Crossing the Lines: COME CLOSER–Review

comecloser_banner2Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance from Brenda Rothert. COME CLOSER is a story of a survivor who’s suffering PTSD and the doctor who reaches her–putting his own career on the line again.

come-closer_amazon1About the book:
Sometimes appearances deceive. Take me, for instance. I look like a respectable doctor with his shit together, but the rural Montana mental hospital I work at is actually a sanctuary from my demons. At just thirty-five years old, I’ve already failed on an epic scale. Treating patients at Hawthorne Hill is part of my atonement.

I’ve found peace when a new patient turns me inside out. Allison Cole is a beautiful, haunted survivor who fell into silence after witnessing a murder. But even without words, I’m drawn to her. The closer we get, the more I’m tempted to cross my professional boundaries and give in to my desire.

Soon I find myself in a desperate race to put the pieces of Allison’s silence together. Her life becomes inextricably entwined with mine as I fight to save the second chance I never thought I’d have. I’ll break whatever rules I have to in order to protect this woman who’s been to hell and back. For her, I’ll do harm.

My Review:
Daniel is the chief of staff at a private mental hospital in a remote location in Montana. It’s a nice place for people who have the funds. Allison arrives as a mute patient scarred by witnessing the brutal murder of her twin sister AVA, and hasn’t spoken in the month since that event.

As Allison tries to heal from the PTSD she’s confronted by the psychiatrist, Dr. Heaton, regarding the possibility of being complicit in Ava’s murder. Meanwhile, Ava’s been losing herself–and burying her grief–by getting lost in books. When no one can reach Allison, Daniel notices her reading habits and they begin communicating via book recommendations and notes. As the story goes on, we learn that Allison is the target of a search by Ava’s killer. She has details–besides being an eyewitness–that tie people well-known to Ava into several other murders, drug deals and big crimes. Daniel’s sure that Allison’s telling the truth, and he’s trying hard to protect her, but the threats are getting closer to their facility, and Daniel, a man who’s working his way back from losing his medical career already once–is putting everything on the line to keep Allison safe. And that’s not just because she’s his patient.

This is an intriguing romantic suspense novel that has really fantastic descriptions, and a pace that kept me turning the pages. The revelations about Ava and Allison’s history–and the ordeal that resulted in Ava’s murder–were well-written and felt authentic, not salacious or convenient. Daniel has a whole lot to lose if he’s caught up in another scandal–his medical license and visitation rights with his young son. The stakes are high for him, but Allison’s life is also in the balance, and it could be that employees of the mental hospital have motivations for keeping Allison sidelined. I also thought the discussions regarding Daniel’s career issues were well put-together and realistic.

I think readers will enjoy the twists, the slow-burn of romance and the mystery in this one. It’s not a typical romance, and that really caught my attention. I was rooting for Daniel and Allison to not only make a future together, but to survive the imminent danger, too.

Interested? You can find COME CLOSER on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

You can find Brenda on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wattpad, Amazon, or sign up for her newsletter.
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I love a sequel NOW AND AGAIN…–Review and Giveaway

Now & Again banner copyHi there and welcome to my stop on the NOW AND AGAIN blog tour organized by YA Bound Book Tours.

If you’d like to check out other stops on the tour, click here.

NOW AND AGAIN is a steamy New Adult Romance by Brenda Rothert–and the follow-up to the delightful NOW AND THEN.
 

now and againSummary from Goodreads:
Once again, 26-year-old Layla Carson has the attention of a man eager to satisfy her. Ben Montrose, the hot, confident cop who gets off on frustrating her, is eager to show her just how arresting he can be. But as a reforming sexaholic, Layla’s sworn off casual hookups, and doesn’t miss the days of her early 20s –much.

Ben’s caught off-guard when the sexy, outspoken attorney turns him on and then turns him down. But the confident former Marine knows he can handle the simple seduction of a beautiful woman. He finds Layla’s weak spot – competition, which he happens to share – and challenges her to a game that could make them, or destroy them.

As they compete to crown the master of seduction, Ben and Layla discover there’s more to their game than power and foreplay. But as the stakes go up, they realize the game has changed, and they both stand to lose more than they bargained for.

My Review:
I wasn’t at all convinced I would like Layla. I knew from NOW AND THEN that she’s kinda not such a nice gal–conniving and manipulative and expects to get exactly what she wants pretty much describes her. Yet, her need to be assertive and strong actually isolates her from opportunities to build a stable relationship–at least with all the guys she knows. Sex is Layla’s way to find the intimacy she craves. And it isn’t working anymore. No, now she feels hollow and covets a relationship like sister Em’s more than ever.

After nine months of forced celibacy Layla encounters Ben Montrose. He’s big and burly and dominating and the exact opposite of what Layla usually finds attractive. He is, however, single–and she’s deprived, dammit. Ben thinks Layla’s a bit of alright, but he doesn’t want anything serious. He decides to woo her anyway, and can’t believe she doesn’t come to heel.

Guess Big Ben needed to ramp up his game. Good thing he does.

When Layla tells him she’s celibate that’s all the challenge Ben needs. He convinces Layla to spend four weeks together–the first two she dominates their ‘relationship’, the last two he will. While Layla keeps her vow, she and Ben spend a whole lot of time getting to know each other–building the intimacy she always sought. Meanwhile, Ben’s cool customer attitude is definitely overwhelmed by the vulnerability he finds in Layla.  It’s a fun and heartfelt tale of two strong people learning to give and receive love. In spite of the (almost total) celibacy, there’s plenty of sexual tension and some excellent heat nearer to the end.

Interested? You can find NOW AND AGAIN at Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Curious about the first book in this series?  You can catch my full review here, but here’s a taste…

If you like realistic romances, NOW AND THEN is crammed to bursting with sibling rivalry, passion, family expectations,  now and thenand responsibility. There are no billionaires. There is no S & M, no flashy cars, no contracts.

However, that’s super cool. Makes me feel like I may run into Em or Cole whilst touring my fair Chicago. They breathe my air. They have fussy mothers and scheming sisters. They have skeletons that don’t involve molestation or neglect, only family business of a personal–not shameful or criminal–nature.

NOW AND THEN is available on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

brenda rethortAbout the Author

Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres. You can find Brenda on Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

***GIVEAWAY***

10 ebook copies of Now and Again by Brenda Rothert (INT)

Click here for your chance to win!

Good luck and keep reading, my friends!

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NOW AND THEN–Review and GIVEAWAY!

Now and Then banner copy

Welcome to my stop on the Now and Then blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Now and Then (Now #1)

by Brenda Rothert

Available now!
 
Summary from Goodreads:
Now and Then (Now, #1)Now: Emmaline Carson is a sharp, settled graphic designer who loves painting, cooking and girls’ night out with her older sister Layla. But then – in the years before she went to art school in Paris – she was a shy, awkward teenager with frizzy hair, a flat chest and a massive crush on the boy across the street, Cole Marlowe. Too bad her incredibly hot neighbor only had eyes for Layla.

Cole is now a confident, laid-back attorney who’s even hotter than he used to be. He’s planning to stay single while working his way up the corporate ladder – until he’s knocked off course by a chance run-in with Emma.

Everything is different between Cole and Emma now. He finally sees her in a way she only dreamed of, and their hot chemistry is fueled by a growing friendship. But Emma’s deception of her sister – who wants Cole for herself – and the secret Cole’s been keeping for more than a decade threaten to tear apart what’s only just begun. Because sometimes the only thing standing in the way of now is then.

My review:
Here’s how it all starts:  Coffee. While fetching coffee for her lecherous boss, Em takes a tumble spilling the brew all over herself and another customer–her childhood neighbor and school-girl crush, Cole Marlowe. He’s moved back to Chicago much the same as Em has. Cole isn’t looking for anything serious–he’s busy working up the partnership ladder at his law firm, but he can’t deny his attraction to Em’s unassuming nature and luscious figure.

And Em? For her, Cole has been this untouchable dream for sooo long–it’s as if she’s afraid to burst that precious soap bubble memory of her pining days. Plus, she’s just getting her career off the ground and doesn’t need complications like a relationship. Cole, he’d be a major complication, mostly because their mothers have pretty much planned on Cole marrying Em’s beautiful older sister, Layla, who always outshined Em…and Layla has her sights on Cole, as well.

But that’s the thing about love–it doesn’t listen to the bickering of parents. It cares not for the secondary alliances. It drive you to take risks, move obstacles, to Make. It. Work. Once decided, Cole is relentless. He’s fierce and vulnerable and overwhelming, and borderline stalker-y (Think ‘please-lets-tell-everyone’ NOT ‘restraining order’ sense) in his pursuit to woo Em. She holds out, however, afraid that this bombshell relationship will destroy the tenuous friendship she’s built with Layla. See, Layla wasn’t the nicest older sister growing up. She hounded Em and flaunted her popularity and openly taunted Em about her Cole-worship, yet that was THEN, and now they’re pretty tight.

And, while the secret Cole hides isn’t his latent affection for Layla, it’s driving Em away nonetheless.

If you like realistic romances, NOW AND THEN is crammed to bursting with sibling rivalry, passion, family expectations, and responsibility. There are no billionaires. There is no S & M, no flashy cars, no contracts.

However, that’s super cool. Makes me feel like I may run into Em or Cole whilst touring my fair Chicago. They breathe my air. They have fussy mothers and scheming sisters. They have skeletons that don’t involve molestation or neglect, only family business of a personal–not shameful or criminal–nature.

Interested? You can find NOW AND THEN here:  Goodreads  Amazon

About the Author
Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.
Connect with her at: GOODREADS TWITTER or FACEBOOK

GIVEAWAY:
10 e-books of Now and Then (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Got STRIPPED? Review and Giveaway

Stripped banner copyWelcome to my stop on the Stripped blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  

Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

Contemporary New Adult Romance

by Brenda Rothert

Available now!

StrippedSummary from Goodreads:  Abby Gillis is used to being called a promiscuous, uneducated whore. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re a stripper. Since her job allows her to support her siblings, 24-year-old Abby takes it all off in stride. She’s never had trouble keeping men at arm’s length – until she meets ER physician Chris Reneau, who is sexy, sweet and interested in more than what’s beneath her clothes. As their relationship unfolds, Abby becomes increasingly aware of the desire building in her for the first time, and of her yearning to be wanted by the one man who truly sees all of her.

Commitment-averse Chris finds himself in uncharted territory. He wants Abby, that’s clear, but he can’t accept not having all of her. As the distance between them erodes, he tries to convince Abby to give up stripping for a chance at something real.

As the two of them get closer, Abby realizes that truly baring it all has nothing to do with her body. Chris makes her feel more exposed than she ever has, and she has to grapple with what’s left when her notions about herself and those around her are stripped away, leaving only the naked truth.

My review:
STRIPPED is a solid story. Abby is a young compassionate woman caring for her brother, two half-sisters and her addict mother by stripping. She’s clean–no drug use, no alcohol abuse, no easy catch–setting her wholly apart from the stripper paradigm. She respects herself and doesn’t let her history of being molested affect her. Much. Well, at least not when her mom calls her a whore. Or, when she pushes Chris–the tasty ER doc–away. Okay, then the molestation-survivorship totally kills her.

Still, Abby’s a college grad. She worked hard to get a good job that would support her family so she could quit stripping for her tuition money. She was nearly there when a colleague showed up for a bachelor party and recognized her. Pink slips suck.

Chris is kind, and attentive, and not going to date a stripper. That’s what he keeps telling himself. But he just can’t stay away. He’s wrapped up in the idea that she’s “Great…But.” So they continue to meet and he develops a sincere affection for her. Then HIS work colleagues learn of her work and show up in her club one night to torment her, making Abby feel horrid and cheap–mission accomplished for the jealous nurse who chases Chris.

Lots of fits and starts for this couple, and much drama surrounding Abby and her molester–the father of her two half-sisters. Also, the skeevy side of stripping gets loose and Abby finds herself under the careful attention of a stalker with a giant fist. Enough drama to keep the story moving and enough smexy bits to remind you this is a romance, baby. Suitable for older readers due to the smexy.
 

You can find STRIPPED at: GOODREADS and AMAZON

About the Author
Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.
Connect with her at: GOODREADS   TWITTER   or   FACEBOOK

GIVEAWAY:

10 e-books of Stripped (INT)
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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