of a lifetime, a dream come true, in the form of Derek Hunter.

Derek, in town on business, can't seem to focus on his purpose once Dacotah walks into his field of vision. She beautiful and just what he needs to cure his desire for a good woman in his bed. Only she presents a challenge to him unlike anything he's ever experienced before.

Dacotah will be wrapped up in a whirlwind of unexpected events that will force her to make a decision, life changing choice. Does she get on the plane back to boring Wisconsin and wonder what might have been? Or will she step on board a private jet that promises to take her on a journey she will never forget?

1 You’re Going…

“Cotah, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Rachel places her hands on my shoulders, like she is ready to shake some common sense into me.

“Rach, seriously? I can’t.”

“Why not? You have nothing holding you here. Nothing,” she says with emphasis. “He’s an idiot. He gave up a good, sure thing for some ho from the wrong side of the tracks. You need to get over it, and Vegas is a great place to do just that.” Rachel knows what to say to crawl under my skin.

Jason and I broke up only a couple weeks ago. When I caught him in the bathroom, during our rehearsal dinner, with that bitch Jessica. I will never forget that night, and right now I feel as though I will never get over it.

Jason and I had been together since our junior year in high school. Twelve years together, and he wasted it sticking his dick in some chick two nights before our wedding.

“I am over it,” I blurt out, but Rachel’s face scrunches up at me and I know she can tell I’m lying.

“Don’t give me that bullshit. When was the last time you even left the house?”

“Uh, this morning. I’m here aren’t I?”

“Jesus, Cotah, your house is right next door. Nice try.”

“I go to work, don’t I?”

“Oh hell, so what? We all do that.” She finally lets go of my arms and goes into the kitchen. She grabs a beer from the fridge, pops the top and slides it across the counter to me. She returns to the fridge to grab one for herself. I look at my watch; it’s ten thirty in the morning. “Seriously. We’re going. You, me and Mandy; no ifs, ands or buts about it.” She takes a drink of her beer. “We leave tomorrow morning.”

“What?” I freeze as the beer spews from my mouth. “Rach, I can’t, I have to work tomorrow.”

“Fuck that place, tell them you quit.”

“Oh yeah, then what the hell am I going to do when we get back?” Rachel just shrugs and gives me a look that says who-gives-a-flying-fuck.

“Worry about it when we get back. Hell Cotah, you have no bills, you live in your grandmother’s house which she left you free and clear. I know damn well you have money in the bank, otherwise you’d be working more than twenty-five hours a week at some lame pizza joint in the middle of Podunk fucking nowhere.”

She’s right, of course. My grandmother left me a small fortune when she died a little over a year ago. I have no family left anymore, and it is just me, myself and I. Lest we forget Mandy and Rachel; two of the only people in this world that mean anything to me.

“Dacotah, you’ve never done anything for yourself. You’ve always done everything for everyone else. It’s time to give up on doing things for everyone, and take action for yourself. Now, let’s go do this and have a great time.”

She has a point. Up until my grandmother died, I’d spent the previous two years taking care of her and working when I could. Maybe it is my fault that Jason cheated on me; I was never around, we hardly ever went out and did anything. He was always so supportive, but in hindsight, I understand why.
By supporting me, he was able to hide the fact that he was cheating on me. After what happened, I’m certain Jessica wasn’t the first woman he’s cheated with.

“You’re twenty-eight years old, you’re single, and you have nothing to lose but the chance to have a great time.”

“Rachel, I…”

“Stop thinking about it. Go home, pack up some clothes, and get ready to go. Mandy and I will be at your house tomorrow morning at seven; we’ll drive into Minneapolis and hop a plane to Vegas. It’ll be Friday and we will get there in plenty of time to start partying it up on the strip.”

“Who’s paying for all this?”

She gives me a half smile. “I paid for your airfare. We’ll have to split the cost of the room, and each pay for our own expenses.”

“What happens if I don’t go?”

“Then I’m out three hundred bucks on your non-refundable ticket.”

There it is, the guilt trip that Rachel is notorious for. “I’ll pay for my ticket.”

“I’d rather you just come with us.” She takes a big long chug of her beer then crushes the can in her hand and throws it away. I roll my eyes.

Rachel is a beautiful girl, but redneck is the best word to describe her. She has long chocolate brown hair, brown eyes, and an amazing body. Years of throwing bales of hay around the barn have done her proud. She’s skinny as a rail, looks great in anything she wears and has no problems getting laid. She is about five-seven and her waist looks tiny when she stands next to me.

I’m about five-eight, with long dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and hips that seem to go on for days and complete the hour glass figure that I have. I’m not entirely overweight, but I love my curves. I wasn’t always like this, I used to be Rachel skinny, but over the years, my hips have gotten a little wider, my butt a little rounder and my boobs, well, let’s just say that they are more than a good handful.

“Well?” Rachel interrupts my thoughts.

“Well, what?” I snap, unintentionally. Thinking about my weight and my own insecurities always makes me edgy. But Rachel doesn’t flinch at my tone.

“You’re still standing here.”

“Did you want me to leave?” I ask her, deadpan.

“Only if you’re going to go pack. Otherwise, you can stand here until I convince you to go.”

Ugh! I finally realize what’s the harm in going? I can call Pete and tell him that I need to take a few days off. In fact, I would’ve been doing just that anyway if I hadn’t walked out on Jason. It’s only a week. She can get it out of her system, and leave me alone about getting on with my life.

I put my beer down on the counter. I’ve taken maybe three sips of it. Beer is not my favorite, especially this early in the morning.

I turn on my heels and walk out the front door. Behind me Rachel squeals with delight and I can hear her jumping up and down as the screen door slams shut.I’ve been trying for more than three hours to find clothes to take to Vegas, but I have nothing. Everything I own either looks frumpy or smells like a pizza joint, or they’re old, faded, and in less desirable condition. I do have two decent pairs of jeans and a couple of tops, but that’s it. I wonder if Rachel and Mandy wouldn’t mind a shopping trip in Vegas. In fact, I know Mandy would be delighted. She’s a shopaholic and I have no doubt that shopping is already on the agenda.

Around two, I call Pete, my boss. “Hey Pete, it’s Dacotah.”

“What’s up?” Pete’s a really nice guy; he’s owned that restaurant since just out of high school when his dad retired.

“I need to take the next week off.”

“Uh, Dacotah, you’re not on the schedule for next week.”

“What?” I can’t hide the shock, Rachel.

“You were, um…” he hesitates long enough for me to realize what he is implying without saying it and it all makes sense now. I was supposed to be on my honeymoon this week.

“You don’t need me to come in, do you?” I ask in vain as I know the answer to the question.

“Nope, we’re all set here,” he says back, avoiding the obvious.

“I get it, okay, thanks Pete.”

“No problem.” He hangs up.

“Well, I guess I won’t be losing my job by running away to Vegas.” There is a disappointed feeling that comes with the call and knowing that my last excuse has run out. I realize that I’d been hoping that Pete would need me this week so I could stay. What’s the point in staying?

I pack up the few things that I have to take with me, get my bathroom stuff together, at least the stuff I won’t need in the morning before we leave, and I’m about to head downstairs, with my suitcase in tow, when the doorbell rings. I pause. Rachel or Mandy would just walk right in; they both have keys, not that I lock the door often.

The suitcase clatters loudly behind me as it slides down each step. I’m thankful that I have a decent small, modern suitcase. Something I’d bought in preparation for going to Florida for our supposed honeymoon. When I reach the bottom of the steps, I pull the suitcase near the door and look through the window to see who is ringing my doorbell for the third time.

“Shit,” I reach for the knob and swing the door wide open, nearly knocking my suitcase over. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Buy book: Amazon - B&N

The Author
It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, a mortgage underwriter by day and romance and erotica novelist by night, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.

Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

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4 winners will receive a print copy of One Week, along with a swag pack. Open Intl.

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Review: Jack Strong by Walter Mosley

In a Las Vegas hotel room, a man awakes to confront his destiny.

Dreaming, Jack hears voices: a frightened child in a hospital, a woman cheating on her husband, a death row inmate. When he wakes, the voices recede, but they do not vanish. He is in a luxurious hotel room on the Vegas strip, and his body is covered in scars. Jack Strong is a patchwork man, his flesh melded together from dozens of men and women, and his mind is the same way. Countless lifetimes are contained within him: people whose lives were cut short, and who see their place in Jack as a chance to make things right.

On behalf of one of them, Jack reignites a feud with some corrupt casino bosses. Drawing on the skills of another, he beats the life out of two bodyguards. Jack fights for control as he lurches from impulse to impulse, certain that somewhere within him lies a soul. The answer may lie with whoever is tailing him in a sleek black car--if Jack can somehow confront him.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Jack Strong is a novella/very short story and we all know how I feel about those. The whole setup of the story is what spoke to me. We have a man who is a compilation of many different men and women, even children. Some of those were good people and some not so good.

Now this is mostly mentally, so you can see it as a very bad case of schizophrenia. Though it's not just different personalities, he also inherited their memories. Physically her reminded me of Frankenstein, though not that extreme. The guy has some serious scars and is patched together from different people. To me this seemed very interesting and screamed government secret soldier.

After finishing this though I still don't really know what is going on. It feels like this was a short introduction of the character and that we would get a full novel later. There's a constant struggle in Jack's head of the people wanting to take over. He uses their memories to clear up some unfinished business. The interesting fact though is that Jack barely has any clue of what is going on himself. He doesn't know who he is and how he came to be.

On it's own this story didn't do much for me. The main character is fascinating though and I just hope he gets a full length novel.


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The Author
Walter Mosley (b. 1952) is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.

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Review & Giveaway: Before You (Before & After #1) by Amber Hart

Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.

Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.

It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don't care.

Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn't stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.

At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.

Love—it will ruin you and save you, both.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

We definitely have a bit of a Romeo and Julia thing going on here. This time though it's not the families hating each other, but the people around them. Prejudice can be such an ugly thing.

Faith screams good, nice white girl, while actually it's a mask she wears. Being the preacher's daughter people expect her to dress a certain way and behave a certain way, date a nice christian boy and Faith complies with those expectations even though it's slowly killing her inside. The only person who knows the real Faith is her friend Melissa and now there is this new boy who sees right through her.

Diego is actually a nice Cuban boy, who did what he had to do to protect his family, even though in the end it wasn't enough. He recently moved to America with his father in the hope of starting over. The guy definitely has a scary look going on with his tattoos and all his scars, but Faith's not intimidated by him.

These two are straight up intrigued by each other. They are both something they've never encountered before and the attraction is iminent. Though it's not as easy as you would think. While Diego is all what you see is what you get, Faith has trouble showing the real her. She is scared of other people's reaction. Slowly though Diego helps her shed that mask and show her it's okay to be who you want to be.

I was afraid of reading another lame Shakespeare themed novel, but Amber Hart was definitely able to surprise me. Diego and Faith are very interesting and strong characters. They both have been through a lot and I loved how they grew during this story. I was actually surprised by what they've been through, it added something captivating. It was not that easy to relate because I've never been close to either of their situations, but there were so easy to connect with. I could easily understand the need to pretend and the need to struggle free from that.

Overall a captivating story, with very strong characters and plenty of unexpected twists to keep it interesting. There is going to be a second novel and I'll definitely be reading that as well. There is that "we are from different worlds, what would people think" part, but that's not the main issue. It's about daring to be yourself and that being yourself is good enough.   

Before & After - Reading order and purchase links


The Author
Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.

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*US only*

Music Monday (Jul. 28)

Music Monday is a weekly book meme. Everyone can join in, you just have to do the following:
  • Choose a book or a scene from a book.
  • Choose a song that fits said book or scene.
  • Tell us why you paired them together.
  • Don't forget to share the title and author.
  • Be careful not to include spoilers!

Toni Aleo is a major Ed Sheeran fan, so when she came across thing song, it was perfect for her latest novel the Whiskey Prince. It definitely fits into the whole Irish scene, but I like to take it a little deeper. Amberlyn likes to sing this song to herself, because her dad used to sing it a lot so it reminds her of her parents. Not just that, it's a comfort for her to hear that song. It might be a song about the end of a night at the pub, you could also see it in a bigger picture, the Parting Glass at the end of life. At least that is how I look at it and I love this acoustic/acapella version.   

If you don't have a blog and want to participate just share your links to the book and song in the comments. 

#SaturdaySeries: House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7) by Chloe Neill

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of twenty-seven, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal—tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.

*Do not read if you haven't read the previous books*

Last book the house was a bit in turmoil and it still is. Cadogan is preparing their split from the GP and while it seems everything is going smoothly, you never know what the GP has up their sleeves. Vindictive basterds is one way to describe them.

While that is going on in the House, someone is killing vampires on the streets. Not just stake them and you have a nice pile of ash, but it's all very staged. Tes, peeps Chicago has a new serial killer and Merit is on it, kind of. Whomever is doing this is good and leaves almost no clues behind. Merit and her little merry group of supernaturals will definitely need to put on their thinking caps for this one.

On a personal level I feel Merit is not changing much anymore. She has settled very well in her role as Sentinel and performs her duties with splendor. Things between her and Ethan are finally going good, though there is still that part of her being in the Red Guard that might be an issue for him. Even her friendship with Malory is taking the first steps towards healing. So everything is going pretty good for Merit, it's just the things around her that go haywire.

Another good installment in the series and no cliffhanger this time. Though I have to say that the need to know what is coming next has lessened. I still very much enjoy the books and Merit is great, but the urge of needing to read the next book now, is no longer there. This could be of the no cliffhanger , though I also feel I've gotten very comfortable with these characters and their adventures. Meaning it's like checking up on friends once in a while, when I have the time. I feel like something big needs to happen to fully catch my interest again. (I'm still wondering about that child Merit saw in Gabriel's vision.) No idea how many books will be in this series, but I believe we are in no way done.


Chicagoland Vampires - Reading order and purchase links




Blood GamesAmazon - Kindle (Aug. 5)

The Author
Chloe Neill was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest—just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia's to keep an eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys—her husband (also her favorite landscape photographer) and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

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