Review: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

BittersweetBittersweet
Series: True North, #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


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There was nothing bitter about Bittersweet. I savored every moment of this fun, sweet story. It was witty, sexy and I didn’t want to put it down. In fact, I didn’t. I read it all in one night. That’s how much fun it was.

Interesting

I loved the main characters. Griff was this gruff, incredibly sexy farmer who didn’t have time for a woman in his life. He was too busy trying to keep his family’s farm from going under. I loved his loyalty to his family and his gruffness. The gruffness was super sexy. Audrey had a lot to prove to herself and her mother. She was gung-ho on making herself a culinary success. She was willing to do what it took to get her own restaurant. Behind her determination was sweet woman who just wanted to be happy in life.

Audrey and Griff’s may have been new to me, but they weren’t new to each other. They shared a couple of hook-ups in college and their sexual chemistry was off the charts. I loved all of their witty banter. They had me laughing several times. It was fun to follow them as they discovered they weren’t just a casual hook-up and deal with the problems that made for them.

Audrey and Griff weren’t the only cool characters in Bittersweet. I loved every one of the characters Sarina Bowen introduced us to. Griff’s family was one of those large families I always fall in love with in books. They joked around with and antagonized each other, but deep down they would do anything for their family. I also loved the farm helpers. Jude and Zach were incredible characters and I can’t wait to see them  in future books!

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Bittersweet had everything I love in a contemporary romance. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves this genre or is looking for a fun beach read this summer. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Release Tour & *Review*: Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennet

Title: Sugar Daddy (Sugar Bowl, Book #1)
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: May 24, 2016


Synopsis:
Sela Halstead lost her innocence in a way that no sixteen-year-old should ever have to endure. She’s spent years trying to forget that night even while wondering about the identities of the monsters who brutalized her—until a telltale tattoo flashes across Sela’s TV screen. The incriminating ink belongs to Jonathon Townsend, the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a website that matches rich older men with impressionable young women. Obsessed with revenge, Sela infiltrates Townsend’s world, only to come face-to-face with a tantalizing complication: Beckett North, his charismatic businesspartner. The tech mastermind behind The Sugar Bowl, Beck always gets what he wants, in business and in bed. And yet, for a man who’s done every dirty thing imaginable, there’s something about the naïve, fresh-faced Sela that sparks his hottest fantasies. Because with her, it’s not just about sex. Beck opens up to her in ways he never has with other girls. So why does he get the feeling that she’s hiding something? In a world of pleasure and power, the shocking truth could turn them against each other—or bind them forever. Note: Sugar Daddy ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story continues in Sugar Rush and Sugar Free!

Goodreads

Review:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

For someone who’s never read a book by Sawyer Bennett before, Sugar Daddy was an amazing introduction! It was smart, sexy and fast-paced. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one sitting.

Sela was a complex character. She had been through something horrible, but had such strength and determination. Having been raped as a teenager, Sela was out for revenge after seeing a tattoo that identified her attacker. She was determined to make him pay. What Sela didn’t count on was falling for his best friend. Beck brought out things in Sela she never dreamed were possible.

Sela wasn’t alone in her self-discovery, though. Beck never planned on falling for someone. He was happy with one night stands. He never expected to want more with Sela. Beck found himself wanting a relationship and everything that went with it.

The only problem with Beck and Sela’s romance was Beck’s friend and business partner, J.T. Sela had to decide which was more important, her need for revenge or her relationship with Beck. The secrets she was keeping from Beck had the power to destroy their relationship.

Sugar Daddy had a little bit of everything going for it. It was a sweet and tender romance, but it was also suspenseful. I loved the tender moments between Sela and Beck. It was really cool that Sela and Beck both found things about themselves they didn’t know before because of their unconventional relationship. But I was constantly on edge waiting for J.T. or Beck to discover Sela’s secrets. It was so much fun! And dang! That cliffhanger! I need the next book like now!!!

If you enjoy books with a lot of sexy time and a little suspense, you should definitely pick up Sugar Daddy.

Synopsis:Purchase Sugar Daddy:

Amazon –  B&N – iBooks – Google Play – Kobo

 Pre-Order the remaining Sugar Bowl books now!

Sugar Rush (releasing 8/2/16):

Amazon – B&N – iBooks – Google Play – Kobo

Sugar Free (releasing 10/11/16):

Amazon – B&N – iBooks – Google Play – Kobo

About the Author:

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Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions. A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone. Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

Connect with Sawyer:

Facebook – Twitter –  Instagram – Goodreads

Sign up for Sawyer’s newsletter:

http://sawyerbennett.com/signup/

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed. I could only come up with four books this week. Even then I was kind of grasping at straws. Sorry.


1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Okay, so I admit I loved this series when I read it. The writing may not have been superb, but I was swept away by Ana’s emotions. It’s only been in the past year that I’ve started to think different about it. I blame that on 1) the movie and 2) Grey. The movie ruined it for me because without Ana’s inner dialog, it was all about Christian wanting to have rough sex with her. The feelings were completely lost. Grey contributed to the ruin by letting me in Christian’s head. I’m sorry, but he was a terrible person before Ana. His love for her may have redeemed him, but not in my eyes. So, I don’t know that I would love this series the way I did originally if I were to reread it.


2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

 

Mare Barrow Bone Marrow was so annoying in Glass Sword that I think I’ve pretty much forgotten how much I originally enjoyed Red Queen. High hopes she’s less annoying in book 3.


3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When I first read it, I thought it was a fun story about a girl going to school in Paris. The more I’ve thought about it since I read it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I hated Anna’s relationship with Étienne. She purposefully went after a guy who was in a relationship. That bugs me.


 4. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

I gave Slammed 5 stars because I loved Colleen Hoover’s writing, even though I hated how Will and Lake’s relationship started. While I still would say this book is really good, I might take away a star for the way the relationship started. It’s one of my least favorite relationship tropes.


Were any of these on your list?

Review: Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake

26067931Big Easy Temptation

Series: The Perfect Gentlemen, #3

Authors: Shayla Black, Lexi Blake

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Note: I received this book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series present the third scintillating novel featuring the privileged, wealthy, wild men of Creighton Academy—the Perfect Gentlemen.

Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland…

Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch for the only man she’s ever loved.

Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive…


  ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


I haven’t read the first two books in The Perfect Gentlemen series, but I have a feeling it would have been helpful to have read them prior to reading Big Easy Temptation. The background and storylines of all of the gentlemen would have been helpful. That being said, I was still able to read it and understand what was going on.

The writing in Big Easy Temptation was very good. It was a dual point of view story and both Holland and Dax had distinctive voices. I also couldn’t tell when the authors switched back and forth. It could easily have been written by one author. The plot was mysterious and kept me guessing.

Dax was a man who grew up with many privileges but chose to work hard. He was devoted to his family and friends. I loved his cocky and almost forceful nature. Dax went for what he wanted and wasn’t likely to take no for an answer.

Holland was sweet and intelligent, but she also had a lot of strength. She was willing to put the safety of those she loved before her heart.

Dax and Holland’s relationship was my favorite part of the story. They were both strong personalities, so their interactions were filled with intensity. When they clashed, neither was willing to give in. When they loved, they burnt brightly. It was easy to see why their separation didn’t leave much room for them to bond with other people.

The one major thing I didn’t enjoy about this book was the way it was set up. Between the Prologue and Chapter 1, the book abruptly flipped back and forth between three different time frames. Since I was new to the series and was still trying to figure out the characters’ relationships, it confused me a bit. From the first chapter on, the book was set in the past. It mostly set up the present and I found it slower paced than I would have liked. I had to keep pushing myself to read. The second half of the book was set in present day. I loved this part of the book. It was fast-paced, exciting and steamy. I wish the book had focused more on the present and less on the past.

Overall, I enjoyed the mystery and romance of Big Easy Temptation. I would recommend readers who are interested in Big Easy Temptation start with book one to get the most out of the story.

 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Coast by Jay McLean

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COVER REVEAL

COAST (Kick Push 2) – by Jay McLean

Series: The Road #3, Kick Push #2

Release Date: June 7, 2016

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BLURB

One life-changing summer.

One boy.

The boy.

The boy who offered me safe touches and heart-stopping smiles – smiles he shared with his son.

We filled our days with porch-step kisses,

filled our ears with laughter,

filled our hearts with love.

Deep, soul-aching, desperate love.

But love is misleading.

It’s an invisible, fleeting moment.

Somewhere between false adoration and pure hatred comes an emotion, a vulnerable need, a single desire.

It lives within the ones who miss it, who crave it,

who know better than to expect it.

Love is relentless.

Even when that love turns to hate, turns to loathing,

turns to pain.

Love should heal you.

But it can also break you.

Believe me, I know…

Because I’m Becca Owens – a broken girl…

…And he’s Josh Warden – the boy who broke me.

GOODREADS LINK:

http://bit.ly/1TYQatD

CoastbyJayMcLean

PREORDER LINKS

Amzn → http://amzn.to/1TgZ9q6

iBooks → http://apple.co/1TgZeKi

Kobo → http://bit.ly/1TgZlW8

B&N → http://bit.ly/1XyMt0O

JayMcLeanKPandCoast1-Web

ALSO AVAILABLE IN THIS SERIES

#1 Kick Push

Add to GR → http://bit.ly/1FSYTTZ

AUTHOR BIO

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Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel. For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film, or television, please contact her agent, Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.

AUTHOR LINKS Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter |

GIVEAWAY – $50 Amazon Gift Cardhttp://gvwy.io/27eo9s7

Review: Up In Flames by Abbi Glines

25840037Up In Flames

Series: Rosemary Beach, #13

Author: Abbi Glines

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling Rosemary Beach series ends with a bang when the troubled character readers love to hate gets her very own happily ever after in this eagerly anticipated and overwhelmingly requested story. Known for causing problems for everyone in Rosemary Beach, Nan has been growing up lately, and she’s finally taking center stage—and finding love with the man she least expected.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


I haven’t read all of the Rosemary Beach novels, but I have read several and there’s always been one character that’s interested me: Nan. She’s the character everyone loves to hate. She’s beautiful, impeccably dressed and a complete bitch. Nan’s made almost everyone in Rosemary Beach’s life hell at one point or another. I wondered how Abbi Glines would be able to make me fall in love with evil Nan.

All Nan wants is for someone to love her. She’s created a protective suit of armor around herself with her appearance and bitchy attitude, but when it comes down to it, she wants someone to love her as much as they love her sister-in-law, Blair, or her half-sister, Harlow. Nan’s hoping Major is going to be the man to sweep her off her feet, but she knows she doesn’t have his complete attention.

When Nan decides Major might not feel the way she does, she takes off for Vegas. In Vegas, she finds herself suddenly involved in an affair with the ruggedly handsome and mysterious Gannon. He brings out a side of Nan she never knew she had.

Returning home to Rosemary Beach after her intense time with Gannon leaves Nan feeling adrift. She can’t stop thinking about her experience with Gannon and how he made her feel. On top of that, Major is doing everything he can to woo Nan back. Nan will have to decide which man she truly desires.

I wish I could say that Up In Flames made me love Nan. It didn’t. I did come to like her, but I didn’t love her. I didn’t truly get to know her and her motives well enough in this book to fall in love with her. I wanted to connect with her character more than I did.

What I enjoyed about Up In Flames was the plot.  The Major-Nan-Gannon love triangle made the book. I liked knowing what Nan didn’t and watching the entire situation unfold. A little bit of mystery and suspense added so much to the love story.

What kept Up In Flames from being a 5 star read for me was the connection I didn’t make with Nan and Gannon’s sexual preferences. Even though Nan was down for his dark and dirty wants, I found them to be a turn off and bordering on creepy.

Overall, Up In Flames was a fun book to read and a great ending to a much-loved series. Fans are sure to enjoy it. Readers unfamiliar with the Rosemary Beach novels will want to start at the beginning of the series to truly enjoy this book.

Review: Hustler by Megan Quinn & Jessica Prince

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Authors: Megan Quinn, Jessica Prince

Publication Date: May 9, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I make my living as a hustler, and I’m great at it.
I don’t have a single tell and I use that to my advantage to manipulate any situation.
I’ve always known what a person is about to do before they’ve even decided.

That is, until I met Penelope.
I can’t get a read on her, and what’s worse, she doesn’t want anything to do with me.
Which only makes me want her more.

Now I’m in for the hardest hustle of my life.
Somehow I have to convince her she belongs with me.
Good thing I’m always up for a challenge.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I first saw Hustler on My Tiny Obsessions. Cristina gave it such a great review and made it sound so funny that I hurried right over to NetGalley to request a copy. I’m so happy I did!

When I first started reading Hustler, I thought “Oh no. Not another cocky millionaire playboy with commitment issues.” There’s so many of those stories out there and they all start to feel the same after a while. I shouldn’t have worried, though. Hustler was a story that stood out from the crowd.

What made Hustler stand out was that it was hilarious. I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. My husband kept looking over at me like I was crazy. I couldn’t help it. The banter between Nell and Gavin was just so funny! I loved how the more she tried to push him away, the more he tried to persuade her. And not only was their banter funny, but they were funny on their own. Nell and her friends and Gavin and his were so much fun. I loved that the laughter carried throughout the entire story.

This was a romance, though; it wasn’t all about the laughs. Gavin and Nell had an instant attraction to each other. It wasn’t insta-love, but it was insta-Iwanttoscrewthisperson. Their romance slowly built around their need for each other until it became love. It was so much fun to read. Although, I do have to admit some of Gavin’s moves to get what he wanted were a little over the top and borderline sexual harassment, but he was a cocky millionaire so I guess I expected his dominance.

Another really cool thing about Hustler was the setting. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a story set in the poker world of Las Vegas before. It made the billionaire aspect of the story feel fresh and new.

Oh! One more thing to mention. The cover on this book has NOTHING to do with the story. No orgies involved. 😉

Hustler was a very fun and sexy romance that New Adult fans will love. I highly recommend it! I’m crossing my fingers that there are to be books for Gavin and Nell’s friends because I am already invested in their possible relationships!