Thursday, August 31, 2017

Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely


BLURB
Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.
Don't let the fact that I'm the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I'm only a player on the field. I've kept my pants zipped all season long -- and it has been long -- because nothing's more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner's recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who's dead set on winning more than a date with me.
Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.
She's my best friend's sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don't even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she's my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he's negotiating my contract. Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is -- I've been riding the bench for years.
How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?
MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!
My Review
 
Lauren Blakely does it again with Most Valuable Playboy, a contemporary sporty romance set in San Francisco, during the height of football season. With the season & a new contract on the line, Cooper can’t risk distraction from the career he’s married to – football is all!  Violet is a hardworking salon owner who also happens to be Coop’s best-friends younger sister.  Enjoy the fun ride with this quarter back & hometown girl help each other out with a fake relationship that is about to get real. 
Told in first person, in classic Lauren Blakely style – from the guys point of view, this is a fast, sexy & sweet read.  This fresh take on friends to lovers romance is unbearably sexy “All heat, and desire, and something more.”, funny “TV tongue, not porno tongue.” & sweet “A good ache. A warm ache.”.  These characters have known each other their whole lives, but it takes a game of “…boyfriend-girlfriend Jeopardy…” for them to get to know each other more than ever before “…don’t know what’s happening, but I also know exactly what’s happening. Something.”.  A story about deciding what you want to commit to, making room for more & taking a chance, risking it all “For real.”
I love all of the football reference riddled inner monologues!  “I call an audible in my head, though, changing the play right here on the line of scrimmage.  I reach forward, grab her free arm, and tug her back.”  I always enjoy so much the pop-culture references –“The little pony play didn’t work. She still wants my Rainbow Dash.” & “Crash Davis school of media relations” These characters are so witty, funny & sweet.  Loved this book.  “Every. Single. Word.”  Can’t wait for Jones’ story – Most Likely to Score

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Mended (Broken Trilogy #2) by J.L. Drake



Savannah takes control…

Tired of all the lies and deception Savannah decides that she must face things on her own. As she seeks to find out who she really is she still must deal with the fallout from her past.

Her fragile hold on her new life slowly gives her the confidence to move ahead. What she really needs is right in front of her waiting for the right moment to prove his love.


Mended is the third & final book of J.L. Drakes romantic suspense trilogy~ Broken.  As the story continues… Savi is “starting to mend…” working to find herself “I won’t back down on living life. It’s painful, but I know I need this time for me. I need to be whole.” but risks ending up lonely & pushing those she holds most dear away.  Now as she tries to sort out her life, she still has to face down her enemies one last time. 
 
Told in third person from dual perspectives, this steady, page turning mystery thriller romance starts where book two left off – “I’m just trying to get through this so I can figure out what I want to do with what’s left of my life.”  This installment shifts focus almost entirely to the relationship & future for Savi & Logan, while dealing with all that the past has entailed "As much as I hate my past, it brought me to all of you. I'm incredibly lucky for that.".  They search for belonging, a fresh start & trust among new friends & old, love – new & old, this story will give you a couple new twists & an ending where chapters can finally be closed.  The strength of the love between these characters continues to be tested as they give time & space & understanding not so their love can fade, but grow beyond what they thought possible  “Life is too short to float, so sink a little and start living.”  Above & beyond the first two books - "This. Is. Incredibly. Sexy." The last of the trilogy & the perfect “Home is where the heart is.” ending.
 
I love that this trilogy has grown a family among strangers under the most traumatic (& action packed) of circumstances "First, I'm seeing family, not just a friend."  The instant connection between Savi & Logan & the journey of the love they share.  A great blend of action & romance over the three books, summed up here.

 “He reaches deep down in my soul, and any damage left in my heart is finally mended.”

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hate to Love You by Tijan



Rule
#1: No hot guys.

It might sound ridiculous. I get it. It kind of is, but college was supposed to be
my sanctuary. It was my place to start over. The rumors, the whispers, and the
jealousy I endured through high school would all be gone.
No one would know me at college.


Rule
#2: No drama.
I’d major in pre-law. I’d make a few loyal friends. Everything would be easy
breezy. No one was going to use me or hurt me. I wouldn’t let them.



Rule
#3: New year. New place. New me.

Right?
Wrong.
And all because of Shay Coleman.
Football captain and quarterback, he was the big guy on campus. The cocky guy in my political science class with a smirk. I hated him on sight . . .

. . . and he was about to break all my rules.


MY REVIEW

Hate to love you by Tijan is a sexy contemporary romance & coming of age type story.  Kennedy Carter is a freshman with a plan for exactly how college is going to go.  That is until she meets Shay Coleman, star quarterback who’s just rolling with the college scene in his junior year.  Two very different people, having very different college experiences… throwing them together makes for quite a tale.
Told in first person this book is a fast read – too fast! Funny, sexy, romantic with very serious topics (rape/stalking), this story has a little bit of everything the college experience can be for any one of us.  A story about working so hard to stick to rules made up to protect your heart, rules that end up closing people off in the process.  “Being alone. Not being included, not getting involved, those were my areas. Hanging out with guys and not flirting or dating them too.”  Laugh out loud witty banter, building of loyal friendships (in spite of themselves), unexpected moments that will make you gasp, & heart wrenching moments “Emotional hangovers were a thing…” that all lead to fist pumping in the air for healing & overcoming vulnerabilities, trust issues, brokenness & fears.  Sweet quirkiness, “This was light and fun and sexy and I was forgetting how much I hated the guy.” & oh so sexy “My head was filled with these dark and swirly feelings. Want. Desire. Lust.”  Surprisingly hard core at times “You might want to stop bullshitting yourself.” – to get to the point where you can honestly say “…we could handle anything.”
I love Kennedy’s mini-internal monologs “…I almost groaned. Almost. I held it in.” & the push-pull between these characters - “I still hate you.”…”I know. I hate you too.” We hated each other again. Everything was right again.”  Couldn't get enough of Shay's no BS temperament, the family support, the friendships that were made – the way they shield & protect each other - WOW.  And Casey – can I just throw a high-five out there right now... GREAT supporting character. 
“Shay’s Flashcards of Love…” = total book boyfriend crush.
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK



Sunday, August 20, 2017

Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

 
From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

BLURB

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

MY REVIEW
 
This complete standalone by Penelope Ward is funny & sexy, but also has a surprisingly serious side.  Landon the food truck owner & Rana former tomboy turned the professional belly dancer were so close as early teens, but now, 13 years later they couldn’t be living more different lives, in more different places – Sunny California versus Misty Michigan.  The time apart has changed them to their very core & they both have secrets they are hiding behind.
Told in first person from dual perspectives, I went into my first solo Penelope Ward read expecting funny-sexy-light & was surprised by what I expected from the blurb to find funny – “That old perv had become my guardian angel on Earth.” “My cheeks actually hurt from smiling.” & very steamy sexy “That was not just kissing. It won’t ever be just kissing with you. Ever.” to serious “…I think you have this false impression that the sunshine somehow equals happiness. The sun always goes down, Rana.  It can’t mask everything.” This steady read is about two kids who go through their own very different coming of age years, lost to emotions that stem from circumstances out of their control.  A friends to lovers story that encompasses life lessons needed for these characters to forgive, love & move forward – “Each tear that fell represented the regret pouring out of me, regret for not only my past mistakes but for what living in fear was causing me to miss out on right now in the present.” Expect topics ranging from dysfunctional families to adoption, body dysmorphia & more...  Sordid pasts reveal unexpected twists to a story that “was a lot like the Rubik’s Cube – colorful and complicated.”
I loved the long distance virtual dating & the honesty of these characters as they bare all to one another.  The connection that was never truly lost & only intensifies as the story unfolds.  I smiled every time Rana opened another note from Landon –capturing this story so well… “P.S. Maybe it’s not really a mistake if you learn from it.”

“Tell me something funny…”
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK
 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Havoc (Moonshine Task Force #3) by Laramie Briscoe



Blurb
When a marriage of convenience turns into the passion of a lifetime…


Holden “Havoc” Thompson
My job as the leader of the Moonshine Task Force is my life. I eat, breathe, and sleep it. The men under my command mean the world to me. Knowing they count on my guidance has kept my demons at bay for longer than I care to admit.
The control I have over myself is an iron fist that sometimes threatens to squeeze the life out of me. What I want more than anything is to live again – let go of the hurt smothering every bit of light I have in this darkness.
I don’t expect it to come in the form of a Moonshiner’s daughter needing my protection.

Leighton Strather

My whole life has been defined by who my family is. In the state of Alabama, we’re number one with a target on our backs. The danger and prestige isn’t for me. I don’t care about the money, and I care too much about the families we’ve ruined.

My brother and my dad are proud of it. They wear their arrest records like a badge of honor. Me? I want as far away from the lifestyle as I can get.
It’s the only reason I ask Holden to marry me. At least that's what I tell myself.
I never expect his whispered yes to cause such upheaval in my life. Even though I resist, I learn some havoc is good – and this one? It’s a whirlwind of lust, hope, and love and all I can do is let it sweep me away.


My Review
Havoc, the third in the Moonshine Task Force series & first read for me.  Although these can be read as standalones, it's clear that if I'd read the others first, I would have been able to appreciate the cross over characters & the backgrounds of Holden & Leighton more.  That being said, I still enjoyed this fast paced, super sexy contemporary romance. 

 Told in first person, from dual points of view this is a story of long burning desire with the chance to turn into love. “I’ve come to care for her, come to be her friend, and I know there’s nothing I won’t do for her.” Uncertain of what their future holds, Leighton’s life “…has just changed in a big way. An over six-foot, two-hundred pound, heavily tattooed kinda way.”  Full of testosterone, funny & super hot sexy, “…if you have to run, know at some point I’ll chase you.  Kisses like this don’t happen every day.” I was pleasantly surprised by the twisty mystery reveal at the end. 

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
AMAZON US / UK




Monday, August 14, 2017

Shattered (Broken Trilogy #2) by J.L. Drake




After witnessing the murder of her lover and the heartbreaking loss of their unborn child, Savannah wants to end it all.
Then she is given a second chance at love. Sadly, even when life hands you second chances it doesn’t always follow that things will work out the way you want them to.
Some lies can just be too painful to move on from. What’s worse than being Broken? Being shattered…




Shattered is the second book in J.L. Drakes romantic suspense trilogy~ Broken.  As the story continues… Savi struggles to come to terms with loss of what she’s grown to love so deeply “My heart is shattered forever…” as her new found family look for answers to ensure her safety & their own. 

Told in third person from dual perspectives, this steady, page turning mystery thriller starts where book one left off – you’ll get the answers you were looking for with a few surprises thrown your way.  Trust & survival, betrayal, friendship & love, this story will have you gasping as answers to so many twists & turns are revealed.  “The snowflake…that’s what I’m holding onto.” The line goes dead.  The strength of the love between these characters is tested as they realize the need to find answers for themselves, all the while still sexy & loving, “you’re like a dream I never want to wake up from.”.  The second of the trilogy, you will be ready for more.

I love the focus of this book as it shifts strongly toward trust, moving on & growing in search for inner peace.  Can’t get enough of the protective nature & love between friends & family.  "Know I love you and will do anything to protect you, and when this is all over I intend to make you smile for the rest of your life."

 “My life has been shattered, and it’s time I pick up the pieces”

 Looking forward to the final installment - Mended book three!

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon US/UK



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Savior (The Kingwood Duet #2) by S.L. Scott



Blurb

Everything is not as it seems.

Alexander IV has succeeded to the throne of the billion-dollar Kingwood Empire, but the people he thought he could trust aren't allies.

They're enemies.

Everyone he cares about is at risk.

Decisions--SACRIFICES--must be made.

What will he do to protect the people he loves? Will Sara Jane live or die?

Find out NOW in this EPIC conclusion to the bestselling The Kingwood Duet. Savage, book 1 in the series, should be read first and is LIVE on Amazon.
  
My Review

Savior, the second book of The Kingwood Duet, is a Romantic Suspense/Mystery Thriller - true epic conclusion to the duet.  Savage, book 1 of the series must be read before.  Alexander Kingwood continues his fight against a world that seems bent on destroying him.  Searching for answers he may never get, by asking questions that put lives at risk, dealing with his anguish the only way he knows how - revenge, all the while praying for one thing - survival for his queen.  "She's the reason I breathe, the reason I wake up in the morning. She's everything that matters in my life. I can't lose her."  Sara Jane & her beautiful heart - is she strong enough "Her innocence cloaked the woman beneath, the bold and strong woman..." For King & his Queen - the Kingwood's "only exist because the other does."  "Our story may not be pretty, but it's still ours..." 

The first quarter of this read gave me exactly what I'd been waiting for. "The dead don't care how we mourn. This is a show for everyone else." The second quarter was a slow build to something I never could've expected. "We're not invincible. Actions have consequences."  By the mid-point - wow, I mean "shut up! & wow & NO!" "This can't be happening. This can't be how it ends."  Riddled with flashbacks & told in first person, from dual perspectives, this is an emotional roller coaster of heart gutting loss, sadness, hopelessness, guilt, pain, fear, regret, forgiveness, all wrapped up in a love story for the ages. "A love this extraordinary can't be contained to one lifetime." Mysteries will be solved, only to lead to "a whole new mystery...", & new questions. "...two souls fated to fight a battle we may never win." Questions are answered, leading to more - the kind you never see coming "We signed a deal with the devil before we read the contract. We'll take this journey together, because it's too late to turn back now."  - As with Savage - Expect surprises even after the mystery is revealed with more, twists & turns, & an ending that comes to quickly - don't let yourself read this to fast! In the end, ALL is revealed.

 "I always knew you'd be my savior."
 
S.L. Scott has finished this duet beautifully.  She draws you in, builds upon the story, gets you invested further than you can imagine.  This epic love story is one that I will revisit & recommend to every reader.  The love, romance, friendships that make true family, mystery & intrigue, can't get enough.  I really got attached to Jason/Eric & would love a spin off for him & the mystery that his character exudes...come on S.L.!

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. 
AMAZON US / UK 

 


Monday, August 7, 2017

The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde


BLURB

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

MY REVIEW
 
The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde is a Hot Contemporary Romance focuses on Austin Wright.  Part of her Wright series, this is a standalone with cross-over characters from The Wright Brother & The Wright Boss.  Austin, the alcoholic jackass of the Wright family had his chance with small town Ohio girl, Julia... "It had been nice, but it hadn't been right." 
 
Told in first person from dual perspectives, this steady page turner has more to offer than steamy romance.  Although "Preferably with a lot of mind-blowing sex." & fun definitely play a part, this story has more depth than first meets the eye.  Through love & loss, both broken in their own way, Austin & Julia are working to fix each other & to find a way to fix themselves.  Close friendships "Girlfriends are here to cheer you on and commiserate when sh*t goes down.  Also, for Buffy marathons, ice cream dates, and shopping."  & family bonds shine thorough this multi-layered story line that will have you blushing & laughing out loud one moment & gasping in shock, teary-eyed in the next - twists you'll never see coming.  "...you never know how much time you have together.  Forgiving someone is easier than living without them."
 
 I was so happily surprised by the way Linde beautifully combined a hot romance with gut-wrenching, heartstring pulling life consuming tragedy & ability to overcome addiction.
Plus, who couldn't adore a story that includes a pink-sequined unicorn named Waffle? 
 
 ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
 
Amazon US/UK
 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Enrage (Eagle Elite, #8) by Rachel Van Dyken

Enrage_ebook_HiRes

Enrage is the next standalone in the international best selling mafia series, Eagle Elite.

Part of a world I loathe.
Part of a family who hates me more than I hate myself.
Living with a girl who reminds me of my darkness.
I'm. In. Hell.
Also known as the Cosa Nostra.
My life was over the minute I stepped off that plane.
Son to a murdered mob boss.
Heir to a throne of murder and lies.
My name is Dante Nicolasi.
And there will be blood.



Holy crap.  How was this my first Rachel Van Dyken book?  Well better late than never – I’m officially hooked!  In Enraged, Dante cames to Chicago, to train with the five families “They owned the world.  And the world knew it.”  Being groomed for his role as mafia royalty “…he was big enough. Strong enough. Scary enough.” Beautiful & haunting “Like the god of war.”.  El, brought under protection of the Sicilian Mafia after being taken from the Russians – is just trying to stay numb, while physical wounds are healing on the outside, she is “…bruised, beaten, bloody beyond all recognition.” on the inside.  If they can't save themselves, maybe they can save each other.
This book is as witty & funny “I had a long list of things that I wanted to accomplish that scool year.  Survival was at the top, right along with a nice heavy cloak of invisibility.” as it is sexy "No boxers. No briefs. Heaven.", violent & disturbing – Hitting the ground running, this story, told in first person from dual perspectives is the kind you won’t be able to put down, but will wish you did, just to make it last longer.  Twists & turns that will keep you guessing as all the pieces start coming together - so much revealed!!!  Loyalty, honor & betrayal, this frenemies to lovers tale has everything a mafia family promises - “If there was anything the mafia had taught me, it was that when you belonged to blood you were protected by it.” 
I love Dante & the way he ripples with anger, strength & sexuality all seeping from every pour.  To El, he “was easily the most beautiful and horrible person…” she’d ever known  “Dante wasn’t just angry.  He was anger itself.”  El, oh how I love her - she's been through so much & is stronger than she knows.  A girl who had to grow up into a one-woman army.  The protection & love found with "People who loved as hard as they warred." SO GOOD!!! Knowing that this book would likely have been even better had I read the others first, I have to say it was still such a wonderful ride!  To hard core fans - don't be surprised if you find yourself holding your breath the last hour of this read - I did! 
Absolute MUST READ!

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon US/UK


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