Review of “Whole Piece of My Heart”

WholePieceOfMeI have been away from you, my romance lovelies, for far too long. I apologize for my distance, but things have become a little hectic around here for the last month. And I know I’ve said that they had settled down, really I believed they had, you know for about 2.5 seconds. Long enough that they could build back up. But the last week I’ve begun finding my ground, which means I have new reviews to share with you wonderful people.

AND very, very soon … I’ll have a new cover. Something for my very own work. BUT I’m not here to talk about that. Though I’ll tell you more in the coming days.

TODAY, I’m here to tell you all about my latest read. Hopefully by now, you’ve either read the first two books in this series or my reviews (Book 1 and Book 2). If you haven’t, go read them NOW

Christmas IS right around the corner and it’s one of the best times to get books! (My absolutely FAVORITE kind of gift.)

Now that we’ve caught up and gotten reacquainted, let’s begin. Whole Piece of My Heart is the final novella in Ren & Galen’s story. And I MUST say, it was a doozy. I was thrown a bit because the majority of the novella is from Galen’s point and up to now it has all been told from Ren’s perspective. I definitely had to adjust a little. Still I. LOVED. IT! And THAT ending! 

Whoops, getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a touch. All right, I’m good. Moving on. You know how this goes. Ring Synopsis

Nothing makes Galen Zabriese happier than time with his soulmate, Ren Hayden. With his mother’s illness behind them and Ren’s career as a biographer showing great promise, he’s ready to propose—as soon as he thinks of the perfect way to do so. The life they want to build for themselves will be an uphill challenge at first, but Gale is convinced it will be a smooth one. 

Until the subject of Ren’s latest biography calls her into a negative spotlight. 

Until his brother, Dax, crosses a line. 

Until Ren disappears. 

Suddenly, instead of planning a proposal, Galen must risk everything to find Ren – including his moral compass.

Now that you have the jist of the story, this is your one and only warning—SPOILERS. AHEAD. Continue reading at your own risk.

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Aside from the ending and all the stuff in between, the opening was my favorite. It wasn’t just because we quickly learn that Katherine (Galen’s mother) has gotten the all clear regarding her cancer, but because I discovered that Galen is funny. Maybe his personal thoughts are funny, well, some of his lines too. But mostly what was going on in his head. I cracked up at the number of times he criticized himself for planning an evening out with Ren instead of an evening in. See for yourself.

“Stupid asshat—at home, I could have negotiated the situation into one of her mind-shattering blow jobs.”

“Again, why had I scheduled dinner out? Oh, right: I’m a dumbass.”

series-teaser_origAnd that’s just in the first chapter! As you can imagine, especially if you’ve read the previous books, being out didn’t stop Galen and Ren from fully enjoying one another’s company. You know, of all the places I’ve had sex, I can’t say a limo is one of them. Wonder if I could talk my … oh, my bad. Off track. Back to the book. Needless to say, the next scene did not disappoint. 

But good news can’t last forever. Before the night is even over, Ren gets slammed for the bio she did on one of the most self-involved, man-whores anyone has had the displeasure of knowing. You know, Tristan “I am a slut” Turn. He bashes the book she wrote telling his story. And he gets dirty and outright mean.

“I read the words again, irrationally hoping they would be different the second go around: Renaissance Hayden is a hack. But there are plenty of hacks out there. What makes her worse is that she’s a hack and a whore. She got me trashed, took advantage of my status and prowess—and who knows what I said while in bed with her—but the false accusations in this pile of trash are not to be believed.”

 

That isn’t everything Tristan said, but I don’t want to give it ALL away. My entire point is Galen’s reaction. Talk about swoon worthy. If I didn’t love him before, I totally loved him after this.

“It took an hour of stroking Ren’s hair to get her to close her eyes. The moment her breathing took on the gentle pace of sleep, I crossed a boundary and didn’t care: I grabbed her phone for Carey’s number, then woke the man from a sound sleep.

‘Who?’ he croaked.

‘Galen Zabriese. Ren’s boyfriend.’ And then I waited.

Finally, ‘Aw, shit. Really?’

AwakenMyHeart
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I wasn’t fazed. ‘Call me unprofessional. Call me coming off too many drinks. Call me insane for all I care. And then reassure me that Doorways is going to stand behind Ren … no matter what.’”

Unprofessional or not, a man/woman who stands up for his/her woman/man is the sexiest thing in the world! Who’s with me?

I don’t want to give the whole story away, so I’ll leave you with a couple more of my favorite lines.

  1. “‘Hmm …’ I gave her a wicked grin. ‘Guess your work is pro boner.’” (Yeah, Galen gets totally cheesy with the one-liners. Yet it’s amusing.)
  2. “‘Too bad you can’t exhibit such poise and control when dealing with your angry brother or your hormones,’ she threw back.” (OMG! Corrine is completely coming into her own. I love seeing her with sass!)
  3. “‘Ren,’ Jenna said. ‘If you’re ever going to stop walking into zingers with these two, take it from me: Put Gale in his place now! Keep it up and you’ll have a wonderfully trained monkey by the time you’re married.’” (You know, someone has asked if they can be adopted by this family. All I can say is I want in on that action.)

And THAT is all you get.

But before I get to my rating, let me say this … Ren and Galen don’t just have a love story, they have a love story that mirrors the kind of love we all want in life. The conclusion was suspenseful and breathtakingly beautiful. This was the kind of ride I’d do all over again just because I could.

Without further ado, I give Whole Piece of My Heart 

5-Star

Really, I just want a sixth star to slap on this bad boy.

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Another “UnHinged” preview?

Whew! I have been writing like a dog trying to get this novella done. Not only am I eager to share it with you, I can’t wait to show you the cover! And I’m this close to the finish line. I can see it near.

So I have not had the time to read a book and give you lovelies another fun review. However, I WILL have one soon because I’m dying to see how Ren and Galen’s story plays out. Aren’t you?

In the meantime, how about another preview from my upcoming novella UnHinged. Now before I get to it, if you haven’t read the first three scenes, you can check them out here and here.

All caught up? All right then, away we go.

UnHinged © Brigit Rosé

“I’m telling you, he did. Luke hugged me.” Ezzie giggled as her best friend pulled his best nun uh, no way voice. Matt called it his girlfriend voice. It always made her laugh, especially when the face followed. Too bad she couldn’t see him right then; still, she could absolutely imagine the fake jaw-drop with the wide sapphire-blue eyes.

“Okay. Let me stop. Was it before or after your brother?”

She tugged the brush through her hair one last time and set it on the bathroom counter top. With her nightly check list complete, she turned out the light and traipsed into the bedroom. “Before. I even think he sniffed me.”

“Really? Sounds like the odds are favorable.”

“Guess it’s a good thing you got me this room. By the way, thank you for that. It’s really beautiful.” Screw beautiful! The room was awesome! Not only had her best friend managed to swing her a reservation at The Boardwalk Resort, but he’d gone full out and booked her a queen suite. She paraded over to the sliding glass door. The ocean view she had was certainly nothing to complain about. Even at night it was breathtaking.

“Yeah, well … I figured the two of you deserved the whole shah-bang.”

A small snicker escaped. She wouldn’t have used the word shah-bang under any circumstances. But she absolutely understood what he meant. This place was definitely better than the one her parents had originally planned for them to stay at and she certainly wouldn’t have had a suite. “I’m just not entirely sure how I’m going to get him here. From what my brother’s girlfriend says there are supposed to be a lot of parties going on. I can’t pinpoint which one he’s likely to go to.”

“Did you ask Becca?”

“Of course I did, but she wasn’t sure. She only said there were a couple she and Nate intended to hit after dinner.” Hmm, what if she wore the dress to dinner? Would her brother have a heart attack? Hell, Becca’s or Luke’s parents could have a heart attack. No. She needed less of a way to cause a scene.

“Do you think Nate will have asked Luke to help babysit you?”

Ezzie snorted. She loathed the word choice, but Matt was on to something. Her brother would’ve absolutely asked Luke to keep an eye on her. She loved Nate, but the guy was beyond overprotective sometimes. It stood to reason, especially given his reaction to her tattoo, he’d asked his best friend to act as a pseudo-brother. “I’m going with yes.”

“Then I have an idea. After all, you’ve made some friends there. Becca and Nate plan to head off together once dinner is over, right?”

“That’s what she said.” Good thing her brother’s girlfriend adored her. And happened to know part of the truth. Ezzie hadn’t gone out and explained her seduction plan to the girl, but she had mentioned her attraction to Luke. And how it could be mutual. Becca played the friend card and had given her a good dose of reality. But she’d known about Luke’s reputation for a couple of years. So what if he’d been labeled a player. Truthfully, she believed there was more to him than met the eye.

“Okay. Tell them you have plans, but need a ride back to the hotel to change before you meet your girls. Luke takes you and waits to drop you off so he knows where you’re at and who you’re with. You just have to seduce him after you change.”

There was a knock on the front door to the suite. “That could work. Listen, sounds like room service is here. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Let me know how it goes. Ciao.” The line went dead.

Ezzie hung up and set her cell phone on the night stand. She glanced at the silk robes hanging on a couple of wall pegs, yet sauntered into the living room without one. So what if room service got a little bit of a show. Her satin night gown came to her feet. It covered all the important stuff. Without looking out the peephole and confirming her suspicions, she opened the door.

Luke stood on the other side. He had a dress bag in his hand. “You, um, left this in the car.”

“Um, thank you.” Both the skimpy black dress and the dress she planned to wear to the graduation ceremony were in there. In her hurry to get inside the hotel and checked in, she must’ve forgotten it. Though she could’ve collected the bag tomorrow morning, he’d brought it up to her room. Ezzie stared at Luke. Why?

He swallowed and his gaze left her face. Even in jeans and a t-shirt the guy was sexy as hell. Who knew how long he’d been up; still he smelled like fresh clean air. She felt, more than saw, as his eyes traveled the length of her body. Two could certainly play that game. Biting on her bottom lip, she allowed herself a moment to admire how much his body had physically changed in the course of three months. Dark brown hair. Soft chocolate-brown eyes. Thick thighs. Broad, defined shoulders. Plus the strong jaw-line.

Then there was his chest. No fat there. Only pure unadulterated, heart-pounding, muscle. His t-shirt clung to his perfectly-developed six-pack rather well. The elevator doors dinged and must’ve brought him back to reality. Quickly his eyes found hers. As if he’d caught her red-handed, the smallest hint of a smile pulled at the corner of his mouth. Luke cleared his throat and regained his composure. “I thought you might need this and Nate was on the phone with your parents.”

“Um, oh, yeah. Right. I was supposed to call them when I landed. Slipped my mind.” Which was entirely true. She’d called Matt once she’d gotten in the hotel to tell him about the girl she’d met on the plane. And to share all she could about her arrival. Ezzie held her hand out for the bag. Luke looked at her hand as if he had no idea what to do with it.

The room service attendant chose that moment to roll up with her food. “Miss Donavan, your meal as requested. Would you like for me to bring it inside?”

“Yes, please. In the living room, if you don’t mind. Thank you.” She stepped back and held the door open enough for the guy to wheel the cart all the way in. She should probably get the guy a tip, but her purse was in the bedroom. Briefly she peeked at Luke. He’d perched himself just inside the room and watched the room service guy like a predator protecting his own. Interesting. Ezzie slipped into the bedroom and grabbed a five dollar bill from her purse. By the time she’d returned, the guy was gone and her dress bag was draped over the back of the couch. Well, damn.

 

**End of Preview**

Care to share your thoughts? Comments? Snarky remarks? Love it? Hate it? Want more? Tell me below!

Author: Brigit Rosé

Review of “Jigsaw Hearts”

JH
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I LLLLOOOOOVVVVEEEDDDD this book! If you can’t figure it out by that statement alone, then let me forewarn you I AM going to GUSH about this book. There aren’t many books that I get into so much that I will push sleep aside, but THIS was one of them. In fact, I think the only other books I have done that for are the Warden. Yes, I might have just compared Danica Raimz’s Jigsaw Hearts to J.R. Ward. Did I mention she’s also a fan?

All right, I have digressed enough. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and then the review. 

 

Ring Synopsis

 

Ren has learned it’s better to feel nothing at all, then everything and she has found ways to keep her emotions in check. Until her criminal brother, Seth, the one person she has trusted all her life, unexpectedly dies. His death sets of a chain reaction causing her coping mechanisms to falter. And the one person she finds comfort in is Galen—brother of the woman Seth conned. But Ren isn’t the only one battling demons; as it turns out Galen has a few of his own. Can they find the missing pieces in one another or will Seth’s past catch up with them first?

Now, you know what the book is about, allow me to continue the tradition of warning you that from this point forward there will be spoilers. I have some favorite lines that I can’t wait to share with you! Read ahead at your own risk.

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If you read my Amazon review, then you know I teased about what “Ren” is short for. And for all the Apples, Maples, and Javas out there, I’d take “Ren’s” full name any day of the week and twice on Sunday. That leads us to my first favorite line, “The girl’s doe eyes blinked. ‘You’re Renaissance? I didn’t recognize you!’”

Yes, you read that correctly. “Ren” is short for “Renaissance.” And I absolutely loved it! Especially since there is a play on the name later. While I’ll give you a few more of my favorite lines shortly, that one you’ll have to discover on your own. (Do you think the author would mind if I named a future child that?) 

There is a lot we learn about Seth’s and Ren’s relationship early on. For instance, they weren’t related by blood. They’re step-siblings. Though throughout the book it is clear that blood didn’t matter to the two of them. At least not for the majority of their lives. Initially they hated one another. The death of Ren’s father and the abuse they suffered from Seth’s mother changed all that. adult-1867702-340_origSuddenly they were all the other had. There is so much that is unknown about the depth of all they two of them went through as children in the beginning. The more that I discovered, as I read on, the more I felt for them. It certainly put a lot into perspective.

For instance, why had it become necessary for Ren to become, as she put it, a “cold fish?” I’m not going to say that I didn’t understand this because I’ve been there. To some degree, I still am. Probably one of the reasons I loved Ren so much. I could relate, even though I hadn’t gone through the same things, I got her. In fact, the line that sealed the connection is Ren’s explanation of how she became a shell: “I simply learned to avoid most situations that called for me to feel sentimental, attached, teary, or indebted.” 

The teary is the one place Ren and I differ. Sad movies make me cry. My family crying makes me cry. Frustration and defeat make me cry. I’m sure that’s not it, but this is about Ren and Galen, not me.

Oops, did I tell you the name of the hunk already? Wait, you read the synopsis, of course you know the name of the hunk. Sort of. And for this, I’m just going to tell you what happens and then give you a nice little snippet. Because honestly, this was a great opening to Ren and Galen. And the more I read, the more I WANTED them together!

Anywho, so the book opens with Ren at her brother’s memorial service that his girlfriend (the doe-eyed girl from above) set up at the cliff where he died. Yeah, I know, a bit strange, but okay, I can go along with it. Corinne, the girlfriend, is giving a truly heart-felt eulogy about Seth when Ren passes out. It’s the first instance we see her coping mechanisms falter. And boy is it worth it!

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For another snippet, click here

Enter yummy, strong, steamy, chestnut-haired Galen to the rescue. The man is truly a wonder. He volunteers as an EMT, works in sustainability, and so many other wonderful things. So, Ren comes around in his arms and he helps clean up her head wound. And this is the beautiful introduction of Ren and Galen.

“‘River?’ I challenged. I found I couldn’t help myself.

He took a slow deep breath and glanced skyward. ‘Yeah. I know. Who names their kid River for real?’

I held back a grin. ‘Probably the same sort who would choose Renaissance.’

Galen cracked up, unleashing a set of dimples that stirred me. Then, ‘Sometimes I think I should just change it.’

‘What would you change it to?’

I couldn’t see him as he returned to pressing at the back of my head. ‘Butch. Rocky.’”

Now, I REALLY, REALLY want to give you more, but I could go on for a second and there are still some great lines to share. So, here we go!

  1. “Before I knew it, she threw her arms around my shoulders to squeeze me like a cobra on speed.”
  2. “‘Forgive me, Ren, but … are you into random encounters with men?’” (more for the response that follows.)
  3. “‘Yeah, well if some gnome runs at me from under a bush, I’m kicking it like a football.’”
  4. “‘You … are this beautiful study in contrasts.’” (Swoon!)
  5. “‘So very,’ he said with a devilish smirk. ‘Nothing makes a man happier than getting his girl super wet.’”

I know that’s more than a few, but I just couldn’t help myself. The way Ren and Galen both fought their attraction, gave in, then for all the emotions to overwhelm Ren and make her run, only for them to find their way back was all so exquisite. This isn’t just some random boy meets girl love story. It’s a truly emotional, in-depth love that conquers all story. A rollercoaster ride that I would hop on again and again and again. Just so I could be reminded that there is hope even for those of us who are slightly banged up or damaged.

Overall, I give it:

5-Star

I’d give it more if I could.

And if you want more of Ren and Galen, there is another story out that I’ll review in a week or so. In the meantime, you can find Pieces of You, Pieces of Me here.

Review of Abby’s Promise

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I LOVED this book! It was sweet with a splash of sexy and a hint of comedy all mixed into one. Sounds like the best kind of drink if you ask me! There were moments that made me laugh, some where I wanted to cry, and others that I just wanted to beat the snot out of someone. Like I said, it was a GREAT story. But let me not get ahead of myself.

If you’ve been following me on Townie Critics, then you know how this works. Synopsis, spoiler warning, followed by full review and my final rating at the end. Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get this road on the show.

 

Ring Synopsis

Abby and Joey parted ways eight years ago when he joined the Marines. They had maintained some contact, but it dwindled over time until they stopped speaking all together. Now back in town, Joey wants to reconnect, but Abby isn’t all that interested. Or is she? Even if she is, there are several people who want nothing more than to keep them apart. Can they get past all the drama and find their way to one another?spoilers

Now that you know the premise, this is your one and only warning that there are SPOILERS AHEAD. Continue reading at your own risk.

The story starts off with a text between Abby and Joey. Something he’s recalling from eight years earlier. It took me a second with this because Abby apparently gave him the nickname “Jo-Jo.” I couldn’t quite get used to that. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine a guy being nicknamed “Jo-Jo.” Though, now that I think about it, I could absolutely see a feminine woman calling her best guy friend named Joseph, “Jo-Jo.” Anyway, so Joseph is on his first day of college and he’s thinking about Abby. They haven’t yet crossed paths, but we all know it has to happen soon. Then we find out Abby went to college to teach. I was absolutely giddy at this point because I knew what would happen.

Abby would turn out to be Joseph’s professor. That alone spelled trouble! Though I certainly didn’t imagine everything else that would be going on. Kidnapping, fights, jail, asshole parents … okay, maybe that’s a bit strong … self-righteous would be more appropriate. Maybe even indignant. But I get to that later.

Within the first few chapters, we learn rather quickly that both Joseph and Abby have been through some things. Joseph fought in the war and that certainly left a mark on him. Then there’s family, his father mostly. I have never wanted to punch the shit out of a character more than I did Joey’s father! The guy was an absolute tool! Dickhead! Scoundrel. You get the picture.

As for Abby, she isn’t just the mother of a two-year-old, but she’s also a widow. Another mark left by war and this is one of the reasons she initially pushes Joey away. As the story goes on, we discover more about what happened to Abby’s late husband. This made me feel for her. Yes, she had her daughter and her family, but sometimes that isn’t enough. And while Joey had been her first love, she isn’t quite ready to take another leap, at least not without some encouragement.

AbbyPromise1And that is where we get our romance and hot as hell moments from!  Because sometimes you just can’t fight the feeling. Which means all it takes is a small glimpse of hope. It takes a couple of days, but Abby gives Joey just what he needs. “My heart lifted. It wasn’t a no, but a maybe another time. That gave me hope.” This leads to an offer for him to babysit while she’s teaching. Which can only go one direction.

Comedy! It would have been nice to see Joey babysitting from his point of view, except then the story might have dragged on a little. So the summaries we get by texts between Joey and Abby were the right way to go. And I definitely laughed. My favorite line, “YOU DIDN’T TELL ME THEY POOP THIS MUCH.”

Though, Abby’s reaction was pretty amusing too. “I stared at his text and started to laugh. I could just imagine the look on his face, changing my daughter. What is this? What is that? Why is there so much? He would be disgusted, amused, and freaking out.”

Seriously? Abby’s daughter is going on two. Kids do four things at that age: sleep, play, eat, and poop. What else did he expect? I’m just saying.

This was also pretty sweet. The way Joey got along with Abby’s daughter, how he entertained her, and it just made him look sexier to Abby. Not that was ready to admit it. And honestly that made me LOVE the story more. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good sex scene, but with these two we actually got to see them falling in love with one another.

While I don’t want to give too much away, I will leave you with three more of my favorite lines.

  1. “As if to let me know, Zoey promptly hit me on the top of my head. ‘Go!’ she squealed.”
  2. “My sister was laughing now. ‘Jesus Christ, ya’ll need a hotel room or what?’”
  3. “‘You’re the giver of wood, Abby Jameson.’”

Following their journey is what made this book so wonderful! Not only did these two have to overcome the history they had with each other, but they also had to battle the demons that had crept in while they were apart. This was a great read!

With that said, I give it …

5-Star