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Building Storm (Hawke Family Series #4) by Gwyn McNamee – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Building Storm: (A Hawke Family Novel) (The Hawke Family Book 4)Building Storm: (A Hawke Family Novel) by Gwyn McNamee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Building Storm is the fourth instalment of the Hawke Family series. Every book in this series has brought the drama and this one is no exception. I am a huge fan of this series and the characters it has created, so to say I was excited for this read is an understatement. This book has it all: drama, sexiness, love and a huge amount of emotion. I loved this story and think it is the perfect ending to the series.

At the end of the previous book, Stone Sober, I wasn’t sure how Storm was going to cope. I was excited to read her story but also nervous, as I knew it was going to be an emotional journey. Not only was she dealing with a tragic loss, she was also coming to terms with the new, difficult, relationship she has wit her brother Stone. This was one of the things I was most excited to read about, as I really couldn’t see how she would be able to forgive him and move on. Her relationships with all of her family and central to this book and I loved seeing the whole family together, especially with the inclusion of new boy, Landon! He is exactly what Storm is trying to avoid and yet the instant connection they have is crazy. He is so intense and it completely throws her, which was so much fun to read!

Aside from all the drama with the Hawke family, which there is an abundance of, Landon brings his own problems to the table. We learn pretty early on that he has some serious issues with his dad, but we don’t learn the truth of it for quite a while. I loved how well this was drawn out, as the little hints along the way had me guessing what had happened. There is a pretty dramatic ending so I won’t ruin it for you but it is the perfect conclusion to this series. I am gutted that it’s all over!

This series took me completely by surprise. From the first huge plot twist in Savage Collision, I found myself hooked on these characters and their lives. Storm’s story really hit me in the heart and I have grown to completely love her; is she allowed to be my favourite female character? This is a must read for fans of this series. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Review by @ashleighw

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The Something Series (Box Set Books 1-3) by Aubrey Bondurant – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

The Something Series - Box Set Books 1-3: (Tell Me Something, Ask Me Something & Bet Me Something)The Something Series – Box Set Books 1-3: by Aubrey Bondurant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Something Series boxset contains the first three instalment of Aubrey Bondurant’s Something series: Tell Me Something, Ask Me Something and Bet Me Something. Each story follows a different couple but all revolve around the same friendship group. Set in stylish cities across America, New York City and Las Vegas to name just two, all three of these books are exciting, glamorous and addicting reads. One of my favourite series EVER, I cannot recommend this boxset enough.

If the previous statement didn’t give it away, this review is definitely a little biased. I absolutely love this series and have done from the moment I started reading Hayley and Josh’s story in Tell Me Something. Those two characters, and their dramatic storyline, pulled me in from the very beginning and before I knew it I was hooked. While Josh isn’t the easiest person to love, including for Hayley (!), seeing these two grow closer over the course of the book was so much fun. Being the first couple of the series, they have a special place in my heart and in the series itself; they are the originals! So when I started Ask Me Something, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive. How were Sasha and Brian going to live up to my expectations? Quite easily, as it turns out, and soon I was obsessed with them, too. This book definitely had a more grown up feel and I loved reading about to adult characters with powerful, high-level careers. The dynamic between the two was so interesting and their passion and charisma was hot. I loved how Brian both pulled Sasha out of her comfort zone and made her feel safe. A lot of love for these two!

Of all the books in the series, Bet Me Something has a special place in my heart. Colby and Kenzie are younger characters who are still trying to figure stuff out, which makes them so much more relatable for me. Another bonus is the friends-to-loves storyline, as this is probably my favourite romance genre. I love the whole ‘childhood crush’ thing Kenzie has for Colby and found myself screaming at Colby to finally admit his feelings for her. This is the perfect angsty read that the series was missing and I have to say, is probably my favourite.

If you’re not already convinced, this is a must-read romance series. I can’t remember how many people I have recommend it to and they have also said they love it. Once you’ve started this series you won’t want to stop, so the boxset is the perfect introduction; trust me, books four and five are just as good! I will never stop re-reading this series and honestly cannot recommend it enough.

Review by @ashleighw

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Beats of the Heart (Lyrical Odyssey Rock Star Series #1) by Charli B Rose – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Beats of the HeartBeats of the Heart by Charli B. Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beats of the Heart is the first in an exciting contemporary romance duet. Set in the crazy world of the music industry, we meet two young lovers as they try to maintain their relationship amidst the madness of a rock stars life. This book easily swept me off my feet and I was lost in the story almost instantly. If you like your musical reads with added heartbreak, this book is definitely for you!

Although only a short read, Beat of the Heart packs A LOT in. The heat and passion starts immediately and doesn’t let up. I loved both Izzy and Dawson and the innocence and purity of their relationship. In the blurb this book promise a best friends-to-loves romance, and although we didn’t really get to learn much about that in the book, I love the premise behind it. This book delivers a beautiful love story in the little pages it has and I cannot fault the author for this. Izzy and Dawson’s relationship feels real and believable, which can so often be missed by authors. I connected with the pair and found myself really wishing for their happiness. Whilst there won’t be any huge spoiler here, I will say that you need to be prepared for some shocks. The end of this read was a killer, especially as part two isn’t out yet!

Simply put, I loved this little read. It was thoroughly satisfying and has left me very happy on Wednesday evening. I cannot wait until the next part is released (I need it now!) and will be telling lots of people about how good this read is. If a romantic, music read is what you’re looking for, Beats of the Heart will perfectly hit the spot!

Review by @ashleighw

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A Second Chance by Brooke May (Power River Pack #1) – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

A Second Chance (The Powder River Pack #1)A Second Chance by Brooke May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Second Chance is the first instalment of the Power River Pack series. The perfect mix of romance and fantasy, this book, and series, follows a pack of werewolves as they deal with the struggles that come with them finding their mate. While I’m not normally a fantasy reader, there is something about werewolves that just appeals to me; I blame Twilight! This was a great read and I will definitely be diving into the rest of the series.

This book has a lot of angst and a lot of tragedy. From the very beginning, we learn that our werewolf, Derek, as not had an easy ride. Letting the love of his life go was the most foolish mistake of his life, one he’s still paying for now. Derek is so broken and we can see that from the very start. I loved learning about him and his complex character. But the best part of Derek is his relationship with Annabelle. They have such a difficult history and seeing them come to terms with this, and the people they are now, was so much fun to read. There is a lot of emotion in this read and some of the scenes Annabelle and Derek share are real tear-jerkers. Despite this, the passion and chemistry they have is immense. I loved seeing them together, especially when things go a little hot and steamy!

As far as werewolf reads go, this one is a winner. It has definitely sorted my fantasy need and has left me wanting to read the rest of the series. If this is your sort of genre, I can strongly recommend this. Thanks for a thoroughly satisfying read!

Review by @ashleighw

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Healing Danger (Fortis Security #1) by Maddie Wade – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Healing Danger (Fortis Security #1)Healing Danger by Maddie Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Healing Danger is the first book in the Fortis Security series. A contemporary romance, this novel also doubles as a suspense, with danger lurking from the very first pages. I quickly became absorbed with this book and obsessed with the characters and their storylines. This is one of those reads that takes over your day and before I knew it, most of the evening had passed while I was glued to the screen of my Kindle. Fans of romance with added mystery and thrills, this is definitely a read for you.

Our leading characters come with one of my favourite things; a past! As much as I love reading about characters meeting each other for the first time, I adore stories where the characters have a difficult past that they have to face up to. Lauren and Dane have exactly this kind of story and I loved jumping in and seeing how things would turn out for them. Falling for these two wasn’t difficult, as Lauren is a loving, kind woman and Dane is, typically, a special forces -trained action man. Who doesn’t want to read about them?! But aside from what some may call, romance stereotypes, this plot is so much more. It’s exciting, completely enthralling and very real. Lauren and Dane both have to make some difficult decisions in this book, many that had me nervous for their future. No spoilers, but I hope you’re as satisfied with the ending as me!

If action-packed romance is what you like, Healing Danger is a must. This is an exciting start to a new series that I cannot wait to jump into. Thanks to the author for a great read!

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Once Upon a Romance (A Dream Come True #1) by Alex Bailey – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Once Upon a Romance (A Dream Come True, #1)Once Upon a Romance by Alex Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once Upon a Romance is the first instalment of the A Dream Come True series and, simply put, it is the perfect romance read. If you’re starting to get in the Christmas spirit, or just love a holiday read, this is exactly the read you need. It has a cute child, plenty of romance and is set in the most magical place on earth, Disneyland!

Our leading lady, Sophie, is everything her sister wasn’t, including not being a Disney fan. So when her niece, Ariel, reveals her Christmas wish is to spend the holidays at her recently deceased mother’s favourite place, Sophie begrudgingly agrees. And then the miracles start. Not only does Sophie manage to find a hotel room for her and Ariel at such short notice, she’s also able to make sure her boyfriend, Dean, can join them, too. As for Sophie and Dean’s relationship, I’ll let you make your own minds up!

This book has magical written all over it. From the setting to the characters, I just fell in love with everything about this read. While at its core it’s dealing with quite a difficult issue, the loss of a family member, this author doesn’t let this overshadow the amount of love between the characters. Rick and Ariel’s bond is one of my favourite elements of this book and I loved reading the scenes where they were together. The change in Sophie’s character was also something I loved, especially when it came to her life and romance choices; no spoilers her, but I was rooting for her to get her happy ending!

If I wasn’t already feeling Christmassy, I definitely am now. In fact, I’ve gone and put my Christmas tree up! This is a feel-good read and could quite happily sit here all night and tell you just how much I loved it. Instead, I’m going to tell you how much you should go and grab your own copy and snuggle up a blanket and devour it in one go. I did just this and can safely say, it was a Saturday afternoon well-spent! I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and now have a new author to fall in love with!

Review by @ashleighw

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Getting the Goods by Elizabeth Perry – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Getting the GoodsGetting the Goods by Elizabeth Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Getting the Goods is a standalone contemporary romance novel that will have you laughing from the very first chapter. The plot is simple, yet completely ridiculous, which is what makes it such an addictive read. The characters are engaging and honestly, I just really liked this read. For fans of romantic comedies or classic miscommunication scenarios, this is a must read.

We meet Gaby during one of the most important nights of her life; the night she will finally steal the sperm needed to help her get pregnant. This sounds insane, but as soon as I read the blurb I new I had to read this book. The more crazy, the better, right? Gaby and the relationship with her friend Maria (who let’s be honest, has some questionable practices) is amusing right from the beginning and remains this way throughout the story. But things really get interesting when Gaby meets Conner/Carter and hilarity really ensues. Not only does Gaby find out her job is at risk and the man whose sperm she tried to steal is now her boss, she is also faced with his twin. Yep, there are two of them. Cue funny miscommunications, dramatic passing-outs and awkward encounters. What more could you want from a romantic read?

This is a feel-good read that has the perfect balance of drama, emotion and laughs. While the comedy level is high, there are some serious issues dealt with in this book, including Gaby’s issues with fertility. This may be a difficult read for some but I found it insightful and inspiring. The author dealt with these themes respectfully and it’s left me wanting to read more of her work. If you’re looking for a well-rounded and satisfying read, Getting the Goods is a must!

Review by @ashleighw

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Across From You by Amabel Daniels – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Across From YouAcross From You by Amabel Daniels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Across From You is a fun, romantic standalone novel. Written in alternating points-of-view, we follow Lexi and Jack after they meet during a compromising situation. In your typical tale of miscommunication, hilarity ensues from the very beginning despite Lexi’s obvious embarrassment at recent life events. This book is relatable, funny and just all-around loveable. A must read for any contemporary romance fans!

Lexi Regan is not having much luck. Having been the victim of a horrendous romantic blunder, the last she wants to think about is men. What happens next? She’s faced, literally, with a naked, hot, sexy man during a one-off art class she attends with her best friend. Cue hilarious flirting. I was laughing out loud at Lexi’s mixture of embarrassment and intrigue, which only became more hilarious when we found out her surprising connection to the mystery model. The author timed this miscommunication perfectly, not dragging it on too long so that I got both bored and annoyed. One of my biggest issues with romance reads is when this type of scenario is dragged out for over half of the book; just get on with it! We didn’t have too long to wait until Jack O’Connor is revealed to Lexi which just made things all the more interesting!

Jack is a fantastic male lead. While he has some of the stereotypical traits (a sexy man in uniform is always a win for me), in many ways he isn’t so typical. This made him a really complex character, which is always fun to read. The connection him and Lexi have is both instant and deep, and only strengthens over the course of the book. They had their ups and downs and there were some seriously emotional moments, which rounded off the book perfectly.

Overall, Across From You hits the romance-crave so many of us have. It is not only a really good story, but also packed full of wonderful characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and cannot wait to try more of the author’s work. This will definitely be on my recommendation list!

@ashleighw

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Born to Fight (Can’t Resist You #1) by Brittany Anne – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Born to Fight (Can't Resist You, #1)Born to Fight by Brittany Anne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Born to Fight is the first instalment of the dystopian-romance series, Can’t Resist You. It follows Hunter and Rain, who are thrown together after a deadly attack on Hunter’s life. There is instant chemistry between these two and that is what makes this book so addictive. If you’re a fan of dystopian reads, this is definitely one for you.

We meet Hunter in the midst of him saving a woman from an attack by UNR soldiers. So basically, Hunter is a hero. Cue swoon. Then we learn he’s part of the resistance. Cue bigger swoon. A strong, rebel? Sign me up for one! Hunter is an instantly memorable character who I was immediately drawn to and hooked on. I had so many questions about how he got to where he was, I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the flashbacks about his past with this father and the rest of the resistance. While he is technically the ‘enemy’, he most definitely the hero of this read. I love reads like this, but mostly when we see things from the side of those rebelling against the state. This makes for a much more interesting read and, let’s be honest, all of us have a little rebel in us. And that is why I loved Rain so much. Not only is she a strong, independent woman (yes!), she also knows what she wants. When it is thrown right in front her in the form on Hunter, she panics, like all of us would! I loved seeing their relationship develop of the course of the story, both physically and emotionally.

This book is full of suspense. While there is the fear of the UNR at every corner, the biggest stressor for me was waiting for Rain to find out the truth about Hunter. I actually found myself reading super fast to reach that moment, as I just couldn’t handle the stress! No spoilers here, but prepare yourself for some serious action!

I really enjoyed Born to Fight and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series. It falls perfectly into the dystopian-romance genre, one which so many people love. Add this to your to-read list and it will not disappoint!

Review by @ashleighw

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Say When by Bree Kraemer (Cedarville #9) – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Say When (A Cedarville Novel Book 9)Say When by Bree Kraemer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Say When is the ninth (yes, ninth!) instalment of the truly wonderful Cedarville series. One again, we are transported to the beautiful lakeside setting which has become so familiar to fans of this series. This instalment does not disappoint, as were introduced to a new couple that immediately grabbed my heart. This is one read not to be missed!

I have to start this review by admitting that I am a superfan of this series. I absolutely love the world that the author has created and it holds a very dear place in my heart. So as soon as a new book is released, I am immediately anticipating finding the time to sit and really enjoy it. Cue a nice cup of team, some chocolate cookies and a cosy blanket; time to read!

Say When had me hooked after the very first page. Immediately jumping into the wonderful world of baking had my mouth-watering; luckily I had the cookies! Dani is such an endearing character and I felt myself warming to her straight away. I love her innocence, which I think makes her such a strong character and so interesting to read. She has a lot of fears and learning about these over the course of the story allowed us to see why her and Patrick have such an intense connection. As for Patrick… what a cutie! He is such an equally interesting character who I couldn’t wait to find out more about. We learn about him more slowly than Dani, with the main focus of the story being her getting over her fears, but that just makes him so much more intriguing; who doesn’t love a mysterious man?! Seeing them together is so much fun and, let’s be honest, super hot. There are some steamy moments in this book, which are sure to get you feeling a little hot. All I’ll say is, lucky Dani!

I don’t think I will ever stop loving this series or this author’s work. Every single book in this series is beautifully written, packed with wonderful characters and has an intriguing and exciting plot. Ultimately, this series is about love and the connection that develops between two people, and Say When perfectly portrays this. If you haven’t already, I cannot encourage you enough to start reading this series. By the time you get to Dani and Patrick’s story, you’ll be as hooked as I am!

Review by @ashleighw

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