The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon

The Billionaire Bachelor
Series:
Billionaire Bad Boys, #1
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

Indecent Proposal

Manwhore. That’s what the board of directors-and the tabloids-thinks of billionaire bachelor Reese Crane. Ordinarily he couldn’t care less, but his playboy past is preventing the board from naming him CEO of Crane Hotels. Nothing-and no one-will keep him from his life’s legacy. They want a settled man to lead the company? Then that’s exactly what he’ll give them.

Merina Van Heusen will do anything to get her parents’ funky boutique hotel back-even marry cold-as-ice-but-sexy-as-hell Reese Crane. It’s a simple business contract-six months of marriage, absolute secrecy, and the Van Heusen is all hers again. But when sparks fly between them, their passion quickly moves from the boardroom to the bedroom. And soon Merina is living her worst nightmare: falling in love with her husband . . .


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


The Billionaire Bachelor was a fresh take on the billionaire love story theme. Yes, there was a billionaire. And yes, there was a woman who was kind of on the poor side. What made The Billionaire Bachelor different was that the billionaire and his love interest were enemies.

Merina Van Heusen is devastated when she learns her parents have sold their aging hotel to Crane Hotels. Her beloved, historic hotel is going to be renovated into a sleek, modern one. Merina can’t stand the thought and decides to take on the owner of Crane Hotels.

Reese Crane knows what’s good for business and giving into Merina’s demands isn’t it. Even if she is a hot businesswoman. But when Reese’s future as CEO of Crane Hotels is threatened by his womanizing ways, he can only think of one woman to help him get what he wants. All Reese has to do is offer Merina what she wants in order to get her to marry him until he’s named CEO.

Merina can’t believe she’s entertaining the idea of marrying Reese, but she’d do anything to get her beloved hotel back. It’s just six months of her life…

Jessica Lemmon is a pro at writing entertaining contemporary romances. She always succeeds in making me fall in love with her characters. The Billionaire Bachelor was no different. I loved Merina. She was a sweet and feisty woman. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. It was so much fun to read her banter back and forth with Reese.

At first, Reese seemed cold-hearted and money oriented like you would expect a billionaire to maybe be. But he quickly showed his true colors. I really enjoyed the way Merina brought out his fun and sexy side.

The chemistry between Reese and Merina was hot! I was fanning myself constantly! But what even better than their scorching chemistry was their connection with each other. The way they fell for each other by playing pretend was so fun. I loved the transition they made from enemies to lovers.

I know Contemporary Romance readers and fans of Jessica Lemmon’s writing are really going to enjoy this story! It’s such a fun take on both the enemies to lovers and the billionaire romance tropes.

 

Release Day 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.

The BFF Book Tag

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I was tagged by Beth @ Reading Every Night for The BFF Book Tag. This one’s a fun one, so thanks Beth!


Setting the Example: A pair/group of book BFFs that you love

People who have read Us will understand this choice. There’s a few scenes towards the end where Wes’ teammates show how good of friends and how supportive they are. It came to mind when I saw this prompt. I know there are a lot of other great friendships out there, but I loved these guys. Especially Blake!


Childhood Bestie: Which book character would you have liked to grow up with?

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I just want to be friends with Kate and Gus. Growing up with them would have been awesome. I think I could have pulled off the whole laid back, beachy Californian thing. I should have listed them above.


Frenemy: Which book character would bring out your competitive side?

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Charlie’s a great choice for me. I used to play basketball in high school, so I can totally imagine facing off with her. She would totally kick my butt, though!


Fashion Guru: Who would be the bestie whose closet you’d want to raid or you would want to go on a shopping spree with?

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Candice sounds like she has amazing style and a fun wardrobe. I wouldn’t mind shopping with her. Plus, she always ends up in some crazy shenanigans. It would be fun!


The Bad Influence: Which character would you want to commit a small act of rebellion with?

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This might seem like an odd choice because she’s pretty much on the straight and narrow, but I think Livie would be so much fun to rebel with. I mean, the fun she had when she did in this book was awesome. Count me in!


Blood Brothers: Which character would you want to be your surrogate big brother/sister?

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Honestly, any of the Romero brothers, cousins or close friends would make for amazing big brothers. They’re overprotective but completely sweet.


Mother Hen: Which character would you want to be by your side when you’re having a bad day to cheer you up?

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And we’re back to Bright Side and Kate. If you’ve read this one, you know she’d be the perfect one to do this.


The Counsellor: Which character would you go to for relationship advice or confide a secret to?

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Bella. She wouldn’t be all judgy and she would give great advice.


More Than Friends: Who would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

YAEA_Final_Web

There are so many great choices for this one! This time, I’m going with Tyson Preeter. I love that dude.


I tag:

Ari @ The Daydreaming Bookworm
Arec @ Rainy Thursdays
Ashley @ What’s She Reading?
Beth @ Betwixt These Pages
Claire @ Art and Soul
Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions
Jennifer @ Wonderland Review
Jesse @ Books at Dawn
Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts
Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

and anyone else who really wants to do this one!

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Only You by Denise Grover Swank

Only You Blog Tour Banner

Only You
Series: The Bachelor Brotherhood, #1
Author: Denise Grover Swank
On Sale: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Format: eBook
Price: $3.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

Swank_OnlyYou_MMSYNOPSIS:

Never say never . . .

Romance isn’t an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . .

Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world’s craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor.

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn’t play by the rules . . .

BUY THE BOOK:

AmazonB&NiBooksGoogle PlayKobo

REVIEW:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’ve read a few wedding planner romances lately and Only You is by far my favorite. The writing was so good! I hadn’t read any of Grover Swank’s Wedding Pact novels, so I didn’t know any of the characters to start this new Bachelor Brotherhood spin-off. That didn’t matter, though. It was easily read as a standalone novel.

In Only You, Kevin has returned home to start his life over again. He’s got a new job working for his best friend, a new fixer-upper house and he’s sworn off all women. It’s a promise he can’t keep after meeting his adorably sexy neighbor, Holly.

ONLY-YOU-quote-graphic-2a

Holly’s working her butt off working for a wedding planner trying to save up enough money to start her own wedding planning business. She hates her boss, but the job keeps her aging grandma in special home and is increasing her savings. She’s not going to let anything get the way of her plans — not even her attraction to her new, sexy neighbor Kevin.

ONLY-YOU-quote-graphic-2b

Kevin and Holly have every intention of staying away from each other, but it’s only time before they can no longer deny their attraction.

From the moment they met, I knew Kevin and Holly’s love story was going to be so much fun to watch unfold. I loved their instant attraction and the effects it had on them. Kevin might have been reluctant to fall for Holly because of his past experiences with women, but once he set his sights on her he wasn’t going to take no for answer. Holly wasn’t as sure as Kevin. She had so much riding on the success of her work that she didn’t think love was in the cards for a relationship with Kevin. She need him to relentlessly pursue her and prove they were worth it.

My favorite thing about Only You was how funny it was. I can’t count how many times it had me laughing out loud. All of the characters were hilarious. I especially loved Bethany. Oh my. That girl was missing a few brain cells!

I loved Only You. It made me smile so much! I would recommend it to romance readers who enjoy a funny and sweet contemporary romance with a happy ending. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series and checking out the author’s previous novels.

ONLY-YOU-quote-graphic-1a

EXCERPT:

Kevin wasn’t sure why he was surprised Holly was here. She was a wedding planner, and from what he’d seen so far, she was a damn good one.

He’d been on his way out of the room, needing a breather from the noise and the chaos of the reception when he’d seen her at the table. He hadn’t planned on asking her to dance—hell, he hated to dance—but he’d been desperate for a reason to talk to her.

When he sat back down at the table, Tyler wore a smirk. “Crashed and burned, huh? I thought you were going to the bathroom to take a piss.”

“I was. I just happened to run into a friend.”

“Run into a friend, my ass. I thought we’d sworn off women. I’ve held up my end of the bachelor brotherhood. And let me add that I had no idea my balls could turn this blue.”

“She’s a friend,” Kevin said, trying not to sound irritated and feed any more fuel to the fire.

“She’s his neighbor,” Matt said, taking a sip of his beer, and giving Kevin a pointed look. “They’re friends.”

Tyler burst out laughing. “You got friend-zoned?”

“No,” Kevin said slowly, picking up his drink, surprised Matt hadn’t told Tyler about the situation he’d stumbled upon. “I was the one who said I wanted to be friends.”

“Why?” Tyler asked, watching Holly with a little more interest than Kevin liked. “She’s hot. Do you know if she’s seeing anyone?”

“No.” Kevin’s irritation grew.

Tyler stood and adjusted his tie, a smirk lighting up his eyes. “Screw the brotherhood. I think I’ll go over and introduce myself.”

Kevin was up in a flash. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not?” he looked surprised. “She looks like she’d be worth a short break from my hiatus from women.”

Kevin stepped in front of his path, his jaw set. “Because you’re a prick who will use her and toss her aside and she deserves a helluva lot better than that.”

Matt was up in an instant, grabbing Kevin’s arm. “Why don’t we get some air?”

“You like her,” Tyler said, slack jawed.

“Of course he likes her,” Matt said. “For someone so smart, sometimes you’re an idiot.”

“In my defense,” Tyler said. “He said they were friends.”

“Okay,” Matt said slowly. “When was the last time you convinced a woman to be just a friend?”

“Never.”

“I rest my case, counselor.”

Tyler sat back down, and Matt tugged on Kevin’s sleeve to get him to join them.

“I can’t believe you didn’t last even a single week,” Tyler said.

“He didn’t last a single day,” Matt told him. “He slept with her the night after our agreement to remain single.”

Tyler burst out laughing. “For a tough-ass former Marine, I expected you to be the last holdout, man. At least a week or two.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise Grover Swank CREDIT Cody Bauchman

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese, which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty (in her own mind) Facebook comments and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

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FOLLOW FOREVER:

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The Diverse Books Tag

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I was tagged by the lovely Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions for The Diverse Book Tag. It was created by Nazahet @ Read Diverse Books.

Thanks for the tag, Cristina! I think this one is really going to make me think.


A Book Starring a Lesbian Character 

Vanished by E.E. Cooper

Kalah, a lesbian, has a special relationship with her best friend Beth. I know I’ve read other books with lesbian MCs but this is the only one I can remember. They’re aren’t enough lesbian MCs out there.

A Book with a Muslim Protagonist

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Amir was the first character who came to my mind. I’m not sure if I’ve read any other books with Muslim protagonists. Surely I have, right? If not, I need to. So much to learn.

A Book Set in Latin America

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell

This book is set in the Yucatán Penninsula of Mexico. It’s a romantic thriller that revolves around Mayan artifacts of the area. It wasn’t my favorite book by Lowell, but it was good.

YAEA_Final_WebA Book About a Person With a Disability

You and Everything After (Falling, #2) by Ginger Scott

Tyson Preeter is confined to a wheel chair without use of his legs after a freak accident. Cass Owens has young woman who is not about to let MS limit her. This is one of my favorite Scott books.

A Science-Fiction or Fantasy Book With a POC Protagonist

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I don’t read much Science Fiction or Fantasy, so this was the one and only book that came to my mind. I’m sure there a lot more books out there, but I haven’t read them.

A Book Written by an Indigenous or Native Author

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I haven’t read it, but I own it. That counts, right?

A Book Set in South Asia

The Colossus by Ranjini Iyer

You get more than just South Asia with this pick. This book is set in ancient India, Nazi era Berlin, modern day Chicago, London and Pakistan. How is that for diverse?

26027030A Book with a Biracial Protagonist

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy

Okay. This is really bad to admit, but I think Gwen is biracial. I can’t remember exactly. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I apologize if I am.

A Book Starring a Transgender Character or Transgender Issues

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

I’ve heard this book is amazing. I’ve always wanted to read it. I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

 


I Tag:

Alex @ Alextheshadowgirl’s Blog
Calliope the Book Goddess
Claire @ Art and Soul
Dimple @ Enthrallingdimple
Jesse @ Books at Dawn
Jessica @ Mud and Stars
Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts
Paige @ Page by Paige
Raven @ Dreamy Addictions
Skylee @ Bookish Night
Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Sumaya @ Sue’s Reading Corner
Yvo @ It’s All About the Books
The Bookie Monsters

Review: Valentina by S.E. Lynes

Valentina: A Hauntingly Intelligent Psychological Thriller
Author:
S.E. Lynes
Publication Date: July 1, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Fiction
Note: I received an ARC from Blackbird Digital Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

When  Glasgow journalist  Shona McGilvery moves with her partner  Mikey  and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.

But with Mikey working offshore, the  frightening  isolation of the Aberdeenshire  countryside begins to drive her insane…

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.

She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?

As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


When Mikey takes an off-shore job, he moves his girlfriend Shona and their baby to a cottage in rural Scotland. The move leaves Shana and the baby alone the majority of the time. Shona immediately feels lonely and isolated. She’s pleased when she makes a connection with vibrant Valentina.

With Mikey gone more and more, Shona depends on Valentina and her young son for companionship and support. But the more Shona gets to know Valentina, the more she begins to wonder about her new friend. Something is not adding up and Shona can’t put her finger on it.

The closer she becomes with Valentina, the more Shona’s life feels like it’s beginning to spin out of control.

Valentina was a very good psychological thriller.The writing was incredible. It had a dark and dreary feel to it, which is exactly what I would expect from a thriller. I could imagine the story playing out on a dark and grainy movie screen. The setting was absolutely perfect.

The characters were extremely complex. Shona was stuck in the haze of new motherhood. She was overwhelmed, anxious and lonely. She was desperate for a friend and confidant. As sweet as her boyfriend Mikey was, his absence was slowly draining her.

Valentina was the answer to Shona’s prayers. She was supportive and available at a moments notice. They had children the same age and that helped strengthened their bond. Their friendship fills the void Shona was missing in her near perfect life.

But as the synopsis hints, things may not be as perfect as they seem. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I guessed part of the twist correctly. The rest of it definitely surprised me. It was really cool.

Valentina had all the makings of the perfect psychological thriller except for one thing: the pace. While I was immediately pulled in by the imagery and emotion of the story, Part I of the book moved so slowly I was beginning to lose interest. Shona’s day-to-day life was so mundane. I get it. I’ve had a baby and know how trying, boring and emotional that first year is, but Shona’s boredom started to make me bored. There needed to be the introduction to and build of a relationship with Valentina, but I wish it would have been faster paced. Parts II and III moved a lot quicker and contained most of the action. They’re what made the story truly interesting and amazing.

Despite the slower pace, Valentina was still a wonderful psychological thriller that had guessing until the end. I would definitely recommend it.

 

 

Marry, Kiss or Cliff Book Tag

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I saw the Marry, Kiss or Cliff Book Tag on Anushka’s blog. It sounded like a lot of fun and she invited me to participate. Thanks, Anushka!


RULES

  1. Put names of characters (Male if you’re a female and vice versa or whatever sex you’re attracted to) written in pieces of separate papers in a empty jar or a pen holder.
  2. Shake the jar.
  3. Pull out 3 pieces of paper in each round and tell us which character would you marry,kiss or cliff!

ROUND 1

  • Caine from Four Seconds to Lose (Ten Tiny Breaths, #3)
  • Dax from Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3)
  • Wes from December (Calendar Girl, #12)

Marry: Wes. He just seems like the best choices. Plus, he’s hot and rich… Not that those things matter. 😉
Kiss: Caine. He’s so sexy and seems like he’d know how to do it well.
Cliff: Dax. I couldn’t really stand him.


ROUND 2

  • Sean from The Pixie and the Player (Rugby, #2)
  • Dillon from Pistol Whipped (Locked & Loaded, #2)
  • Drake from Changing Forever (Rains, #2)

Marry: Drake. He’s a really sweet guy.
Kiss: Sean. I don’t know if I could stand being married to him.
Cliff: Dillon. He seemed like an amazing guy, but he was my least favorite of the three, so…


ROUND 3

  • Lane from Extraordinary Means
  • Jake from Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5)
  • Rafa from Spanish Lessons (Study Abroad, #1)

Marry: Jake. I loved this guy. He’s such a devoted husband and father.
Kiss: Rafa. Hot Spanish guy? Yes, please.
Cliff: Sorry, Lane. I love ya, but I’m not sure what the future holds for you. Just being honest.


ROUND 4

  • Wes from If You Can’t Take the Heat
  • Gannon from Up in Flames (Rosemary Beach, #13)
  • Vincent from Cuff Me (New York’s Finest, #3)

Marry: Vincent. He’s got this brooding secretly sweet thing going.
Kiss: Wes. Hot rancher/restaurant owner.
Cliff: Gannon. I don’t think I’d be down with his type of foreplay!


ROUND 5

  • Spencer from Big Rock
  • Matt from Fearless in Love (The Maverick Billionaires, #3)
  • Mack from Shine Not Burn

Marry: Mack. There was just something about him I loved.
Kiss: Spencer. So sexy.
Cliff: Matt. No real reason. Sorry, dude.


That was a lot of fun. I’m going to go ahead and tag the following bloggers:

Betwixt the Pages
Jess @ The Mud and Stars Book Blog
Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets
Raven @ Dreamy Addictions
The Orang-utan Librarian

and anyone else who wants to join in!