New Release and Review: On The Corner Of Love And Hate by Nina Bocci – Hopeless Romantics Series – Book 1


On The Corner Of Love And Hate

Hopeless Romantics Series – Book 1

By Nina Bocci

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Buy: Amazon



For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

OTC good enough

3 Star

Michel’s Review

The Corner Of Love And Hate by Nina Bocci intrigued me. I love an enemies to lovers type of romance and was craving a bit more mature adult kind of relationship.

While the first trope was clearly present in this novel, the mature adult behavior kind of slipped through the cracks. I felt like the hero, Cooper, was a bit immature for a man clearly in his thirties. Not only did Cooper come across as immature but also came across as a slacker. It turned me off right away and while he had significant character growth, he never captured my heart. If I can’t fall in love with the hero then I find myself annoyed with the heroine for falling for him.

Emmanuelle had her own issues and I completely understood her frustration and resentment towards Cooper. It was completely validated. Rather than expressing herself in a positive, direct manner to Cooper she lets her issues fester.

When the two finally started to really communicate and express their real desires it was hard to get on board with their romantic relationship. The animosity, push and pull that I love in enemies to lovers romance lost some of it’s oompff because of the characters personalities. I never felt the chemistry between them. It was more of a slow building romance rather than a intense burn.

Honestly this book has potential and I think this will appeal to readers who like more of a generic type of romance. Although this book didn’t quite capture my personal taste I think other readers will really like it. The writing is well executed and flows well. I am looking forward to see what comes next in The Hopeless Romantics Series.




Author Bio

14164319Nina Bocci is a novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist, and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using, and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  ~ Goodreads

New Release + Review: No Bad Days by J. Sterling – A Fisher Brothers Novel


No Bad Days

Fisher Brothers Series – Book 1

By J. Sterling

Buy: Amazon


New York Times Bestselling author J. Sterling brings you her latest laugh out loud, angst filled romantic standalone you won’t want to miss!

Nick Fisher is State’s most eligible bachelor–confident, creative, and driven–and is completely aware that every girl he knows is trying to land him. But Nick is more than the marketing genius everyone sees on the outside. In fact, his life is far more complicated than anyone suspects . . . even his own brothers.

Jess Michaelson knows she shouldn’t want Nick like all the other girls do, but she’s crazy about him anyway. How could anyone resist those charms? When he focuses his attention on her, she has no idea what she’s truly in for.

Sometimes love is hard.
But it’s worth the fight.


3 Star

Michel’s Review

J. Sterling has a new series featuring three sexy brothers.  No Bad Days is the first in the series and features the youngest brother, Nick Fisher.  Nick is a senior in college.  On the surface it appears that Nick has led the enchanted life.  He has a reputation of being a ladies man.  He’s the president of his fraternity.  It’s very clear he’s extremely intelligent and has a very bright future ahead.  Beneath the surface is a very troubled young man.  A young man that is being controlled by his father.  His dreams for the future are being crushed.  He can’t even tell his older brothers because the father they grew up with was a different kind of man.  He’s hanging onto his college days and freedom for dear life.  When he meets a girl that could make a difference in his future, his life begins to spiral out of control once again.

Jess Michaelson has secretly crushed on Nick Fisher.  When their paths finally cross she meets a different Nick Fisher than most people know.  Jess and Nick click on every level.  Their relationship is going full speed ahead until life rears it’s ugly head.  Jess is being forced to switch schools because of her major.  Nick can’t handle long distance relationships.  A vicious woman is waiting on the sidelines to swoop in and grab Nick by the balls.

What happens next?  Some very bad decisions that destroy everything Nick and Jess had.

For fans of new adult romances with a lot of angst and back & forth are going to eat this book up.  For me it was a bit predictable and immature.  I wanted Nick to have more substance and backbone.  I loved Jess and the strength she was able to muster in a bad situation.  Overall I think this book is for a younger reader base.

I am looking forward to Nick’s older brothers stories.  These guys have ten years on Nick and a lot more life experiences.  I think I will be able to relate to their stories a little more.


About J. Sterling

j. sterlingI got fired from my last job. It’s true. I know you’re sitting there thinking “Jenn, how could anyone in their right mind fire someone as amazing and awesome as you???” And i’d love to give you a good reason, but the truth is- being this awesome is clearly very scary to other less awesome people.

So I said screw them and started writing my first book. And you know what I realized? Writing books that mean something to me is a million times better than working for my ass off for someone who doesn’t really care about anything other than the bottom line.

My soul feels more satisfied.
My heart, more full.

So thank you for reading, loving and recommending the stories I write.
I appreciate it more than you know. 🙂

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


Holiday Release Blitz + Review : Stealing Christmas by Alexa Riley

Stealing Christmas
A Holiday Romance Novella
By Alexa Riley 

Christmas Winter is lucky she loves this time of year, because her name didn’t give her much of a choice. She’s always bubbly and happy. So when she takes a job as an elf in the mall, she’s excited to spread some cheer. But Christmas could never expect what happens when she catches the eye of a stranger.

Nicholas Light owns everything he sees, and when his eyes land on the new elf in his mall’s Santa exhibit, he knows she’s no different. There’s something about her sweet innocence that he has to have, and he’ll concoct a plan to make that happen.

Warning: Grab your jingle bells and swing them over your head… This holiday quickie is gonna light up your Noel. Okay, none of that made sense. But it sounded festive, right? This book is adorable, and you’ll love it. Just don’t get tinsel stuck in the wrong places. Trust us.

SURPRISE! We’ve included Snow and Mistletoe as our gift to you! Stealing Christmas ends around 50% and enjoy this holiday favorite right after.

 3HolidayMichel’s Review
Alexa Riley has added to the festive holiday season with a delightful holiday romance.  Stealing Christmas is a novella that can easily be read during the busy hustle and bustle of the holiday rush.
Christmas Winters loves Christmas.  Although she is alone, she still pours everything she has into the holiday.  When billionaire Nicholas Light spots Christmas adding decorations to one of the shopping malls he owns, he knows that he must have her.
Nicholas prepares to steal Christmas Winters.  She is his gift.  He is going to shower her with love.  Everyday is Christmas when love is in the air.
Add Stealing Christmas to your holiday reading list.
AP new -about the author.jpg

Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.

They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!

Author Links


New Release + Review: Blow by Heidi McLaughlin – Virtuous Paradox Series – Book 1



Meet the complicated men behind

the sexiest boy band in America!

BLOW by Heidi Mclaughlin is




By Heidi McLaughlin

 Virtuous Paradox Series – Book 1

Release Date : November 8, 2016

Buy : Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo / BAM / Google Play



Bodhi McKnight has always had everything handed to him on a silver platter: fame, success, money, girls. The raven-haired, blue-eyed hottie is the son of Hollywood A-listers, and when he’s asked to join the boy band Virtuous Paradox, his star shoots even higher. But so do expectations, leading Bodhi down a destructive path of addiction—until a drop-dead gorgeous guardian angel shows him her sizzling brand of tough love.


When Bodhi ends up in rehab, he doesn’t expect to meet someone as cool and down-to-earth as Kimberly Gordon. Although he’s enjoyed the company of beautiful, charming women before, none of them have tried to get to know the “real” Bodhi. But Kimberly isn’t fazed by his stardom. She’d rather go horseback riding, teach Bodhi to play guitar, or ask him about his feelings. Soon Bodhi realizes he’s fallen head over heels for her. He just hopes that he’s strong enough to protect what they have from all the pressures and temptations of the outside world.


Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.





“Oh yeah? What’s that?” Her tone is playful and gives me hope. And I need hope. Not to score with her, but to get through my days.

“You should join me in the shower.” I waggle my eyebrows at her and rub my hand over my abs, pushing up my shirt a little so she can see what’s underneath.

Kim shakes her head, but her smile tells me that she likes the idea. She covers her mouth to stifle a laugh, and I chuckle.


3 Star

Michel’s Review

Heidi McLaughlin is one of my favorite authors.  I have been reading her books since she first hit publish on her first novel.  She has a special gift of creating an emotional story with dynamic characters that keep the readers glued to the pages.  We become invested in the characters lives within the world she created.  Whether it be a rock star, a Navy Seal, a reality television star, or a cowboy, the character grabs hold of the heart.  With her latest release Blow, readers are introduced to the dynamic boy band Virtuous Paradox. We have all had some kind of girl crush on a member of a boy band and have fantasized about them.  We sometimes forget that these beautiful young men are also ordinary people with very real lives behind the image.  They have their insecurities, personal demons, struggling relationships, and lessons to learn in life.  The difference is that their lives are very public.  Their mistakes are elevated by the media.  It’s a high price to pay.

Bodhi McKnight is a cocaine addict.  He has reached the point of self destruction.  His family has intervened and sent him to an exclusive rehab for thirty days.  Not only will Bodhi have to face his demons and overcome his addiction, he will have to learn to love himself.  He will have to learn how to deal with his relationships in life whether it be family, friends, or his professional colleagues.

While in rehab he meets Kimberly Gordon.  Kimberly is not a counselor, she is an assigned friend to help him cope with the withdrawals and the grueling process of becoming healthy.  She’s there to offer support and friendship.

Bodhi and Kimberly break the cardinal rule and become involved.  Once the thirty days is over they will have to face the real world.  Can their forbidden relationship survive in the real world?  Can it survive the world that led Bodhi to addiction in the first place?  Can love heal Bodhi?

While I liked the premise of a forbidden romance , I also felt this book mocked the process of rehabilitation from drug addiction.  One of the crucial steps in becoming healthy is honesty with oneself as well as others.  Kimberly encouraged Bodhi to lie while in rehab so that they could be together at night.  She encouraged him to sneak around rather than encouraging him to follow the program.  She is an employee of this rehab center.  She knows that in order to become healthy the patient has to complete the steps of the program.  I also felt Bodhi’s rehab was skimmed over and became insignificant after the initial withdrawals.

The relationship between Bodhi and Kimberly was very touching in many ways but some of the sex scenes turned me off.  I love a dirty talking man but there are just some words that are a complete turn off for me.  When Bodhi used words such as cunt or twat, I was appalled.  Those are two of the most derogatory words used in a negative manner towards women in general.  The sex scene went from sizzling hot to ice cold.

Blow still has a good romantic story that many readers will like.   For me I was on the fence with this book.  I tend to want a little more grit to the story.  After all drug addiction is a dark and dirty subject.


heidi-mclaughlin-bioHeidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, two Parakeets, Gonzo & Hedwig, and their newest addition of a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, Jill.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Review: Rules Of A Rebel And A Shy Girl by Jessica Sorensen


Rules Of A Rebel And A Shy Girl

By Jessica Sorensen

Buy: Amazon



It started with a kiss and ended with a list. The middle is a bit more complicated.

The list of rules is supposed to protect mine and Beck’s friendship and stop us from accidentally kissing again. But most of all, it’s supposed to protect my heart from getting crushed and keep me from ending up broken like my mom.

I’ve always been great at following rules. But the more time I spend with Beck, the more I can’t stop thinking about that kiss and how amazing his lips felt against mine. For the first time in my life, I wish I was a rule breaker. But I can never cross that line. Not with Beck. Not with anyone.

Besides, if Beck knew the truth about my life, then the list wouldn’t have to exist because he wouldn’t have kissed me to begin with.

It started with the most amazing kiss ever and led to Willow handing me a list.

That stupid list. When she gave it to me, I wanted to shred it to pieces, pull her against me, and kiss her until she realized a piece of paper wasn’t going to stop me. Willow’s been my best friend since forever and she should know by now that I’m not a follow-the-rules kind of guy.

She may think that kiss was a mistake, but she’s wrong. Kisses like that can’t be a mistake. Willow and I belong together, have since the day I promised to always protect her from the bad stuff in her life. And somehow I’m going to prove it to her. Just like I’ll always protect her no matter what.

A standalone contemporary romance.

Suggested reading level 18+


3 Star

Michel’s Review

Jessica Sorensen is known for her angsty New Adult romances that feature troubled characters and end on mega cliffhangers.  It’s refreshing when she writes a stand alone New Adult romance that ends with a happily ever after.

Rules Of A Rebel And A Shy Girl is a spin off of The Confessions Of A Kleptomaniac.  We met Willow and Beck as secondary characters in a tightly knit group of friends.  This is their time to shine. They have graduated from high school and are now in college.

Willow has always taken care of her mother. At a young age her father abandoned them and her mother fell completely apart. Her mother is an alcoholic / drug addict that can’t take care of herself.  She has put Willow in dangerous situations.  Beck was always there to rescue Willow.  Although Willow appreciates it, she also resents it.  She wants to be able to take care of herself.

Willow and Beck have been best friends for years.  There friendship is turning into something more.  Willow can’t handle it.  She’s afraid she will end up like her mother. Beck is going to do everything within his power to convince Willow he is her prince charming.  He wants her to know it’s okay to be rescued and depend on someone else.  Most of all he wants her to know she is truly loved.

Willow has a set of rules for her and Beck’s relationship.  Beck’s determined to break all of Willow’s rules and win her heart.

I enjoyed revisiting the characters from the previous book.  Although I liked the characters, this was not one of my favorite books by Jessica Sorensen.  It felt a bit repetitive and not enough swoon worthy moments.  Also it felt like Willow and Beck were very similar to other characters from other series.  I didn’t feel their individuality or personalities shining through and making them stand out.

Rules Of A Rebel And Shy Girl by Jessica Sorensen was not a bad book.  It just wasn’t as good as some of Jessica’s other books.




JessicaSorensenauthor pic_new

Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Release Blitz + Review: Heartbreaker by Erin McCarthy – Nashville Nights – Book 1



Title: Heart Breaker
Series: Nashville Nights #1
Author: Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

Date: May 17, 2016



They’re perfectly in tune—but only when it comes to their music. This sizzling romance from New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy follows Nashville’s hottest country music duo as they fight for love in a city where dreams often cost a broken heart. Self-made singer/songwriter Jolene Hart loves everything about being on top in Nashville. Well, everything except her very public breakup with Chance Rivers, her sexy masculine other half. Once the hottest duo on the scene, they turned Music City on its ear. Now their careers are as cold as their relationship. Which is why their manager has practically locked them in a remote cabin with nothing but a guitar, a bed, and time to do what they do best: make some beautiful music together. As Nashville royalty, Chance has big boots to fill—and the pressure that comes with ’em. He fell hard for Jolene, but he couldn’t handle the spotlight, the crowds, and the fights that made headlines and killed any notion that love and success could go hand-in-hand. Still, Chance is more than willing to rekindle the one thing that worked: the wild passion behind their hit songs. Soon they’re making up for lost time, in the steamiest ways possible. But Chance finds himself wishing for the impossible: that their intimate hideaway could last forever.



Purchase Links
3 Star
Michel’s Review
There’s nothing like a good ole country song that doesn’t touch the heart in some way.  The lyrics emote feelings of love, loss, struggling relationships, and family ties. Add the truck, the dog, and beer and it becomes an instant hit.
Erin McCarthy’s latest release, Heartbreaker, is the epitome of country music.  Chance and Jolene are a wreck waiting to happen.  Their love/ hate relationship ties into the country music business.  With a grammy behind them and a guitar in the swimming pool, their musical and romantic relationship is in the outhouse.  The dynamic duo is quickly becoming a has been in Nashville before their careers actually had more than one album behind them.  Neither of their solo musical careers are catching radio attention.  Their manager is forcing them back together to create the magic their music had together.  Sending them to a remote cabin could be the right formula or a disaster in the making.
This is Chance and Jolene’s second chance for their musical careers.  It is also their second chance at love.  First they must put aside their anger and pride before their hearts can make the love song they were intended to create.
I have to be honest and say that I really had trouble connecting with Chance and Jolene.  They were both bull headed, immature, and selfish.  Their volatile relationship had me reeling.  The on again, off again twists and turns had me irritated.  In the end they finally got it together and found a way to love each other.  The thing is the journey there had me more irritated than enjoying the ride.
I’m sure there are a lot of readers that will enjoy this kind of angst.  For me I wanted more emotion and soul bearing moments.
Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has gone on to pen more than 44 novels and novellas in the paranormal, contemporary romance, and young adult genres. A RITA award finalist and an American Library Association winner of the Reluctant Young Reader award, Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Ohioana.

Author Links

Release Blitz + Giveaway + Review: Didn’t I Warn You by Amber Bardan – Bad For You Series – Book 1

Enter to Win a $25.00 Amazon eGift Card, or
a Print Copy of DIDN’T I WARN YOU



Bad for You #1
Amber Bardan
April 18th, 2016 (Digital), May 24th (Print)
Carina Press
April 18th, 2016 (Digital), May 1st 2016 (Print)
Harlequin Australia

Not everything dangerous is bad. From the moment Angelina laid eyes on him, she fell into a fantasy. Mysterious, foreign, gorgeous, Haithem offered her what she needed most—a chance to feel again.

But Haithem is much more than he appears to be. He lives in a world of danger where everything comes at a price.

For Angelina, that price is her future. 

He’s made sure the life she’s left behind is in tatters. Made her family believe she’s dead. Still, he talks about protecting her, about keeping her safe, but she can’t distinguish his truth from his lies. She can’t separate her pleasure from his betrayal.
Haithem warned her. He told her he’d make her heart race, her body come alive and her most primal needs rush to the surface. His for the taking.

He didn’t say she’d come to love the devil who’s destroying her, even as he keeps her prisoner.

Buy Now
 B & N | GooglePlay | iTunes | Kobo
3.5Star jpg
Michel’s Review
It’s no secret that I love DARK ROMANCES.  I love the twisted characters, the complex plots, and the taboo subject matters.  These type of books step out of the cookie cutter formula in the romance genre and give the baddies their own opportunity of finding love in their ugly, harsh world.  When I read the synopsis for Didn’t I Warn You by Amber Bardan, I was under the impression that this book was going to fall in the Dark Romance / Dark Thriller category.  Sadly to say I was let down in my expectations.  It was not a Dark Romance.
What genre would I put this book in?  I am not sure.  It does have a bit of suspense and mystery but it also has a bit of the cookie cutter formula.  It ended on a very mild cliffhanger that may leave some readers wanting more.  Quiyr honestly I am not sure I want more because I had trouble connecting with the characters. The plot and the dark secret was not enough to keep me dying for more.
When I first met Angelina in the book, my impression was that she was like Anastasia Steele.  In many ways she was.  She was young, naive, and innocent.  Her back story is what made her unique.  At times she came across as desperate and immature, while other times she came across as a strong willed woman.
In the beginning Haithem appeared to be this dark, mysterious man with a very dark background.  He reminded me of other very bad, dark men that we have encountered in other books.  As his character began to unfold, he remained mysterious but not so dark.  He wasn’t overly domineering or as demanding as I hoped he would be.  When his secrets were revealed I was disappointed.
The affair between Angelina and Haithem was passionate and emotional.  It was the real glue that held this book together.  I liked their interactions with one another.  I loved how they didn’t shy away from their emotions even though there was a huge secretive wall between them.
Overall, Didn’t I Warn You by Amber Bardan was well written and delivered an interesting story that most readers will enjoy.  Those looking for a dark romance may be a bit disappointed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber Bardan finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fueled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.

She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.

Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.

Can’t Wait for Book Two…Pre-Order Now





Happy Release + Review: His New Jam by Shannyn Schroeder


His New Jam

Hot & Nerdy Series – Book 5

By Shannyn Schroeder

Buy: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo


Sydney Peters can’t wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she’s blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.

Hunter is fascinated by Sydney’s distant allure. He might be a ladies’ man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?

3 Star

Michel’s Review

If you are looking for a steamy new adult romance that has a low amount of angst and a ton of steam, His New Jam by Shannyn Schroeder is this kind of book.  It is the fifth book in the Hot & Nerdy series and can be read as a stand alone novel.

Although this series theme is about nerds finding their happily ever after, this book kind of ran off course.  I couldn’t understand how either of these characters was a nerd.  Was it because they were in the college marching band?  My opinion was they were musicians pursuing their passion for music.  The whole marching band concept of the story was delivered in a negative way that left a really bad impression of what marching band is all about.  The musicians in marching bands are some of the most dedicated, fun loving people that have a passion for music, a great sense of team work, and a fun loving spirit. They are the back bone of school spirit.  They are the dedicated cheerleaders, crowd pleasers, and performers that put in more practice time than most football players do. They do it because they love it.  They do it because they are members of a great team. This book made it look like it was tedious and the worst part of being a musician. That just seemed insulting. Musicians are some of the coolest people around…even if they are in a marching band.

As for the romantic aspect of the story, it had a solid plot.  The characters had an abundance of chemistry and an abundance of steamy moments.  It was a fast paced story that was easy to get caught up in once you got past the negativity of the marching band and the hero’s supposedly manwhore flaws.  I never really saw him as a manwhore, he was more of a fun, flirty type of guy that made everyone’s day better.  As for the heroine, she had a huge chip on her shoulder but once she let her guard down she was likable.

Overall His New Jam by Shannyn Schroeder was a predictable but still a good romance.


Author Bio

shannyn schroederShannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?

So she did. And she hasn’t looked back since.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


Release Blitz : Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

Raeder_Cam Girl cover finalCam Girl

By Leah Raeder

Release Date : November 3, 2015



Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.

Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself.

Buy Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo



Author Bio:

7105371LEAH RAEDER is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago.

(And she still writes pretentiously lyrical fiction.)


Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Raeder_Cam Girl cover final

Review: Softer Than Steel by Jessica Topper + Love & Steel Series Reviews


Softer Than Steel Release Day Banner


Softer Than Steel

Love & Steel Series – Book 2

By Jessica Topper



From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much “I Do” About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love…

As rock star “Riff Rotten”, Rick Rottenberg has enjoyed all the perks that fame can offer, especially now that he’s reunited with his former band mate, Adrian “Digger” Graves. But despite his success, Rick is a mess. Still reeling from the death of his wife years ago and terrified his demons will end his career, he agrees to seek help for his anxiety.

Burned by a musician in the past, Sidra Sullivan has closed her heart to love. So when Rick walks into her yoga studio, she wants nothing to do with him–until the bad boy shows an unexpected soft side.

As Sidra and Rick work through their painful pasts, they realize just how strongly opposites can attract. But when a crisis threatens the delicate balance they’ve forged, they’ll discover if their love is strong enough to weather another storm or just too broken to survive…


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“Making music has got to be like . . . like childbirth, bringing something totally new into the world like that. Isn’t that scary?”


Rick contemplated her comparison and she waited, watching him with those incredible eyes, both dark and bright. “Yes, in a way it’s bloody terrifying,” he admitted. The creating and the coaxing, making sure what you envisioned in your head translated into reality and not just a shadow of itself. “But the excitement and exhilaration trumps the fear.” He popped a pair of headphones on her ears and backed out of the room with a grin.


Behind the console, he flicked switches, adjusted levels, and pressed the talkback button. “Pay no attention to the man behind the glass,” he whispered, but Sidra’s broad smile told him the console mic had sent his fluid murmur to her ears crystal clear.


She tentatively tapped the double-mesh screen of the microphone in front of her. “But don’t you worry, once it’s out in the world . . . what everyone thinks of it? Of you?”


“I used to get caught up in it. But you’ve just got to trust and make peace with the fact that you put in—and put out—your very best effort.”


The track he chose for her flowed not only through her headphones, but the speakers of the console in front of him as well, its beat and melody causing the indicator lights to jump and fall in time. Sidra’s eyes closed and her frame rocked slightly. To me, Rick thought.


That’s my music, moving her.

3 Star

Michel’s Review

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Softer Than Steel by Jessica Topper.  The Love & Steel series is an unique rock star romance series.  Rather than featuring young rock gods making their rise to fame, Jessica chose to create rock god legends making a comeback from their super stardom of the eighties.  These are middle aged men that can rock the house and still make the panties drop.

Softer Than Steel features Rick Rottenberg , aka Rick Rotten.  He’s at crossroads in his life and the pressure is on.  Rick is a widower, father, empty nester, perfectionist, and lead vocalist for the band.  He can handle being on the stage in the spotlight better than he can handle most social situations.  He has anxiety attacks that can be brought on by the slightest imbalance or new situation.  He hasn’t engaged in relationships with the opposite sex since his wife passed fourteen years earlier.  He carries guilt, grief, and remorse with stoic pride.  He loved fiercely and lost his wife too early.

The band has been touring for the last four years.  They were supposed to control their own destiny but the old patterns are playing out.  Adrian is finally going to get married.  The band is finally going to make an new album.  For Rick this is his main focus and priority, for the other members of the band it is secondary to their own personal lives.

Rick’s panic attacks escalate and he starts to take yoga as a way of releasing his built up tensions.  Rick wanted to learn how to control his panic attacks but he got a bonus to go along with it.  He was learning to love again.

Sidra is a yoga instructor.  Her vast knowledge of the practice keeps her students coming back for more.  When the handsome English Professor joins her class, she finds herself deeply attracted to her new student.  When she finds out he is a famous musician all bets are off.  She’s been there, done that, and walked away deeply scarred.  Never again!  But Rick is persistent and he shows Sidra there are more sides this man than fame and music.

I really enjoyed the book but it felt a bit slower than the previous books in this series.  The book was too well researched.  The practice of yoga took over the story and the main characters seemed secondary.  I did not feel the overwhelming chemistry, attraction, or passion between Sidra and Rick.  I also think that there were too many secondary characters that hindered the flow of the book because the reader had to stop and think how they were connected to the story before they could move on in the passage.  There were the band members, their business associates, Kat’s group of friends and their families, Sidra’s family and friends, yoga instructors, and other supporting characters. Also there were too many different themes going on.  Sidra was half Indian and half Irish.  There was focus on her culture as well as her family background. The reader also got to experience her past relationship with a musician that left heartbroken. Rick was English and Jewish and there was quite a bit of focus on that, not to mention the band’s past and present careers.  There was also a focus on Rick’s personal past and his loss.  There was just too much going on in this book and the romance got lost in many passages.

Overall it was a well written book but just not the same caliber as the previous books in this series.

I would still highly recommend the Love & Steel Series by Jessica Topper.



The Love & Steel Series


Louder Than Love – Book 1

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

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4.5 Star

Michel’s Review

Reviewed: September 2013

A strong debut for new author Jessica Topper.

Louder Than Love is an extraordinary love story. It’s about second chances in life. It is about making peace with oneself and moving on to become a better person. It is about letting go of grief and moving on.

Adrian “Digger” Graves was once a metal guitar god in the eighties.  His star burned bright.  Corroded Corpse was the metal band could shred the metal and rock the house. Fame, fortune, sex, drugs, and corruption ruled his life.  It also sent him spiraling down into the depths of hell.  It was time to pay the devil his dues.  In the process he lost himself.  He lost his family.  He lost his self respect. He lost his band. It took him years to recover and become a part of the real world once again.  He learned from his mistakes and vowed he would never make them again.  Along the way he learned there were other things more important in life than fame and fortune.

Katrina Lewis had the perfect life.  She had the perfect husband and child.  One tragic moment takes it all away.  Now she is a single parent trying to overcome her grief.  She’s not ready to move on but she knows it’s time.  When she seeks out the mysterious composer that created music for a popular children’s show to perform at her library, she’s in for a great surprise.  Rather than getting an unknown musician, she gets Digger Graves from Corroded Corpse.  The rock god that covered her bedroom walls as a teenager.  Kat is going to learn that there is more to this legend.  She’s going to meet the man who’s music touches her soul.  It doesn’t matter if he’s playing a children’s song or shredding the metal, he controls the strings to her lost heart.

Louder Than Love is unique because of the characters. This is not your typical rocker book that is in the  new adult genre. It is a mature contemporary romance with mature characters. They have both loved and lost. They both have had lives that most would of would envy and want for their own. Both their worlds tumbled out of control.  Amongst the chaos they both survived their worlds and came out different people. They have both had to rebuild their lives, rebuild themselves, and face past mistakes. The end result is that they will  experience a love that is extraordinary.

This is not a second chance romance where lovers reunited. It’s a second chance for happiness.  It is a new romance that enriches their lives and brings out the best in both of them.

I truly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.



Deeper Than Dreams

Love & Steel Series – Book 1.5 – Novella

By Jessica Topper



Will wedding bells rock out for Louder Than Love’s most beloved couple in this Love and Steel novella?

Falling in love with rock star Adrian “Digger” Graves was a dream come true for former librarian Kat Lewis. But with a little help from friends and family–including Kat’s adorable daughter, Abbey–Adrian has planned an evening and a proposal beyond her wildest dreams.

The night before, Kat witnessed the triumphant reunion of Adrian’s rock band at Madison Square Garden. Tonight, he will escort her to the elegant, ultra-exclusive Library Lion’s benefit. It seems like a fairytale, but even fairytales have a deeper, darker side. When old habits return to tempt her knight in shining heavy metal armor, will Kat’s happily ever after come crashing back to reality?
THIS IS AN EPILOGUE NOVELLA THAT PICKS UP THE DAY AFTER LOUDER THAN LOVE ENDS. This novella is intended to be read after Louder Than Love.
Don’t miss the next Love and Steel novel, Softer Than Steel, coming in September 2015 from InterMix.

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4 Star

Michel’s Review

It”s been two years since the first book, Louder Than Love in the Love & Steel series by Jessica Topper released.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was excited to see the sequel novella, Deeper Than Dreams releasing.  As I started to read Deeper Than Dreams, I realized that it picked up right where Louder Than Love left off.  With such a lengthy time span between the release of these two books I had forgotten quite a bit of the story.  Therefore I felt like I had to go back and reread Louder Than Love.  After reading Louder Than Love once again, I had to revise my review. I was still enraptured by this story and felt  like I had a more constructive review the second time around.  I was anxious to proceed on and read Deeper Than Dreams.

Deeper Than Dreams cannot be read as a stand alone novella.  It is more of an epilogue for Louder Than Love.

Adrian Digger Graves has just had his big comeback performance.  He has reunited with his old band and played at Madison Square Gardens.  He is on a high from the success.  The music world is praising their performance.  Corroded Corpse is on their second claim to fame.  The first time almost destroyed him.  Will the resurgence of Corroded Corpse be a good thing or bad thing for Adrian?

This time around he has life experience, maturity, and a strong woman in his corner.  He knows that love and family come first.  He’s determined to hang onto it all.

A dream date.  A magical proposal.  A perfect Cinderella.  A beautiful princess.  A solid support group.  And finally a better band.

Adrian Graves has it all.  Most of all he has the love that lasts a lifetime.

I loved this novella.  It gave another happily ever after for Adrian and Kat.


About Jessica Topper

JessTopperauthorJessica Topper is an ex-librarian turned rock n’ roll number cruncher. She can trace her love for the written word back to age three, when she memorized Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice” in its entirety.

After her daughter was born, Jessica left the Manhattan library world and began working for her husband’s music management company. He offered her a part-time bookkeeping job so she could “stay home for the baby’s first year” and pursue her dream of writing.

The baby is now thirteen, and Jessica has been working her full-time, sold-her-soul-for-rock-n-roll job as Office Manager for veteran jam band moe. ever since. She may have traded in books for bookkeeping, but the written word is never far from her mind, or her heart.

Jessica lives in upstate New York with her husband, daughter and one ancient cat.

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