Stark Memory by Ceri Grenelle: Review + Giveaway

 

 

Title: Stark Memory

Series: Stupid Awesome Love #3

Author: Ceri Grenelle
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 6, 2018

 

Blurb
Opal…doesn’t want to remember.After years of applying for a botany fellowship, I’ve finally got an interview.
The only downside is it’s in New York, where my family died. Going back would
be a nightmare.

Not to mention I can’t remember anything from before the accident, and I don’t
want to.

My brain is messed up, and here comes this devastatingly sexy guy who tells me
we used to be in love, that I was his everything, and that he’s gonna do all he
can to help me get my memories back. All he wants is my happiness, but what the
hell do I want? Is it Santiago, or is it the idea of a love I can’t remember?

Santiago…won’t ever forget.

I needed a vacation, badly. I’m on the outs with my family, and I’m struggling
with my music. California sounds like a great way to ignore my problems. Until
the one who got away falls back into my arms. Literally.

Opal broke my heart after disappearing without a word. No calls. No texts.
Nothing. I thought I was over her but being near her only brings up all the old
feelings. She was always the one for me, now I’ve gotta convince her I’ve
always been the one for her. Even if she refuses to remember.

 

 

My review:

This book opens 17 years in the past, when Santiago and Opal meet at Santi’s college graduation party. Opal and her friends had already attended their own party (different colleges in NYC) and they’ve crashed this one. Santiago and Opal bond over their mutual hatred of the graduation song, and love of the ocean and science facts. They begin an intense summer relationship, spending time with each others’ families, and have plans to continue their relationship after Opal goes to grad school in California to continue her marine biology studies. Then the day before she is to leave, she disappears without a word.

Jump to present day, and Opal is in San Francisco. Santiago is still living in New York City but goes to California with his brother Nick for a month long vacation to visit friends. It turns out the friends they are visiting are friends with Opal, and she literally falls into Santi’s arms at a party that night. He confronts her about her disappearance, and is shocked when she says she has no idea who he is. Nick learns that the day before she was leaving all those years ago, she and her family were in a terrible accident and her entire family was killed and she has no memories before waking up in the hospital afterwards. Santiago is in the middle of his own family conflict and it’s hurting his relationships with his parents and his brothers, but he is too stubborn to deal with it and would rather help Opal.

This book was so good, and very different (in a good way) from most other romances. Opal is afraid of getting her memories back, afraid the pain and loss will break her. Santiago knows she’s stronger than that and wants to help her heal, even though she can’t remember him or their time together. Opal also wants to help Santiago. She can see how his family crisis is hurting him and the rest of the family.

What I liked: This was a nice change from the standard romance novels. Opal and Santi are so good for each other, too. The years apart were painful for him, but they each grew into their own person and are better together now because of that separation. I also liked that even though this was the third book in a series, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I’d actually forgotten it was part of a series and was pleasantly surprised to be reminded that I could read about the other characters.

What I didn’t like: Storywise, nothing. There were a few editing mistakes, but nothing major, and I’m hoping that it was only because I read an advanced copy and not the final release and they were corrected.

Overall: Super good read.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

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AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio
Ceri is the author of quirky and sexy contemporary romance novels. She has a major weakness for sappy cuddle moments as much as hot and steamy sex scenes, and a penchant for writing snappy and sarcastic dialogue. She loves romance that isn’t afraid to be awkward and uncouth, and thrives on flawed characters with big hearts.
A New York native, Ceri now lives in California with her two cats, Mercy and Eugene Fitzherbert, who should be very thankful she didn’t name him frying pan. She is a proud functioning introvert and lover of all things geeky. You can find her haunting the Twitter machine or posting pictures of her ridiculous cats on Instagram.
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New Release: Enchanted By You by Hilaria Alexander

 

 

Title: Enchanted by You
Author: Hilaria Alexander
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: December 6, 2018

 

Blurb
I had no idea that my seven-year marriage would implode during our long awaited and needed vacation to Albuquerque—the city that will change your perspective. Unfortunately, our attempt at fixing everything wrong in our relationship backfired, big time. My husband left me alone in Albuquerque, with no friends, no family . . . and no idea what my future holds or if I’ll ever find happiness again.

 

As I begin to move on, I can’t help but notice the man who was there for me during my darkest hour.

Esteban Garcia is the dashing hero you want on your side, even though I’m no damsel in distress.

With his dazzling smile, bright green eyes and golden skin, he’s a brand of gorgeous I’m not used to, and mysterious enough to drive me crazy with thoughts of him.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out I’ve somehow been enchanted by him . . . or maybe he was my fate all along.

 

My review:
Ines is married to an emotionally abusive man. While they are in New Mexico, she finally reaches her breaking point and tells him she’s not going home with him. He blows up and leaves her there to fend for herself.
Esteban owns the restaurant where Ines and her husband are dining, and he comes to her aid. She finds a small apartment to rent and finds out his sister is the landlord. Ines rents the apartment and settles into Albuquerque life.
She becomes friends with both Esteban and Lupe, his sister. She cannot help but feel an attraction to Esteban, however, and learns from Lupe he feels the same way. She is in the process of a divorce, however, and is afraid to rush into anything else.
What I liked: I loved this book. I seriously loved the beginning, when Ines is referencing #Maybehedoesnthityou and all the ways a partner can still be abusive, after each line Brad says that is an example of that abuse. What a powerful way to illustrate this kind of abuse and I hope that some reader of this book will take inspiration from Ines and get out if she’s in that kind of situation.
“You think we’re not in a good place,” he repeats, eyes wild. “Your’e insane if you think you’re going to make it without me.”
#Maybehedoesnthityou but he tries to make you believe you’re nothing without him.
So. Powerful.
I really loved Ines, for this entire book. Once she took herself back from Brad, she shone. And Esteban was amazing.
What I didn’t like: The book ended! Why did it have to end??
Overall: Totally swoonworthy book with a strong, intelligent woman and a man who isn’t intimidated by that. Get this book today!
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
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Excerpt
“By the way, how are you settling in? Still in love with the apartment?” he teases,
arching one eyebrow, his voice loaded with humor.
 I make a face. “What exactly are you hinting at?” I ask, and he lets out a laugh, his eyes bright with amusement. He puts his hands in his pockets, and relaxes, slouching his shoulders a little. “Is this your way of asking me if I’ve experienced any paranormal activity?” The sound of his laughter stirs something in my chest, a happy feeling I haven’t felt in so long. I don’t miss the looks I’m getting from the women he was talking to. Also, I just can’t miss the opportunity to tease him in return. “Oh, yeah.
I haven’t had a chance to tell you. There’s a ghost who visits me every night. I haven’t been getting much sleep but all in all…I can’t really complain,”
I tell him with a knowing look, and his face falls immediately.
He looks pale, and I almost feel sorry I lied.
Almost.
“You’re joking,” he tells me, jaw taut, a panicked look in his eyes.
“Not so funny now, is it?” I quip and see him slowly regain the color that had gone
amiss from his cheeks. His eyes sparkle like emeralds as he recovers, and the
corner of his lips tilts into a grin that tells me he’ll make me pay for it.
I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea, if it entails certain things.
He points a finger at me and shakes his head in disbelief.
“That wasn’t funny, Ines.”
“That was very funny and you know it.”
“Alright. You got me. I’m going to stop teasing you now, okay?”
Oh, please don’t. I shrug. “A little teasing never hurt anybody, am I right?”
He nods slowly, a small smile stretching across his face. His eyes linger on me, as if
trying to read me. I felt bold a moment ago, but now that he’s staring at me with such intensity, I feel my cheeks redden and look down.

 

Author Bio

 

Hilaria Alexander never thought she’d be a writer one day.
Reader? Yes. Book hoarder? You betcha. Then, she started reading romance – that’s
when she felt the need to write a story. Unfortunately, she didn’t listen to
her gut, and talked herself out of it A MILLION TIMES. She finally gave up a
few years ago, when the urge to write was stronger than self-doubt. She loves
funny, sexy romances wrapped with a huge happily-ever-after bow at the end. Her
inbox is always open if you want to chat about one of her books.
 
For upcoming teasers, samples, and all things new-release-related, join her
Facebook reading group:
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Release Boost: Sofa King Wrong by Madison Faye

(Disclaimer: Yes, I still think this is the worst book I’ve ever read. But I *have* to publish this boost post as I committed to with the promo group.)

Title: Sofa King Wrong
Author: Madison Faye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 3, 2018

 

Blurb
Hard. Huge. Completely untamed.
He’s got the perfect tool to get the job done.
This off-limits brat is his duty to protect.
But forbidden fruit just tastes a whole lot sweeter
Life on the street taught me to fight to survive. Prison
taught me to endure. I spent years locked up like an animal for
protecting the ones I loved. Six damn years without the soft feel of a woman
under my rough hands.
Now I work for my buddy’s moving company, Sofa King Movers.
A job up in the Hollywood Hills seem like a piece of cake, until it turns out
I’m not there to move boxes. I’m there for her,
Alyssa Campo. Hollywood starlet, movie sensation, tabloid
drama queen. A barely legal wild-child with a reputation for being a class-A brat.
And they want me to be her fucking bodyguard.
She’s off-limits in every possible way – too tempting, too
famous, too way-too-fucking-young for me. But when the sassy-mouthed little
tease under my watch decides to flaunt my rules, she’s going to learn how firm
I can be with bad girls like her.
I know I should keep my distance, but once I’ve had a taste
of those forbidden lips and those tempting curves, there’ll be no keeping me
from her.
Alyssa’s mine to protect. And mine to claim.
She’s the forbidden fruit. But years behind bars has me hungry.
…And I’m gonna feast until the juice runs down my
chin.

 

Purchase Links
99c for a limited time!!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Also Available
99c for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
#1 bestselling contemporary romance author Madison Faye is
the dirty alter ego of the very wholesome, very normal suburban housewife
behind the stories. While she might be a wife, mom, and PTA organizer on the
outside, there’s nothing but hot, steamy, and raunchy fantasies brewing right
beneath the surface!
Tired of keeping them hidden inside or only having them come out in the
bedroom, they’re all here in the form of some wickedly hot stories.
Single-minded alpha hero, sinfully taboo relationships, and wildly over-the-top
scenarios. If you love it extra dirty, extra hot, and extra naughty, this is
the place for you! (Just don’t tell the other PTA members you saw her here…)

Join the mailing list for author updates, special prices, and TWO free
starter-library books! 
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