Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Charmer (Harbor City #2) by Avery Flynn

Don't miss the hot new romantic comedy follow-up to the smash hit The Negotiator...

Hot, filthy rich, and usually irresistible, Hudson Carlyle just met the one woman in Harbor City who’s immune to his legendary charm. Nerdy ant researcher Felicia Hartigan is the unsexiest dresser ever. She trips over air. And she’s in love with totally the wrong man. Hudson can’t stop thinking about her.

His regular moves won’t work here. He’s going to need a new plan, starting with helping her win over the man she thinks she wants. And if in the process she ends up falling for Hudson instead? Even better. Step one, charm her panties off. Step two, repeat step one as frequently as possible.

But what if the famous Carlyle charm finally fails him when he needs it most? Or worse, what if she figures out the one secret he’s kept from everyone, including his family, and walks away for good?

sure to be a run on ottomans in your town.
My Review

So eager to read this follow-up to The Negotiator (my first ARC & blog review), I'll admit to not taking a look at the blurb first.  Such a huge fan of the first book, I of course had very high hopes for the second one.  So I dove right in... only to discover that one of the main characters is in fact, a honeypot ant researcher.  At that, I found myself doing one of those nervous laugh giggle things people do when they are a little thrown & a lot worried. So here it is folks – shooting from the hip on this one…

Told in third person, from dual points of view, this story has it all.  Funny as in laugh out loud “If we’re gonna do this, it has to be like prison visiting hours. No touching.”, charming, & twelve-alarm fire hot – as in “…cheeks pink from a wake-up-the-neighbors orgasm?” yes!  Complete with double life secret identities, super awesome nicknames, two master plans to bring people together to get what they’ve always wanted, a “tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman” after my own heart “Ramble? Her? Never.” & a man so sexy his “ability to charm the females of the world extends to cats,”.  This is an opposites attract romance until it’s not…full of emotion, desire & hope.  Be prepared to get choked up more than once, especially by a surprisingly goose bump moment at the end.  You’ll find honesty & depth, strong friendships & family bonds among all of the sweet & sultry charm in this perfect addition to the Harbor City series.

Again with the funny, witty & sarcastic dialogue I can’t get enough of.  And these characters!  The family bonds in this story are wonderful, for me particularly the one between Hudson & his mom – so heartwarming!  I love Felicia, a Charmer proof woman, who owns her nerd & talks with her hands. And how Hudson has so much passion, & never puts himself first, adore him.  The heat, did I mention the leave you speechless hot-wow they have going on?  Let me just say, I never would have guessed that by the end I would be talking to my husband about buying an ottoman for the living room.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Solace by S.L. Scott

He puts the Bad in bad boy. She puts the Sweet in sweetheart. When a hired gun burns out from the life he’s been living, he returns to the small country town where rumors run rampant and everyone goes to church on Sunday. With sins and secrets trailing Jason Koster home, he is searching for redemption in hopes of living a life less complicated. He didn’t expect to find the only girl he ever loved now a recently single woman running her family farm. Delilah Noelle never needed much, but she wanted Jason Koster—one time love of her life. When misunderstandings tear the former beauty queen and quarterback apart, can a second chance heal their broken hearts? Will the years and circumstances that have passed be too much to bridge the distance to a future together? Solace is a heartwarming small town romance with plenty of action and swoons that will have this hometown hero vying for the affections of his high school sweetheart.

After reading the Kingwood Duet, I hoped for more from SL Scott for Jason’s story & she has delivered!  So much so, that when I found out Jason’s story was coming, I didn’t even read the synopsis before signing up to review.  I highly recommend the Kingwood Duet & that it be read before Solace – see my 5 star reviews for Savage & Savior! 
Solace is a wonderful contemporary second-chance romance.  The story of high school sweet hearts forced apart by deceit & lies.  From Hometown, USA Jason Koster, high school quarter back & homecoming king.  Delilah Noelle, head cheerleader & queen of Jason’s heart.  They were meant to be together, until they weren’t, because “Sometimes you find yourself living a life you never expected.”
Told in first person, from dual perspectives, with flash backs throughout, you will be entranced by the depth of the love these characters shared in the not too distant past.  You’ll be surprised to find what tore them apart & journey with them as they seek renewed faith & search “…for redemption in hopes of living a life less complicated.” This very sexy, emotionally invested & heart felt second chance romance is so hot that the risk for more heart break just might be worth it “…my panties never stood a chance. Poof. Yup, he’s still got it.”, “—bare innocence with a good helping of vixen mixed in.”  Funny & honest, with everything from the close bond between Jason & his mom “Although I’ll always be her baby, as she constantly reminds me, it’s nice that she treats me like I’m a man.”  to a disturbing look at what jealousy can drive people to, terrifying consequences of an abusive relationship & betrayal amongst friends.  Twists & an ending that comes to quickly. 
I enjoyed Jason’s story so very much – Thank you S.L.!  I love his protective nature & her independence.  That together they are “fiery and passionate”.  The cherished friendships & family bonds, so funny, sweet & endearing – leaving you wanting more.  Perhaps a little something for Shelby & Billy…
“…my restless heart finds rest. Comfort. Solace…”
 ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dear Bridget I Want You by Penelope ward and Vi Keeland

Dear Bridget, I’m writing this letter because it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.
So, here goes.
We’re totally wrong for each other. You’re the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I’m just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.
But here’s the thing… for some bloody reason, I can’t stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.
I want you.
The only reason I’m even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don’t believe it’s one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we’re joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.
So, what’s the purpose of this note? I guess it’s a reminder that we’re adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it’s to let you know that I’m leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you’d like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.
No questions asked.
Think about it.
Or don’t.
Whatever you choose.
It’s doubtful I’ll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.
Dear Bridget, I Want You is a funny, super sexy contemporary romance set in Rhode Island, USA.  Dr. Hogue is finishing his residency & gearing up to start his practice back home in Leeds, UK.  Bridget is a ER nurse & single mom, putting her son first & trying to make it from one day to the next. An awkward meeting that turns into potential for so much more... but it's only temporary.
Told in first person from dual points of view, this fast-paced read is laugh out loud funny~ "Now I'm going to get some action tonight, even if it has to come from your e-reader."  & super sexy "The last time my kitchen felt this hot, there was an actual fire." even though “It’s not porn. It’s a romance novel.” with a softer vulnerable side "In for a penny, in for a pound. I might as well have fun with it.".   These characters will work through their mutual attraction, fears of moving on from “…devastating life circumstances.” in their pasts, to possibilities for filling emptiness they didn't realize was there & being brave enough to face insecurities of the unknown for something that could be "Game changing. Life changing."  Because "You can't write a new story for your life when you won't let new characters in.".  Heart string pulling bonds are built & there's even a bit of a twist at the end that left me gobsmacked.
I love that stories from these authors have you invested from the start.  I could practically hear Simons British accent as I read!  I couldn't get enough of the heart-on-your-sleeve, honest banter between Simon & Bridget.  Really enjoyed that Bridget was a real woman, one who's been through more than her share - the kind I think so many of us can relate to. 
"The greatest risk is not taking one."
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK

Sunday, September 17, 2017

King of Code by CD Reiss


From New York Times Bestselling author, CD Reiss, comes a sexy tale of secrets, intrigue, betrayal, and a love worth crossing a continent for.

Taylor Harden is a man on the edge.
The edge of fame. The edge of untold wealth.
The edge of utter humiliation.
He built an unhackable system, and in front of everyone, it’s hacked.
His reputation goes from king to goat in a split second. Boom. Like that.
Some dude in Barrington, USA (AKA Nowhere) has locked down Taylor’s code, and if he doesn’t get it back, he’s going to be wearing a monkey suit for the rest of his life.
Except, this guy? This hacker from Nowhere? He’s not a guy.

Harper Watson’s all woman. And she has a plan for Taylor, his code, and his body.


Taylor, on the verge of becoming a computer King – Harper, the hacker no one saw coming.  From Silicone Valley to Crazy town USA.  Taylor has been hyper focused on attaining the kind of glory, names like Steve Jobs & Bill Gates are world renowned for.  Harper is aimed at using her abilities to saving her forgotten Nowhere, USA hometown & the people in it.  “She was hacking me and I didn’t have any defense against her attack.” 
Told in first person, with some flash backs - this cyber thriller-suspense got off to a bit of a slow start for me.  The ‘tech speak’ was tough to get through at first “I wasn’t wasting my time teaching her how to read metadata.” BUT quickly turned smoothly into an intriguing & mysterious hacker hunt... searching for the who, how & why of the system breach.  You'll wonder who can you be trusted & be surprised by the answer.  Working through a puzzle not only for the hack, but also of the interesting personal connections being made. Take your time so you don’t miss a single detail as you puzzle through this mystery suspense entwined with a unexpectedly seriously hot romance “She gutted my life so I could show her how to f*ck?”, with unexpected attraction, desire, seduction “The body always betrays the mind.”.  It goes deeper, taking a look at the drive for success at the highest level & exploring the possibility that success isn’t the most important thing in the world for everyone -that you can’t lose site of the importance of the true humanity in all of us “My world view was having a head-on collision with the world.”. 
So smartly written. This is my first CD Reiss read & although I was hesitant because of all of the ‘tech speak’, by the end it flowed seamlessly & I find myself appreciating the level of detail & highlighting of awkwardness that comes from being super smart.  Really enjoyed this surprisingly super sexy story of friends & lovers - statistical nerds & kindred spirits~ “I’m a statistical outlier. I love it when you talk dirty.”.
 Hopeful for more of our dark web master, silent partner & financers story...
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wicked Dirty by J. Kenner



Sometimes bad isn’t good enough…


On the outside, Lyle Tarpin is a clean-cut Hollywood actor whose star is on the rise. Inside, he’s battling his own demons, shunning relationships and finding solace in the arms of a string of anonymous women paid very well for their discretion.

But when he’s photographed in a compromising position by an over-eager reporter, the only way to save his career is to say that the woman he was with is his fiancĂ©e. And now Lyle has to play a very public game with the only woman who’s ever managed to get under his skin.

Struggling waitress Sugar Laine agrees to spend one night with Lyle—but only because she’s desperate to save her family home. She never expects that a night of passion will turn into a pretend engagement … or that the heat between them will blossom into love.

But sometimes love has a price.

And now the only question is—can Lyle and Sugar afford to pay it?

Wicked Dirty, the second in the Stark World Series from J. Kenner.  Featuring Lyle aka Iowa “A genuinely nice guy, untarnished by Hollywood’s bs.” & Sugar, as sweet as her name, she simply can’t lose one more thing in her life.  What lengths will they go to for a secure future?
Told in first person from dual perspectives, with flash-back action throughout.  Be prepared for a pretty-woman esque start, & an instant spark between characters in a story riddled with white hot angst.  Funny throughout “Hire an escort, share some literature.”, ghosts of tragic pasts & deep heartache are revealed along with “Desire. Hunger. Longing. Regret. And pain.” before it’s all said & done.  An agreement to do a job that would get them both closer to what they want most, except… “There are always strings. Always consequences.”.  It doesn’t take long for lines to blur “Are things between you real-serious or pretend-serious?” You’ll find incredibly strong friendship bonds & fierce sense of family – “…their lives crossing and overlapping and all of it woven together in a tapestry of friendship and family.”  So much about learning how to live in the present & not sacrifice their own future to hold on to memories of loved ones they hold dear.
“This isn’t romance. It’s a commercial transition. It’s no more emotional than buying a box of paperclips. But it just might be a little more fun.”.  Couldn’t get enough of the chemistry & witty-fun dialog between these characters.  So super sexy – Kenner does it again!  I enjoyed the cross-over characters from Wicked Grind & am looking forward to Noah’s story in Wicked Torture, coming November 2017.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken


Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

My Review

Fraternize is a new sexy contemporary romance from Rachel Van Dyken with a sporty love triangle theme.  Emerson & Miller were best friends that became more only to be pulled apart.  Who knew a sport could have the power to bring them together.

Told in first person from a love triangle point of view - with some flash back action that gives depth to the extent of the best friend-first love relationship between Emerson & Miller. Funny "Go shower. You smell like whiskey and bad choices.", witty, "", "...dirty McDonald's foreplay." & heart felt.  This is a story of what happens to young lovers when the promises they make get broken & they grow up to find each other again.  Grudges are held & blame is placed - only to find that situations aren't always what they seem. "It was perfect. And it was hell."  These characters work through putting the past behind them "...maybe the past was defining our future-just in a way neither of us could have imagined." as they face abandonment issues, emotional wreckage, loss & a love triangle to boot!

I swear I smiled through 90% of this book.  The friendship & love between characters, their respect & protective nature, the way they persevered through difficult times, the athlete/guy code - the super hot angst UGH!  Rachel has it all in this funny, sexy & heartwarming take on young love, moving on & growing up.  I'm hoping for a chance for a certain guy & a certain girl to have a story of their own sometime soon... "Where one door closes, a freaking garage door opens."

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Echoes in the Storm by Max Henry


“Behind those eyes, a battle rages. One that’s not fought overseas with guns and tanks, but one that wreaks havoc in the homeland with harshly spoken words and misguided beliefs.”

One week is all we were supposed to share. One week as strangers. Yet you became so much more.

You were the echo in my storm.

All the little things you did differently irked me. I thought it meant we couldn’t get along, that there was no chance we’d work out. But when it came time for me to leave, you know what I figured out?

They were the faint call of home, lost on the wind and the roar of thunder. It was you calling me, hoping I’d hear you and find my way out of the dark that I had lost myself in when I shut off to survive.

You were my echo. My call back.

And fuck it all if I didn’t find home in the end. 

My Review
Echoes in the Storm is a heart wrenching Military themed contemporary romance from Max Henry.  Set in New Zealand, Duke is doing his brother a favor & ends up stranded falling into a chance meeting with Cammie who turns out to be "a sweet surprise on what's turning out to be a hell of a day.", a day that is fated to change everything for the both of them.

Told in first person from dual perspectives, with a few flash-backs, this is a fast paced romantic story of two strangers who have experienced some of the worst things this life can deal out - altering them forever. "Grief was an unforgiving bride, sweeping in and taking you for all you had."  They both struggle with deep grief, loss, guilt, & sadness & are set on punishing themselves in order to never forget what they have lost. Bent on the idea "I don't deserve to ever have that kind of love again."  Stuck "...spending more time looking in the rear-view ..." living with ghosts of their pasts. Only to find that what they really need is to find their way to salvation, healing, face fears & a path to move forward. "For those who's past mistakes weigh heavy on their heart. Your failures do not define you, nor should your regrets. For without these, how are we to grow?" This story is deep & heart-warming, but also funny & sweet & romantic & oh so sexy "It's soft, sweet, and so damn sensual."

This is my first Max Henry read & I'm not sure what I was expecting based solely on the blurb, but this book delivered so much more. I love Cammie, her verbal diarrhea & how she is so caring in spite of "...enduring a personal hell of her own...". Duke & his sexy/carnal 'say it like it is' ways; his ability to put it all out there. Through it all, they still have hope. I loved the connection between these characters that seems fast from a timeline perspective, but is written it in such a way that you forget Cammie & Duke are strangers at the start.  The way this story unfolds "People don't come into your life without purpose; they always have a role to play." just couldn't get enough.

"I'm still here," he murmurs. Three little words, and he seals the hole in my heart." 
WOW & I'm done... because WOW.


ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.


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