Review: Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

29494152Waking Olivia
Author: Elizabeth O’Roark
Publication Date: March 12, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“That girl isn’t just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She’s trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She’s the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble.”

A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.

A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.


I was told by other bloggers that I would love this book. I knew it had to be a great new adult novel, but I had no idea what I was in store for. Waking Olivia was amazing! It left me  wondering why I haven’t heard of author Elizabeth O’Roark before?!?!

Elizabeth O’Roark’s writing was exceptional. The emotions in this book were so palpable and intense. I felt fear, loathing, anger, nervousness, sadness, happiness, love, hope. It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I felt like I was in the story! And the plot. It was so complex! Waking Olivia wasn’t just another romance. It had a darker, thriller side to it. It was so cool. I also have to throw in the fact that the running theme in this book actually worked. It’s very rare to find a book where running as part of the plot feels natural. It did here.

I loved the main characters in Waking Olivia. Neither of them was perfect, which made them feel all the more real. They were both so complex and compelling, especially Olivia. She was haunted by her past and could barely function in the present. She came across as a hard person, so getting to know what was deep inside her was rewarding. I had such hope for her. Will may not have initially been happy with his new trouble-making track star, but I loved the fire Olivia brought to his life. Being around her showed who he really was. He may have been the sexy track coach, but he was also a compassionate human being.

I’m not a big fan of student-teacher/coach relationship, so I was originally worried I wouldn’t enjoy the forbidden romance between Olivia and Will. I shouldn’t have worried, though. I loved Will and Olivia’s connection. The relationship between them and their situation didn’t have a truly forbidden feel. They were so close in age (even if Will seemed so much more mature) and it felt more like a workplace romance than a student-teacher one. I do have to admit that the secrecy of their relationship did set me on edge several times, but I loved Will and Olivia together. They completed each other in a very special way.

One of the things I loved most about Waking Olivia was the last few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the entire story. I was so addicted to it that if I could have forced myself to stay awake any longer, I would have read it in one sitting. But there was something so special about the ending. Where some authors would have ended the story, Elizabeth O’Roark continued it. She made it a true story of healing. I felt like I got a well thought out and possible conclusion for Olivia. I really loved that.

If you’re a new adult fan or just a romance fan in general, you really need to read Waking Olivia. It’s an awesome experience that you don’t want to miss. (You can find it as one of NetGalley’s Read Now books.)

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Only You by Denise Grover Swank

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Title: Only You
Author: Denise Grover Swank
On Sale: October 25, 2016
Series: The Bachelor Brotherhood, #1
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $6.99 USD
eBook: $3.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

Series Page on Goodreads

**NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT**

The first book in a spin-off from Denise Grover Swank’s New York Times bestselling Wedding Pact series (The Wedding Pact, The Player, The Gambler, The Valentine)

“Warm and funny, the first book in the Bachelor Brotherhood series reads like a great Hollywood rom-com.” –iBooks Best Books of June

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SYNOPSIS:

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…

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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.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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Teaser: Stroked Hard by Meghan Quinn

STROKED HARD will be here soon! Check out this teaser and don’t forget to add STROKED HARD to your tbr!

 

STROKED HARD
Scheduled to release: November 1, 2016
 Sports Romance

Cover Designed by: Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae
Goodreads

BLURB:
He’s hot. Like, stop breathing kind of hot with his killer body, vivid blue eyes, and constant five o’clock shadow.
Did I mention his body?
Watching Hollis Knightly, Olympic diving gold medalist, man-pony specialist—and cocky bastard—stand up on the diving platform in nothing but a small piece of Spandex? Yeah, I’m beguiled.
And easily seduced.
I want to keep things light but he won’t leave me alone. And hell, if he’s not wearing me thin.
What is supposed to be a simple summer fling with a very hot man, has now morphed into a f*cked-up mess of feelings, attachment, and dare I say it…love. But I don’t do relationships. And Hollis Knightly does.

NOW AVAILABLE!

 

STROKED by Meghan Quinn
Released: July 19, 2016
Cover Designer: Murphy Rae

BLURB:

Reese King: Olympic medalist, underwear model, Greek god.

His body is chiseled from rock, sculpted by the weight room, and refined by water.

On a daily basis his skin is completely bare for everyone to see, tan and defined, only covered up by a minuscule piece of spandex. There is no denying his sex appeal.

I hate to admit it, but I’m head over heels infatuated with him.

There is one HUGE problem though. His achingly gorgeous abs, inked up arm, and cocky swagger belong to my boss, the high-profile, reality star bitch from hell and certified heinous human being, Bellini Chambers.

What I think is going to be an easy job assisting a glorified wench turns into a cluster f*ck of epic proportions.

STROKED LONG by Meghan Quinn
Scheduled to release: September 20, 2016
 Sports Romance

Cover Designed by: Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae

BLURB:
From his dirty-blond hair and breathtaking smile, to the abs from heaven and the irresistible V in his waistline, everything about Bodi Olympic-gold-medalist Banks screams hot piece of @$$.
Yet there’s more.
Dark shadows lurk behind his soulful, serious eyes.
I’m enamored. He’s captured me.

How can running an art foundation with Bodi Banks turns into a slow-burning, epic romance, even though he tries to push me away at every chance? How can I stay away from a broken, routine-driven man whose soul cries to be forgiven for a crime only he believes he committed? Or is that a lie?


**STROKED LONG can be read as a stand alone.

About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!
Find me on Goodreads:

Release Week Review & Giveaway: The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Lemmon

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THE BILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR
Author: Jessica Lemmon        
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys, #2
On Sale: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $5.99 USD
eBook:  $5.99 USD
Add to Goodreads

SYNOPSIS:

It’s Tag Crane’s job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn’t perfect. Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he’s ever seen.

Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It’s not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it’s a fantasy come true. What’s the harm in a fun no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever . . .

BUY THE BOOK HERE

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REVIEW:

Note: I received an ARC from Forever via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Every time I read a novel by Jessica Lemmon I fall deeper in love with her writing. Her contemporary romances are so fresh and fun. She’s quickly becoming one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance reads. Needless to say, I was excited to get to read The Billionaire Next Door. I really enjoyed The Billionaire Bachelor, the first book in the series, and I was looking forward to getting to know Reese’s younger brother, Tag.

In The Billionaire Next Door, bartender Rachel Foster’s life has hit an all-time low. The only bright spot is being paid a bunch of money to dog sit by one of her regular customers. She can’t complain about getting to stay in an amazing apartment — especially when one of her neighbors is sexy Tag.

Tag Crane is known to be many things. A one woman kind of guy isn’t one of them. But when gorgeous and smart Rachel moves into his building, he can’t seem to get her out of his mind. The more they spend time together, the more he realizes that maybe he’s done with his playboy ways.

This story was so stinking cute! Seriously. There was so much I loved about it! The writing was fun and witty. I loved the plot and how everything unfolded. Jessica Lemmon had a fresh take on the playboy billionaire theme and that made it exciting to read.

I adored Tag and Rachel. Tag was everything I hoped he would be after getting to know him a little bit in The Billionaire Bachelor. He was fun-loving and handsome, but he was also intelligent and nice. Rachel was that girl you can’t help but love. She was a great friend, smart and just an overall nice person. I loved her drive and determination. Together, they were magic! The chemistry between these two was off the charts sexy. Tag and Rachel just fit so perfectly together.

Honestly, there’s nothing to complain about with The Billionaire Next Door. I absolutely loved reading it, and I would highly recommend it to readers who love a great contemporary romance. It’s definitely one of my favorites so far this year. Now that I’ve finished The Billionaire Next Door, I can’t to get to know Eli, the third Crane brother!

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EXCERPT:

“Why is it you look like you’re thinking something sinister?” he asked, that eyebrow arcing higher. “And don’t lie to me, Dimples. I have a sixth sense.” She watched his slow smile, white teeth appearing as his trimmed beard parted. Her nether regions buzzed like she’d sat on a vibrating phone.

“I’m surprised . . .” she started, feeling daring. Must be the Kona coffee.

“Because?”

“Because I expected you to induct me into the Mile High Club by now. This is my first private flight.” She looked at him through her lashes, her coy smile in place.

Tag wore an all-out grin, which made her inordinately pleased. Where she was concerned, he wasn’t immune. And she liked that. A lot.

“Excuse me.” Smoothly, he shut his laptop, stood, and walked from cabin to cockpit.

Okay. That was interesting. She hadn’t expected him to leave. Maybe she didn’t have the same power over him as he had over her.

She turned to look out the window, but the nighttime landscape was nothing but blackness. She imagined a sea of clouds and blue skies once the sun rose, anticipating being someplace where the high was above freezing. She wondered what the temperature was on—

“Let’s go.” Her hand was snatched a moment later as Tag pulled her out of her seat and led her to the bedroom.

“Wait,” she said through her laughter as she hustled after him. “What are you doing?”

In the bedroom, he released her, closed the door, and whipped off his shirt. She gasped, her eyes eating up his tanned muscles and bulky arms.

“Making you a member.” He caught the back of her head in his hand and kissed her. She melted beneath his touch. She was hopelessly attracted to him. Just an absolute goner.

When she caught a breath of air, she said, “Where did you go?”

“Told the pilot to take the long way.”

“There’s a longer way to Hawaii?”

“There is now.”

THE SERIES:

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The Billionaire Bachelor, #1
The Billionaire Next Door, #2
The Bastard Billionaire, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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Review: Dangerous in a Kilt by Anna Durand

32307947-1Dangerous in a Kilt
Series: Hot Scots, #1
Author: Anna Durand
Publication Date: December 16, 2016
Publisher: Jacobsville Books
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Feisty American. Hot Scot. Passion Ignites.
Good-girl Erica Teague is out on bail, charged with a crime her ex-lover committed. Her desperate bid to experience one wild night of sizzling sex, before her trial and certain conviction, lands her in the arms of Lachlan MacTaggart, a hot Scot with a secret past. She can’t resist his offer to enjoy one month of sex and companionship with no strings. But when their hot fling gets personal, can their passion free their imprisoned hearts?
Dangerous in a Kilt is an award-winning romance and the first book in the Hot Scots series. Upcoming books will feature Lachlan’s equally hot brothers.


Dangerous in a Kilt is the first book in erotic romance writer Anna Durand’s new series Hot Scots. In Dangerous in a Kilt, Erica Teague is reeling with the knowledge she’s going to jail for something her seedy ex did. Erica is looking to escape her thoughts for the night by looking for a casual hook up. It couldn’t work out more perfectly when she ends up in hot Scot Lachlan MacTaggart’s arms. What was meant to be a one night stand quickly turns into an agreement of one month of delightfully naughty sex without any emotional entanglement. Keeping their personal lives separate from their affair becomes harder the more time they spend together.

This book was such a fun and dramatic read! The fun was in all of the witty banter and super sultry scenes. I loved all the Scottish words Lachlan mixed into his sentences and could imagine his sexy accent in my mind. I didn’t blame Erica for lusting after his hot body and smooth words. He was almost too hot to handle!

The drama came with all of the secrets Erica and Lachlan were keeping from each other while attempting to keep things casual. The way they navigated around their secrets was so much fun to read. I already knew Erica’s, but I enjoyed guessing as to what was going on in Lachlan’s life. Plus, keeping things casual created a fun drama all of its own.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen added to the story was Lachlan’s point of view. I loved knowing what was going on in Erica’s head and I think knowing what Lachlan was thinking and his secrets might have added even more fun.

Dangerous in a Kilt was an entertaining erotic romance. I really enjoyed reading it. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy erotic romances with a side of humor and a touch of mystery.

Review: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

29087466Keepsake
Series: True North, #3
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Rennie Roads Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a first time for everything.
Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.


This review is **SPOILER FREE**.

I need to say one thing before I start my review of Keepsake:

2016 is Sarina Bowen’s year!

I’ve always loved her books, but this year’s releases have all quickly become some of my favorite romance novels ever. Keepsake is definitely one of those books.

Keepsake is the third book in the True North series. You don’t have to read the books in order to enjoy the story, but it does help for character history. For readers of the series, I would classify Keepsake as a combination of Bittersweet and Steadfast. It takes readers back to the fun of Bittersweet‘s Shipley Farm where they get to reconnect with all of their favorite characters, but it also carries an emotional punch and touches on deeper aspects of life like Steadfast.

In Keepsake, farm hand Zach’s contentedly quiet life is forever changed when former wild child Lark comes to stay at Shipley Farm. Zach knows Lark is trying to recover from a horrible experience and that he should give her space to heal, but his intense attraction to her makes that impossible.

Lark may be beautiful and outgoing on the outside, but her insides are wracked with turmoil and guilt. The only comfort she’s been able to find since returning home has been on the Shipley Farm, in Zach’s arms. He, too, understands what it’s like to try to find peace. But Zach’s comfort may not be enough to save Lark or their relationship from the memories that haunt her.

Keepsake was mesmerizing. The amazing characters, gorgeous Vermont setting, and emotional plot made it impossible to put down. It was such a beautiful story. The minute I finished reading it, I wanted to pick it up and start all over again. I loved it that much!

I couldn’t get enough of Zach. I loved reading his point of view. His calming demeanor and quiet ways were so appealing. I adored the care, concern and sweetness he showed Lark. He was probably the kindest and most respectable book boyfriend I’ve ever read. Plus, he was so sexy! I wasn’t expecting that based on his past, but I guess I should have been!

Lark was pretty amazing, too. She was one of those characters who inspires me to live life to the fullest. She had an abundance of emotional baggage she was dealing with in Keepsake, but the strength that kept her going was very admirable. Her journey to mental wellness was one I imagine many people will identify with.

Keepsake was one of those romances that was more than just a romance. It was an inspirational story filled with love, hope and forgiveness. I would highly recommend reading it and the rest of the True North series. I know it will be a while until the next book in the series is released, but I can’t wait to find out what’s next for my favorite Vermonters.

WWW Wednesday: October 19, 2016

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Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

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My daughter and I have been making steady progress through Return to the Isle of the Lost. I’m hoping we can finish it by the end of the month.

I’m also reading an ARC of Stroked Hard (Stroked, #3). 


Recently finished:

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This past week was filled completely with romance novels. They were all contemporary but spanned YA, NA, Adult and Erotica. I read:

Under the Lights (The Field Party, #2)
Aced (Blocked, #2)
Keepsake (True North, #3)
Dangerous in a Kilt (Hot Scots, #1)

Click on the book titles to read the reviews that I have already posted.


Reading Next:

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Next up is Furious Rush. I won it on Goodreads and I’m hoping I’ll like it. The only book I’ve attempted to read by S.C. Stephens was Thoughtful (Thouhtless, #1.5) and I DNF’d it. Thankfully, my reason wasn’t the writing, so I have high hopes for this one!

Blog Tour Review: To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne

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To Love and to Cherish

The Wedding Belles, #3
Lauren Layne
Pocket Books
October 18, 2016
9781501135170
$5.99

About To Love and to Cherish:

In To Love and to Cherish, USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne’s third steamy novel in her delightful, hotter-than-Hades new series, the Wedding Belles’ head honcho Alexis Morgan decides she’s ready to let loose. But when a certain sexy accountant volunteers himself for the job, will she risk everything she’s built in the name of lust…or possibly even love?

Alexis has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premier wedding planning company. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn to her much neglected personal life. Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Definitely not part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Wedding Belles and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan is all business, all the time. But when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss, Alexis begins to suspect there’s a hot-blooded man beneath the pinstripes and glasses.

Logan has wanted Alexis since the day they met, but the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable. Now Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally obvious that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last-minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect opportunity to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan sets out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

If you follow my reviews, you probably already know I’m a big fan of Lauren Layne and her The Wedding Belles series. I’ve truly enjoyed every book in the series so far and have been eagerly anticipating Alexis and Logan’s story. The entire series has been a wonderfully fun build up to their romance. It was definitely worth the wait!

In To Love and to Cherish, Wedding Belles owner Alexis realizes that she might just be missing something in her life. She’s running her dream company and has an amazing group of co-workers/friends, but there’s no one to come home to every night. Alexis being Alexis comes up with a plan to meet the man of her dreams. What Alexis doesn’t realize is that the man of her dreams might just be her best friend and business partner.

Logan’s stood quietly on the sidelines while Alexis grew their business. He’s been her friend and sounding board, but has always wanted more. Now that she’s ready to dive back into the dating world, Logan needs to prove to Alexis that he’s her perfect match.

To Love and to Cherish was a very sweet friends to lovers story. Lauren Layne’s writing was as amazing as always. The slow burn romance moved smoothly and I didn’t want to put it down for anything! I flew through To Love and to Cherish in one evening. (Then, I was sad it was over!)

Alexis was such a surprise. From all the glimpses I got of her in the first few books, I expected her to be a strong, independent woman without any insecurities. She was completely in control in the professional world, but her real-life was a mess. There was a vulnerability to her that I wasn’t expecting, and I really liked it. It was fun to see her come undone and the way Logan built her back up.

Logan! Dang! He was the ultimate book boyfriend. This slightly nerdy accountant had an aggressive side I wasn’t expecting. His determination to woo Alexis and prove that he was the best man for the job was utterly attractive. There was also a blatant sexuality to him I didn’t see coming. I definitely swooned.

As sad as I am that The Wedding Belles series has come to an end, I’m so happy with the way Lauren Layne concluded it. Alexis and Logan’s romance was everything I hoped it to be and more. Fans of the series will fall in love with these two all over again in To Love and to Cherish. 

Note: I received an ARC from Pocket Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

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PRAISE FOR THE BOOKS IN THE WEDDING BELLES SERIES:

 “I highly recommend For Better or Worse. The second in a series, it can be read as a standalone, but I say start with the first because it’s just as good. They’ve got the funny bickering that I love, and even as her stories have a light touch with cute flirty, they delve deep into the characters.”

—Harlequin Junkie TOP PICK Review (For Better or Worse)

 “If you have yet to fall head over heels for one of Lauren Layne’s books, what are you waiting for? She has written some of the most charming and engrossing romance novels of the decade, each of which will leave you with that warm gooey feeling you usually only get after a fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookie. For Better or Worse is an absolute delight. From the moment the story begins, Josh and Heather have that chemistry that you can always count on from a Lauren Layne book. They bicker, they taunt, and they flirt, each interaction pulling them closer and closer together until their lives are permanently altered by the other, and they aren’t even aware of it yet…Josh and Heather are a beautiful addition to the list of fictional couples that have found happily ever after in Lauren Layne’s books, and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for Alexis Morgan in To Love and to Cherish.”

—Hypable (For Better or Worse)

“This was a fun enjoyable sexy story that I refused to put down…  If you enjoy romance, fun sexy couple, friendship, family, and laugh out loud moments, then you need to be reading this series.”

—The Reading Cafe (For Better or Worse)

“This engaging tale has a light, fun style…”

Publishers Weekly (To Have and to Hold)

 A character-driven and sizzling romance!

—Fresh Fiction (To Have and to Hold)

“There are family and friends, coworkers, people that aren’t as they seem, wedding information galore, dinners, drinks, chocolate, fear, anger, hurt, sadness, secrets, lies, deceit, tears, laughter, happiness, romance, loving and love…I look forward to reading the next two books, For Better or Worse and To Love and to Cherish

—Romance Junkies (To Have and to Hold)

“Sexually charged and emotionally intense novella…The heat between [Leah & Jason] is enough to melt steel, and the emotional connection and psychological struggles will keep readers engaged.”

Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW  (From This Day Forward)
About LAUREN LAYNE:

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Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sex, Love, and Stiletto contemporary romances and the all-new Pocket Books series The Wedding Belles. She lives in New York with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. Visit laurenlayne.com, meet the author on Facebook at LaurenLayneAuthor, or follow her on Twitter @_LaurenLayne.

Lauren Layne interviews with THE LIBRARIAN:

 

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=292263&episodeId=8970053

BOUQUET GIVEAWAY:

Most of the below blogs are hosting a Wedding Belles Bouquet Giveaway to celebrate the publication of the third in the series, To Love and to Cherish. The Wedding Belles Bouquet will include To Have and to Hold, For Better or Worse, and To Love and to Cherish. You can visit all sites on the Bouquet Giveaway Tour to enter to win–but keep in mind you can only win once! U.S. only.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Upcoming Blog Tour Schedule here

Cover Reveal: Hold My Breath by Ginger Scott

Is it hot in here???
Check out the cover of HOLD MY BREATH by Ginger Scott!

HOLD MY BREATH
NA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Scheduled to release: November 18, 2016
PREORDER:
More links to come!
BLURB:

Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.

I would know.

They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger brother Evan be the one to shine.

Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.

The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.

My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.

And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.

In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.

EXCERPT:

The song breaks for a guitar solo, and I count the seconds, knowing that she’s going to slip away the moment everyone in here begins to clap. I won’t ask her to dance again. I won’t torture myself or push my luck. But I’ll remember this. As bad of an idea as it is, I’m glad I did it. So many painful memories woven into this place, I needed this one good one. It might just be the best memory I have out of everything in my life. I feel her shift in my arms, and when I pull away slightly, Maddy’s chin pushes into the center of my chest, her eyes blinking slowly while she looks up at me. Two shots and a beer are about to talk to me right now. I smile softly and nod.

“That was a much better dance,” she says.
I chuckle, tilting my head back to laugh before bringing it forward slowly, resting my brow against hers. My eyes look down at the curve of her lips, lower at the line of her jaw, and even lower at the swell of her breast under the soft black cotton of her dress. A heavy breath escapes
me.
“I make you nervous?” she asks.
I don’t answer right away, instead closing my eyes and swallowing again. I don’t even care if she can feel it. I drag my hands up her body to her neck until I’m cradling her head in my palms, my fingertips flirting with her hair along her neck and my thumbs caressing her jawline.
“That’s what you said…before. You said you didn’t dance well because I make you nervous,” she says, her words coming out slow and sleepy.
My mouth smiles against the top of her head, and I give in, opening it enough to press a kiss against her, hoping only the strangers are our witness.
“Yes, Maddy. That’s right,” I say. “You make me incredibly nervous.”
About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams and The Hard Count.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I’d Name A Dog After

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Characters I’d Name A Child/Dog/Cat/Car/Etc. After. I had to limit this to who I’d name my dog after because I’m not having anymore children and I don’t name non-living things.


1. Lo
Addicted to You by Krista & Becca Ritchie

2. Tucker
The Goal by Elle Kennedy

3. Frank Sanger
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

4. Gus
Bright Side by Kim Holden

5. Ronan
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

6. Frankie
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landou-Banks

7. Daisy
Hothouse Flower by Krista & Becca Ritchie

8. Tate
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

9. Ford
Three Little Words by Susan Mallery

10. Graham (Cracker)
The Deal by Elle Kennedy