My Favorites: The Sleepless Series by Fisher Amelie

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Callum & Harper

Life sucks for orphans Callum Tate and Harper Bailey. 

Kicked out of their foster homes because they suffer the ‘eighteen disease’ with nothing but a hundred dollar check from the government and a pat on the back, they’re forced to rely on a system that failed them miserably. 

So they sit. They sit inside Social Services, waiting for their social workers to call their names and offer them the miracle they know will never come but they sit anyway because they have nowhere else to go, no other options on their very literal and figurative empty plates.

But as they sit, they notice the other. Although captivated, they each come to the conclusion that life is complicated enough without throwing in a boiling tension that can’t ever be acted upon because they’re both too busy thinking about where their next meal will come from but when their names are called and both are placed on a year long waiting list for permanent housing, suddenly relying on each other seems like a very viable plan B. 

And, oh, how lovely Plan B’s can be. 

Well, except for the psycho from Harper’s past that haunts her and, oh, yeah, there’s the little issue that neither of them knows they’re in love with the other. 

Needless to say, Callum & Harper’s life just got a bit more complicated.

“One day, you and I are gonna’ wake up and be alright. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but one day. One day. I promise you.” – Callum Tate

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Thomas & January

“People crossed the street when they saw me. I’m not really sure why that was. I mean, okay, I might have looked a bit intimidating if I was being truthful with you. I’d changed since New York. New York represented a life that wasn’t real, not truthfully, anyway. No, New York was the “young, immature, in love, idiot” side of Tom. The “Tie-Dye Tom of New York City” didn’t exist anymore. Tie-Dye Tom was dead.”

January Mac Lochlainn thinks she’s her own worst enemy.

“I quit Berkeley. Threw away a full scholarship. Plans, you ask? What plans?”

But they’re both wrong.

***
Tom approached me slowly and met me under the light on the stone walkway. He leaned over me so closely, my neck craned to see his face. His expression was one of confusion as he studied my own. 

“What is it about you?” he asked me.

I gulped. “What do you mean?” I whispered, closing my eyes and swallowing again, my breaths becoming labored.

He lifted his hand and dragged the backs of his fingers across my jaw so lightly I barely felt them, but they made me feel dizzy all the same.

“How can you be this extraordinary, January MacLochlainn?” He leaned closer, a look of pure frustration and anger lit his eyes and pressed his lips. “And why couldn’t I have met you before I realized I didn’t want anyone…ever?”

Life for Thomas and January will never be the same again…whether they like it or not.

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My Favorites: The Dark Light Series by S.L. Jennings

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Dark Light

Love. Sex. Magic.

Before her 20th birthday, Gabriella was pretty much clueless about all three. In love with her best guy friend since the age of 14 and too crass and intimidating for most of the male population of Colorado Springs, love and good sex were virtually a myth.

And then there’s magic. Freakin’ magic. There’s no way that legend could have a place in her less than exciting life. So why after twenty years of utter obscurity do her adopted parents hit her with the ton of bricks that is her true identity? And how the heck is she supposed to accept all this and become what she was truly created to be?

Lucky for Gabs, sexy as sin Dorian is more than equipped to help her embrace these new revelations. And while everything about him feels oh so good, she soon learns that there’s more behind his crystal blue eyes, chiseled body and exotic beauty. Something dark, menacing and downright unnatural. Yet Gabs is in way too deep to even try to turn away from him now.

Dark Light, Book 1 of the Dark Light Series, is the raw, emotional story of a young woman’s journey of self-discovery in a world that was not meant for her. And her scorching hot, lip-biting addiction for the man she can’t deny, no matter the cost.

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The Dark Prince

Dorian Skotos is Dark. And although that brand of sheer, unrelenting evil is a direct threat to her life, Gabriella is tragically in love with him.

Gabriella knew it was all too good to be true. The way his touch radiated electricity right to her core, the way his ice blue eyes somehow made panties drop involuntarily, how his sexy half-smile crumbled the barriers around her heart…Dorian was extraordinary in every way.

She ignored the alarm bells for the sake of pleasure and a little slice of peace from her mixed-up life. She thought that whatever he was, she could help him. Maybe even change him. But now that the proof of Dorian’s true identity and what he was sent for is staring her in the face, Gabriella can’t deny the inevitable. And confronting that truth could very well slaughter more than just her fragile heart.

I haven’t been able to find a release date for book 3, Light Shadows. But i’m anxiously awaiting it!!

My Favorites: Perfect Chemistry Series by Simone Elkeles

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Perfect Chemistry

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created ‘perfect’ life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

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Rules of Attraction

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

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Chain Reaction

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he’s scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules ― don’t trust a boy who says “I love you”, boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex’s wedding and suddenly she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. Will Luis’s feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

My Favorites: The Moreno Brothers Series by Elizabeth Reyes

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Forever Mine

Seventeen-year old Sarah’s life is turned upside down when her single mom is sent to jail. She’s forced to move, leaving behind everything she’s ever known, including her best friend Sydney. Lost and bitter in a new school, her one goal is to save money and move back home. Then she meets Angel Moreno.

Enigmatic but gorgeous, Angel is almost too good to be true. Except for one thing, his archaic belief that guys and girls can never be “just friends”. The problem? Sarah’s best friend Sydney is not a girl.

With their unexpected romance intensifying to places neither ever experienced, how long can Sarah keep Angel in the dark about the guy waiting for her back home?

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Always Been Mine

After one heartache too many, Valerie Zuniga vows to never let Alex Moreno hurt her again. A year later, she is forced to reunite with him at a party where one unexpected sizzling kiss tells her she’s far from over him. No way will she allow herself to get sucked back into that torment. She’ll resist him even if that means using the one thing that’ll stop Alex dead in his tracks: another man. 

Alex is coming off one of the worst years of his life. He spent so much time wallowing in self-pity, he never realized how much he’d missed Valerie. That is, until that kiss. Now, he’s determined to get her back one way or another, and no other man will stand in his way. Especially after discovering that Valerie may be in danger, a danger he blames himself for.

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Sweet Sofie

Her entire life Sofia Moreno has dealt with her overprotective brothers. With three overbearing brothers always lurking, no boy would dare reach out to her. Luckily for Sofia the one boy she’s got her heart set on has always been within reach: her brothers best friend Eric. Even though his loyalty to her brothers runs deep, Sofia knows there is only so much he can do before giving in to her.

Two years older than her, Eric Diego has always known there would be hell to pay if he messed with his best friend’s kid sister Sofia. Through the years he watches as she blooms into a beautiful young lady right before his eyes. With teenage hormones raging and Sofia more than willing, Eric agrees to the unthinkable. A forbidden secret romance. Feeling emotions and a feverish passion that’s new to them both, neither is ready for how quickly their romance spins out of control.

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Romero

Prim and proper middle school teacher Isabel Montenegro always runs the opposite direction from men like Ramon Romero. A foul-mouthed, uneducated, loose cannon has no place in her careful plans. But instead of running away, Isabel is completely captivated. The intensity of his nature, while a bit daunting, mesmerizes her in ways she can’t begin to understand. She’s unwilling to walk away—even when her instincts are screaming at her to run.

Romero has no idea what he’s getting himself into when he first kisses Isabel. Shocked at the passion she invokes in him, he believes he can keep his usual short fuse under wraps. Falling fast and hard for someone so flawlessly sweet only makes him more aware that he’s far from perfect. If she is ever witness to his biggest imperfection, he’s sure she’ll bail. But when her meddling sister does the worst thing imaginable—bring other men between him and his Izzy—that fuse is lit and all bets are off.

Can two people who are worlds apart teach each other how to love, or will the reality of their differences drive them apart?

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Always in control, the meticulous and professional Salvador Moreno is thrown for a loop when the newly hired bartender Grace Zendejas suddenly invades his family’s restaurant, and infuriatingly, his every thought. For the first time in his life, Sal is fumbling. But after recovering from a few blunders he discovers his feelings for Grace run much deeper.
Things begin to heat up between him and Grace, but then the ever-perfect Sal does something even his brothers never did—screws up royally. Now he’s scrambling to cover up a mistake he knows could cost him dearly. As his relationship with Grace grows even more serious, Sal’s secret is a ticking bomb, threatening to destroy the one thing he now lives and breathes for—his relationship with the love of his life—Grace.

My Favorites: Racing on the Edge Series by Shey Stahl

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Happy Hour

Between revving engines, smoking tires, and high speeds, two friends form a vital bond in the shadows of the blaring spotlight. Sway Reins, a track owner’s only daughter, and Jameson Riley, a gritty NASCAR rookie driver, have been best friends since they were kids. Over the years, Sway becomes his safety shield during his rapid rise to the elite levels of auto racing. A night of celebrating a victory leaves Sway believing that she can convince Jameson to fall in love with her. She becomes determined to be more than just a pit lizard trolling the pits. Little does she know that this steadfast racer has his own idea of revelry. Soon their compression ratios are timed exactly right and all the reciprocating motions have led them to happy hour. As their passion revs, the inner workings of an internal combustion engine have never been so erotic. Just a taste turns into a thirst neither of them saw coming. Can she convince this rookie he can have love and his dream?

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Trading Paint

A must have companion to Happy Hour that give you an inside look into the characters of the Racing on the Edge series. 

Step into the magic where the clay met rubber and desire defined greatness. Trading Paint takes you inside the hasty driver’s mind to what led him to a decision that changed the path of two souls.
Jameson Riley, a dirt track racer from the pacified Northwest attempts to step from the shadows of his legendary World of Outlaw father, Jimi.
Struggling to make his own identity, his best friend becomes a distraction he didn’t see coming. When you’re touted as the next legendary sprint car racer to someone whose mystique alone is intimidating, you tend to lose sight and wonder who you are at times.
He has something to prove and something to learn. Can he surpass greatness? 
Warning: This book contains adult content and racing. It may not be for everyone and is completely different from the other books in the series as it contains detailed racing, setups and the mindset of a racer.

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Black Flag

When the taste you thought you never needed becomes a thirst you cannot quench, then what? Jameson Riley, a NASCAR rookie driver, and Sway Reins, his pregnant girlfriend, are put to the test. They have love; they have lust, and a bond that proves to be vital. But do they have what it takes to make it through his lifestyle. When tested, it’s either fight, or give in. Two things Jameson has a hard time drawing a line between. Desperate for the series title in his rookie season, Jameson becomes engrossed in the battle between himself and rival driver Darrin Torres. After a horrific crash in Pocono, Darrin attempts to even the score when his warnings do nothing to deter Jameson and his diligent focus on his dream and his family. Between the blurred lines of love and racing, and the weight of the world on his shoulders, can this racing prodigy achieve what he was born to do?

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The Champion

A powerful love story of tragedy, love, and commitment.
The fourth book in the Racing on the Edge series submerges you in the lifestyle of a champion of a sport that dominates America.
Through smoke and methanol, you learn the good, the bad, and the secrets no one wants you to know. 
Jameson Riley, a NASCAR champion, has created a life for himself and his expanding family but is it what he thought it would be? In a sport where you are allowed one angle, one image and everything you say and do, on or off the track, must fit in that angle, it’s hard to know how to be the champion they want. He once again, has to draw a line between love and racing.
Through shuffling cars and heaving exhaust, shadows lurk in every turn and threaten Jameson’s victory in his race for himself while Sway, his new wife, through her own battles within the spotlight, keeps their pit stand strong and ready for anything this life might throw at them.

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The Legend

In a lifestyle of speed, adrenaline and desire, one racer has sacrificed everything for the sport he loved. 
In turn, he will fight for his name, his family and now his life to be the legend he’s been portrayed to be.
You can be everything you set out to be if you want it bad enough. You can be that record breaker you said you’d be. You can be that hero you always thought you would be. You can be a champion. You can be a legend. You can love the same woman your entire life and give everything you got to a sport that gives you happiness. That is, if you want it.
But what happens when you’re standing on the edge of disaster and none of that matters anymore?
Jameson Riley, a racer whose effect on the sport is greater than any statistical contribution, has that talent and the family dedicated to get him to those legendary levels he has always dreamed of. Just like any long race, their lives have fallen into a comfortable pace making pit stops and adjustments along the way they remain in line with the occasional shuffle. Through it all, Jameson is a driver with a numbing reputation, an imperial manner and the clout to back it. From his unlikely beginnings in the Pacific Northwest to blaring spotlight, he’s been challenged on and off the track for the last eighteen years but life is changing for this family. Their children are growing, the family business is soaring and he’s in the peak of his career having won more championships than any other driver in the series.
That’s when tragedy surfaces. A malicious act of revenge will decide the fate of the champion everyone has watched grow from the local dirt track racer to the mystifying greatness he became. One family is forced to look for a miracle. They question the sport, relationships, and the only lifestyle they’ve ever known.
When your life is measured in laps, what happens when the white flag is thrown?

I’ve listed these in the recommended reading order. Trading Paint is technically a prequel to the whole series. I read the other four, skipping Trading Paint. I figured I’d read it after finishing the series. I haven’t yet, but I plan on rereading all of them and I will then! I loved this series so much and I like that there’s a little bit of it left that I haven’t read! 🙂

Review: Plastic Hearts by Lisa De Jong

 

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Plastic Hearts by Lisa de Jong is fabulous. I know this sounds silly, but I knew i’d love it just by looking at the cover and reading the title. It’s like we connected. haha! But for real, I bought this book after just skimming the blurb, knowing i’d love it…and it sat on my kindle for forever. Now, everyone does this. It’s like I was holding out, just waiting for the perfect time to read it! So the other night, i’m feeling in the right mood, so I read it. ALL of it. In ONE night. This also happens at times, but it’s rare. I have a job that starts at 8am, whether I get in my zzz’s or not. All I can say is that I wasn’t disappointed one bit. I LOVED it.

First of all, the cover. I’ll talk about it because it’s what I first fell in love with. This is definitely not your typical “clinch cover” with the girl in a scantily clad bustier embracing some hunky guy. These characters are dressed on this cover! *mind blown* and they aren’t making out! haha! *crazy concept* I guess what i’m trying to say is that it was a breathe of fresh air!! Plus, it’s a total bonus that the girl on the front looks like Kristen Bell! (She’s one of my favorite actresses!) And I totally casted Kristen Bell in my head to play Alexandra or “Alex.”
Alex grew up with a set of expectations. She’s finally away at college and hoping to spread her wings a little, until she realizes how tight the hold her family has on her. She comes from a wealthy family with plastic hearts. They expect her to follow a certain path, no matter what her heart says.
“Plastic hearts are made so they cannot be broken. Cracked maybe, but never broken.”
Dane grew up with no expectations. He’s pretty much trying to be everything everyone said he couldn’t be. When they meet, it’s like two trains going full speed colliding head first. Suffice it to say, they don’t get along. And yet, they are SO attracted to each other. Alex’s heart has to fight her head to give Dane a chance.
“This man standing in front of me right now could break me into a million pieces, but if I didn’t let him in I’d never feel that deep down in my stomach kind of love; I’d forever be unbreakable.”
I absolutely fell in love with Dane. He is the most supportive and encouraging boyfriend ever.
I HIGHLY recommend this book! Plus, book 2, Glass Hearts comes out on June 28th!! Perfect timing, huh?
My Dane and Alex-
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Review: Girl with Guitar by Caisey Quinn

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Kylie Ryans has nothing to lose. Her father has passed away. Her evil stepmother has kicked her out of her house. She’s lost her job. But she does have one thing going for her- her talent. Kylie packs it all up and buys a bus ticket to Nashville.

“Kid, you’re either crazy or desperate and you have to be both to make it here. I think you’re gonna do just fine.” Both, Kylie thought to herself. I’m both.

Kylie gets a big break after performing at an open mic night. She is invited to tour with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. Trace is super talented, yet unreliable and erratic. He is quickly ruining his career by drinking too much, not showing up to his own shows and pretty much being an asshole! Every other opening gig for his tour has quit, either because they couldn’t deal with him or he broke their heart. Well, Kylie isn’t going to take his crap.

“You probably have about fifteen more minutes until some guy with deeper dimples and tighter jeans, if that’s possible, comes along and steals your thunder. Because really, you’re not all that damned special. But congratulations. I hope it makes you feel like a big man to leave me and Pauly high and dry while you go out and have a good time.”

Unfortunately, he also makes Kylie’s stomach drop and blood boil. She’s never been so attracted to anyone before. She, of course, starts to see the other side of Trace…the kind brother, vulnerable, big-hearted musician. Trace and Kylie have to fight nasty rumors, an evil stepmother, and pride before they can finally be together.

“They think I’m pink champagne, you know I’m whiskey and rage. They want love songs and romance, you know I’m get drunk and let’s dance. I try and I try, to live their lies, be what they need me to be. But you know the truth. Know I’m all scarred and bruised, on the other side of me.”

This is such a great book, I really loved reading it. There is a bit of a cliffy, but you aren’t left heartbroken or anything. I can’t wait for more of Kylie’s story!!

Sidenote- I couldn’t help but compare this book to one of my favorite TV shows, Nashville! So in my head, I imagined Kylie, Trace and everyone else as characters from that show. I know the story lines are totally different, so don’t get mad at me! But, if you love Nashville, you’ll love this book, and vice versa!

My Kylie and Trace (ala Nashville style!)

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**And you don’t have to wait too much longer for book 2, Girl on Tour to come out! Release date is currently set for August 27, 2013!

Review: Jet (Marked Men #2) by Jay Crownover

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Jet by Jay Crownover is another great series that follows a crowd of friends! (these are my fave!) This book follows Jet Keller and Ayden Cross, but we still get a good dose of Rule, Shaw, the band, Rowdy, Cora, Rome…the gang’s all here!

Jet and Ayden’s story really begins when Ayden propositions Jet one night after a show. Ayden, prim and proper, has decided to shed her new persona for one night with Jet, consequences be damned. Surprisingly, Jet doesn’t think this is a good idea despite how much he’d like to. She runs away.

“Whatever it was that Jet made me feel tonight, it was far too dangerous to try to act on. Not only had it ended in humiliation and panic, but I had also risked all the things that mattered to me now, and I just couldn’t allow that.”

One year later, Jet is living in the same house with Ayden and Cora. He sleeps with a new girl every night, trying to get Ayden off his mind. She is also having a hard time with her attraction to him. She is dating sweater-wearing Adam, a respectable, smart guy with a stellar family and future. Perfect, right? Too bad she isn’t attracted to him. Jet and Ayden must learn to deal with their attraction or figure out a way to make it work.

“Old me, new me and everything that’s in between or yet to come, all of it is yours, Jet.”

Now- I’m just gonna say what everyone else is thinking….I WANT MORE OF ROME!!  I’d bet my piggybank that Rome and Cora’s book is next! In the beginning I thought Rowdy was being set up for the next book, but I was wrong. I was smiling in anticipation at the end of the book with Rome and Cora get in a huge fight! Book 3 is going to rock!

One last thing- I’m not a fan of the cover. Sad day. So here’s my Jet and Ayden-

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Review: Killing Me Softly by Leisl Leighton

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This book was exactly what I needed this last weekend! I’ve been reading a bunch of lovey-dovey books lately (not that I’m complaining)…but I loved this suspenseful romance! Parts of this book definitely reminded me of Kristen Ashley books, mainly the stalker/mysterious letters/shocking events type stuff.

Alexia Deningham guards her privacy fiercely. She lives on a secluded country estate (that sounds magical!) and uses a pseudonym, AJ, for her work as a super successful music producer. Daemon Flagherty is recovering from a messy divorce and is ready to record another album. He wants to work with the best, and that means AJ. I think this book was a little slow in the beginning, but once Alexia and Daemon admitted their attraction for each other, I enjoyed it a lot. Alexia has every right to be cautious after the nightmare she has lived through. Being with Daemon threatens to tear down the walls (literal and figurative) that she’s built up around herself. Daemon has his own demons with works through, but Alexia makes it worth it, and I liked how he pursued her during the book!

“Daemon turned, their gazes met, unspoken words shifting between them. A simple understanding. A touching of souls. A love of music. He felt shattered by the strength of the connection. He couldn’t look away. Their eyes clung to each other. This was what he’d been hoping for and yet…”

This book definitely has its nail biting moments! We get a third POV from the stalker, which is super creepy! And there are some pretty shocking things that happen! Overall, this was a great romance with a solid storyline!

**Bonus- everything in this book from the setting, estate, farm, horses and characters made me this RALPH LAUREN!! I pictured everyone with that “old money” look! This made me very happy!

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**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning

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Wicked Beat comes out on August 6, 2013. Pre-order here!

So I’ve loved Sticks since I started reading this series. He’s presh. (yes, I said presh!) If you’ve read the other books you’ll remember his very memorable scene in Backstage Pass (spends a few minutes remembering) and that he enjoys watching. *that’s right* And now it’s his turn to fall in love…hip hip hooray! 

Rebekah or “Reb” is filling in as the front of house soundboard operator while her brother, Dave, is recovering from the band’s bus crash. She has a knack for picking jobs that typically men do, like trying to be a mechanic, oil-rigger or crab fisherman, and this is job is no different. She is obsessed with proving herself, but it’s a little hard when everything thinks you’re adorable and therefore not capable. Reb and Eric are attracted to each other right off the bat, but it takes a little bit for Reb to take her focus off of Trey and realize how great Eric is. Once they come together its like “BAM” they are in love. I’m not joking, it happens overnight! I don’t always like this in books, but these books aren’t trying to be super realistic. They are about a super famous rock band with larger than life rockers! So yeah, I think rock stars can fall in love overnight. It makes sense in my mind and that’s all that matters!

There are quite a few little hurdles they have to jump in the race towards their HEA. Crazy parents, old flames, illnesses, self-consciousness…are just a few of these things.  I love how the rest of the band pulls together and supports Eric. You know he has been searching for a family, and you get to see him realize that he already has them and Reb is the cherry on top. 

What I loved- Trey! In the beginning, I wanted to scold him and tell him to leave Reb and Eric alone and let Eric have his chance. But you start to realize that everything Trey did was to bring Reb and Eric together. He’s just sneaky about it. Also, when Trey takes care of the “Isaac Issue!” haha

I loved all the role play and costumes they play with! Most of the time I was laughing my butt off while I read it, but it was so funny! It was definitely different than the other books that are full of “normal” sex…can rock star sex be called normal? I don’t know. It was different, that’s my point.

Eric’s birthday was super cute. *points for Reb*

Overall, I think this is a great addition to The Sinners on Tour series!

My Eric and Reb-

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**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.