If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Bullets and Bonfires by Autumn Jones Lake / @TheNextStepPR @AutumnJLake

Title: Bullets and Bonfires
Author: Autumn Jones Lake
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Newsletter
Publisher: Ahead of the Pack, LLC.
Release Date: July 17, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Uniform, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: The Next Step PR

The one man she's always wanted is now the sexy sheriff of their hometown.

Battered but not broken, grad student Brianna Avery returns to the childhood home she abandoned four years ago. With her abusive ex behind bars, Bree needs the summer to relax and recover before returning to school. But her overprotective brother decides she needs someone to babysit her in his absence, and he picks the one person guaranteed to drive her nuts.

She's the one woman he can't have.

Telling Bree no has never been easy. Four years ago, Liam Hollister did it to preserve his friendship with his best friend--Brianna's brother. Now, no matter how she tempts him, he's determined to do the right thing. As deputy sheriff of their rural area, Liam is torn between protecting Brianna and wanting her for himself.

Take a risk or lose the chance.

Spending so much time alone together challenges them both. Old feelings and hurts resurface immediately. With each hot, sweaty day, it's harder to deny their attraction.

It's going to be a long, hot summer.

Bullets and Bonfires is a stand alone contemporary romance from the author of the Lost Kings MC series.

Someone once told me the greatest accomplishment in their life was finding love and acceptance from their significant other. Their admission made me pause because it was a first for me. Accomplishment is almost always measured by achievements of some sort and tangibly displayed for others to see. But love and acceptance from another who not only meant them but gave them freely? It was a refreshing redefinition of greatness for me.

That was this story. Bree is Broken with a capital B. An abusive relationship has left her a shell of a woman, one who desperately needs healing and affirmation. Going home was a smart move. Family sometimes offers what friends can't--a safe place and protection that rivals the White House security detail.

Unfortunately, her security detail is the man she once declared her love to and pushed her away. Her brother's best friend now the deputy sheriff, Liam.

I love, love, love the rekindled everything everything between Liam and Bree. There is much that has to be said. There is much to admit to. And there is much to explore. He's loved her since forever but his friendship with her brother has always been why he's kept his distance. Being this close to her is torture but it's an offer of a second chance he's not going to refuse.

There is a lot of tenderness in this story despite the heat, and it's crucial to gaining ground with Bree after what her ex did. There's affirmation, confirmation, and reaffirmation she needs to hear, see, and feel so her confidence in herself is restored so her relationship with Liam isn't built on her dependence on him. She's wonderfully strong, beautifully so, and I love that Liam did what he had to do to prove she is more than the woman she's become.

There's this sigh-worthy feeling at the end, this great sense of accomplishment that made the aforementioned statement make sense. For all that Bree and Liam had achieved in their lives up to this point, the love and acceptance they ultimately find in one another is the pièce de résistance for me. It brings an end to life before one another and breathes newness into the one that's just beginning.

This story is devastatingly complex. Read carefully and completely if you choose to indulge, but I promise the upheaval is worth it. The characters are unique and deep, multi-faceted in ways that caught me off guard. The story line is smooth in the sense there are no gaps, no reasons for the reader to feel confused. It is engaging from beginning to end. I hope there will be other stories birthed from this setting. Every character has a story to be told, and I hope they do.

Autumn believes true love stories never end. She’s easily amused, a procrastinator and loves romances with true alpha heroes who cherish the sassy women they fall in love with. Her past lives include baking cookies, slinging shoes, and practicing law. Playing with her imaginary friends is her favorite job so far. Autumn prefers to write her romances on the classy side of dirty, and she’s a sucker for a filthy-talking, demanding alpha male hero. The bigger the better.

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