Review: This Will Only Hurt a Little (Busy Phillips)

This Will Only Hurt a Little
Author: Busy Phillips
Narrator: Busy Phillips
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: Memoir

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the beloved comedic actress known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek, and Cougartown who has become “the breakout star on Instagram stories…imagine I Love Lucy mixed with a modern lifestyle guru” (The New Yorker).

Busy Philipps’s autobiographical book offers the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that her Instagram followers have come to know and love, from growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona and her painful and painfully funny teen years, to her life as a working actress, mother, and famous best friend.

Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life to write this book. I’m just so grateful someone asked. Otherwise, what was the point of any of it??”


I love listening to celebrity memoirs. It’s so much fun to hear all of their stories come out of their own mouth. When I heard that Busy Phillips was releasing one, I knew I wanted to listen to it. I was a fan of Dawson’s Creek and I have always enjoyed her acting. I didn’t, however, realize that Busy Phillips was big on Instagram with her stories which is what speared the writing of this book. (Or at least I think that’s what did?)

This Will Only Hurt a Little was a big surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting the tone. Busy Phillips sounds a little bit angry and the whole lot negative. Even the good times had a not so good feelings surrounding them. I was a little disappointed and a lot sad about that. I was expecting more humor and lightness since she’s a comedic actress.

Another thing that surprised me was that half the book was about her teenage escapades and not so good things she had done or that had happened to her. It wasn’t that I didn’t expect to hear stuff like that, it was that it took up SO MUCH of the book. I was more interested in her acting career. Maybe that’s selfish and mean of me, but that’s what I want from a celebrity memoir.

As for the acting career part, it was pretty interesting. Her thoughts and impressions of people, places, and her career were a little scandalous. I would be very interested in hearing what her co-workers and friends would say about it all. I especially interested in her Blades of Glory story. That’s probably the biggest, most exciting to me information I took away from this memoir.

Overall, This Will Only Hurt a Little was a book that it only hurt a little to listen to. When Busy Phillips says, “I am a lot.”, she truly is. Wow. She really laid it out all there. The good, the bad, the ugly. This book is worth reading if you’re at all interested in her life or her stories about her rise to fame and all those she encountered along the way.

 

Review: America’s Sweetheart by Jessica Lemmon

America’s Sweetheart
Series: Real Love, #5
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Old flames burn bright. When a disgraced starlet returns home to lick her wounds, she discovers that her high school sweetheart is just as tempting as ever.

“No one writes big-hearted bad boys like Jessica Lemmon!”—New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster

Allison: When I left for California, I gave myself a new name and never looked back. Now my carefully crafted good-girl image is getting torn to shreds in the press thanks to my Oscar-winning A-hole of an ex-boyfriend. So I escape to the only safe haven I know and trust—my hometown—to take a breather while I plot my triumphant Hollywood comeback. However, when I arrive at my parents’ house, Jackson Burke answers the door instead. And suddenly the past comes rushing back. . . .

Jackson: First kiss. First time. First love. Yep, Allison Murphy and I shared a lot of firsts back in the day. When she left, she took half my heart with her. Now she’s back in town, and even though I swore I’d keep my distance, her parents hired me to remodel their house, and I’m going to finish the job. But one hot kiss later, suddenly the press is calling us the next big celebrity couple. Sure, I’ll play the part, for Allison’s sake—but I refuse to let her close enough to break my heart all over again. . . .


I have mixed feelings about America’s Sweetheart. I’m not sure I agree with the structure of this book. It started out in Jackson’s point of view. I loved Jackson. He was a totally normal, nice guy. He made his dreams a reality with the exception of losing “the one” back in college. Jackson loved his small town life, and he made me love it, too. I felt bad for him that he lost Allie and still hadn’t quite been able to move on from her. When she showed up back in town, I was excited for Jackson and what it could mean. I loved how he handled everything and his part in this book. What I didn’t love was Allie’s personality.

I didn’t like what I met of Allie through Jackson’s perspective. She actually seemed like a pretty horrible person. I know that’s because I didn’t know her side of the story. She didn’t have a POV at fist. All of her actions really bugged me. It made me wonder how Jackson could still be so attracted to her. I hated her. Then, half way into the book, bam! Her point of view shows up. It threw me off guard because there wasn’t a heading or anything letting me know of the change. As I got to know and understand her, I understood she was just as weary and hurt as Jackson. I liked what she learned about herself after returning home. I still wasn’t 100% sold on her, but I felt better about Jackson’s feelings for her than I had during his POV…until I didn’t again. The way she messed with Jackson’s feelings and was constantly acting was messed up. Her priorities were never straight. Once they were, I was over her.

To sum it up, I loved Jackson. I liked his relationship with Allie when she wasn’t being Nina. I never truly connected with Allie nor did I end up liking her. The only thing that might have made this one better me was if Allie’s POV had been mixed in with Jackson’s at the beginning. Maybe then she would have seemed like she had more heart or something. If it wasn’t for Jackson, I wouldn’t have liked this book at all. That makes me sad because I’m a fan of Jessica Lemmon’s writing.

Release Blitz Review: Stone by Max Monroe

Stone
Series: Stone Cold Fox
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: March 25, 2018
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

First, hate. Then, want. But in the end? Heartbreak.

My celebrity life was supposed to be easy, and this movie was the biggest break of my career. But from the moment Officer Levi Fox gave me a speeding ticket on my way into town, he’s been nothing but a thorn in my side.

Dominant. Cocky. Callous.
Midnight blue eyes, a bad attitude, and muscles for days, he’s exactly the kind of man I should avoid.

But as the Cold, Montana Police Department’s official movie liaison, he’s taken up a permanent place in my life that I can’t shake.

We fight. A lot.

Then, we kiss—and my carefully crafted hate toward him no longer feels so much like hate.

I’m falling
falling
falling.
But how often do alpha-jerks cushion the landing?

Note: Levi and Ivy’s story will continue in Book Two—Cold.

 

Disclaimer: Please ensure your imaginary seatbelt is fastened…tightly. This ride wild, sexy, bumpy, and angsty AF, and without a restraint, you’re liable to get bruised.

 

Disclaimer for the disclaimer: Sadly, there are no imaginary seatbelts for e-reader devices. Therefore, the authors cannot be held accountable for any broken devices due to the emotions STONE’s wild, crazy, fast-paced, and intense story may invoke.


Ivy has come to Cold, Montana to portray Grace, a police officer killed by a serial killer. Not everyone in town is excited for this movie to be made. One of those not excited: Levi Fox. He was Grace’s partner and now the liaison between the police department and movie set. Levi hates the idea of this movie so much that he transfers those feelings to Ivy. Ivy isn’t exactly impressed with him either. The more time Ivy and Levi are forced to spend together, the more their mutual dislike for each other begins to turn into something more.

Max Monroe said this book would be angsty, deeper than their other books and they were right. I really loved the plot of this book. The movie being made about Grace and the serial killer she hunted gave the story a dark vibe. It amped up Levi’s already intense personality. I loved the glimpses of what might have been that he held onto so tightly. I understood his anger and stupidity. It made me want to know more about what actually happened. I also loved his infatuation/hatred of Ivy. That was also really intense. Despite being a jerk, I really liked Levi’s character.

Ivy was a breath of fresh air in this dark tale. Her character brought the light. There was just something about her. She was so positive and upbeat. What I loved most about Ivy was that she wanted to do Grace justice and that she gave Levi as good as she got. Ivy, despite her insecurities, was a strong female lead.

I was so wrapped up in Stone that I didn’t see the end coming. When it ended, I was shocked. Max Monroe left me…with a lot of questions. I know there are two more books coming, but I don’t want to wait. I really, really want to know where Ivy and Levi’s story is going. I am also more curious about the serial killer and Grace’s story. Stone did an excellent job setting the story up and leaving me begging for more. I loved it. I love this new side of the duo that is Max Monroe. Don’t get me wrong, I still want them to write romantic comedies, but this departure was so good, so addicting.

Get STONE for a special release price of $0.99.
(This will be for a very limited time.)

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/Stone_aa
Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Stone_auk
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Stone_aau
Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Stone_aca
iBooks: http://bit.ly/Stone_iBooks
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Stone_Kobo
Nook: http://bit.ly/Stone_Nook
GP: http://bit.ly/Stone_GP

STONE COLD FOX TRILOGY SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:  https://goo.gl/tcha9q

You can now PREORDER the next two books in the series!

o   COLD (Book #2): Release date April 22nd, 2018

o   FOX (Book #3): Release date May 20th, 2018

Review: One Last Time by Corinne Michaels

2018-SBPRBANNER-OLT-BT.jpg

One Last Time by Corinne Michaels
Release Date: February 26th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

OLT_FrontCover

From New York Times bestselling author, Corinne Michaels, comes a new heartwarming standalone romance.

I’m getting really good at cutting my losses.

First, the husband. Divorcing him was the best decision I ever made. But between single-parenting and job-hunting, I can’t catch my breath. When a celebrity blogging position falls into my lap, I’m determined to succeed.

That is, until I get my first assignment and actually see Noah Frazier for the first time . . . practically naked and dripping wet. My heart races and I forget how to form complete sentences. His chiseled abs, irresistible smirk, and crystal blue eyes are too perfect to be real. So, what do I do? Get drunk and humiliate myself, of course.

I’m ready to forget the awkward night, yet Noah has no intention of allowing me to move on. Instead, he arranges for me to write a feature on him, ensuring a lot more time together. One embarrassing moment after another, one kiss after another, and before I can stop myself, I realize—I’m falling in love with him.

But when the unthinkable happens, can I even blame him for cutting his losses?

What I wouldn’t give for just one last time . . .

OLT-AN-1


Read Today!

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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ChPCzb
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Add to Goodreads ➙ http://smarturl.it/OLTGoodreads


Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Here’s the thing I love about Corinne Michael’s books. They are contemporary romances about women over 30 that have the feel of new adult romances. It’s a little hard to explain, but there are times I read contemporary romances about women my age and I cannot connect to them. The women read so much older than I feel. I can’t imagine myself acting or talking like them. (I guess in my mind, I’m still in my early 20’s or something.) That’s not how I feel when I’m reading Corinne Michael’s books. I can identify with them easily and put myself in their places.

I absolutely loved One Last Time. There were so many amazing things about it, but my favorite part was the transformation Kristin went through. While I haven’t been through Kristin’s situation, I could identify with many of her feelings. It’s easy to feel like you’re not enough — not skinny enough, not productive enough, not a good enough parent or spouse, not good enough at just about everything. Kristin embodied what it feels like to be in your late 30’s and 40’s. You’re supposed to be an adult and have your stuff figured out, but there are a lot of times you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. I loved how Kristin dealt with it all and learned to value herself. I loved how her friends were there to help her through it all. I loved how all the positive changes she made led her to Noah.

Noah met Kristin at the perfect time in his life. He was a favorite actor, but he was beginning to yearn for more than just a career. I loved how helping Kristin through her struggles made him come to a realization about his own life. They both had so much to learn, and figuring things out together made their relationship fun to read. It was also very sweet and sexy.

As much as I loved Kristin and Noah, I must say the breakout star of this book was Audrey. Kristin’s daughter was the cutest thing ever. She added an adorable humor that was perfect. Her moments with Noah made me smile so hard.

One Last Time was filled with tough emotions, but felt lighter than other Corinne Michael’s books I’ve read in the past. It was a really fun, great read. Now that we’ve got Kristin and Heather’s books, I’m hoping we’ll get Danielle’s and Nicole’s!

Excerpt:

Before I can make a move either way, the glass door slides open and Noah walks through the threshold.

My legs start to quiver as his eyes meet mine. All I can think about is how I’d like to climb him like a tree and shake his coconuts. I thought he was hot in the photo, then he was better through the window, but up close, he’s otherworldly.

“Hi.” Noah’s throaty voice floats around me. “You must be Kristin.”

Instead of speaking, I stand here with my mouth hanging open. Some small sounds that could be words escape, but they aren’t coherent.

Kill me now.

“Noah, this is my best friend, Kristin. Who we told you about.” Heather elbows me.

“Yes. Me. Hi. Kristin. I. You. Hi.”

Smooth. Someone should video this because I’m sure it’s highly entertaining.

“Right.” Noah flashes a blinding smile. “I hear you’re a reporter?”

Okay, Kristin, you have to speak in more than one-word increments or grunting noises.

I grab Heather’s glass she just poured and hope it’ll act as a talisman. “Yes, for a small blog, but I’m that. A reporter. For a blog. I write.”

And a bumbling idiot.

Noah’s green eyes are filled with humor. He moves a little closer and places his hand on top of mine. “Eli filled me in a little. I’m happy I came.”

I’m pretty sure I just came. At least we’re all coming.

“Me, too.”

His lips turn up as his eyes rake my body. “See you out there.” He winks and walks back out.

My ovaries have officially disintegrated.

I turn back to Heather, who bursts out into a fit of laughter. “Oh, that was epic. You all said I was starstruck when I met Eli? You should’ve seen that!” Heather continues to laugh at my expense. “Yes. Me. Um. Blog. Er—” She mocks.

“Shut up.” I laugh—because, really, what else can I do—and bump her hip before moving around the bar and grabbing a glass. “Now, pour me a shot before I drink straight from the bottle.”

There’s only one way to get through tonight.

Alcohol.

Lots of Alcohol.

OLT FB Group Available

Meet Corinne:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

Connect with Corinne:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CorinneMichaels
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCMichaels
Instagram: http://instagram.com/corinnemichaels
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7753662
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NVZmhv
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/corinnemichaels/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/corinne-michaels

 

Blog Tour Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

 
 “Lauren Layne gets the red rose for this one, and fans of The Bachelor will fall in love with this thoroughly charming story.”Kate O’Keeffe, bestselling author
 
 RUNAWAY GROOM
I Do, I Don’t – Book 2
Lauren Layne
Releasing Jan 30, 2018
Loveswept

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it.
 
Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of
that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .
Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook
endings.
 
NOW AVAILABLE!

MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

In Runaway Groom, Ellie has agreed to be one of the contestants on a Bachelor-like television show. She’s not doing it for the chance to find love, but for the chance to promote her new t-shirt company. Ellie has no interested in meeting Hollywood heart-throb Gage at the altar.

Gage isn’t exactly thrilled to be on the reality television show either. He lost a bet, and there’s nothing he can do to get out of being the “groom”. The only thing good about the situation is meeting Ellie. She’s real and refreshing in a way the other contestants aren’t. Gage just needs to convince Ellie that he’s not the Hollywood playboy he’s been made out to be.

Runaway Groom is the second book in Lauren Layne’s I Do, I Don’t series. I loved the first book, Ready to Run, but I found Runaway Groom to be even better! The format was so much fun! I loved that not only were first person dual points of view used to narrate, but text messages and official letters to the contestants. It also had what I love about every Lauren Layne book — great humor! Oh, and I can’t leave out the setting. Who doesn’t love reading books set in tropical locals?

Gage and Ellie were both pretty pessimistic at the beginning of Runaway Groom. I loved how that initially brought them together. I don’t want to spill how, but I thought it was so cool! Lauren Layne came up with a great plot there. It was so easy to understand how Gage and Ellie were meant for each other.

Honestly, Runaway Groom was perfectly written. I wouldn’t make any changes to it. It was so much fun to read! If you’re a Lauren Layne fan, you need to read this book. If you haven’t read her stuff before and love contemporary romances, you need to read this book! You don’t have to read the first book in the series to read Runaway Groom, so basically everyone needs to read this book.

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies.
She lives in New York City with her husband. A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

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Review: Three Blind Dates by Meghan Quinn

“Good Morning Malibu, it’s another beautiful day on the west coast! I’m Noely Clark, your host: and I’m in the market for love…”

When the publicity team of the new local restaurant, Going in Blind, began their search for a hot, local celebrity to promote the wildly popular eatery, they couldn’t have found a better person than me.

Outgoing? Check.
Single? Check.
Open to finding love? Check.

I signed up immediately.

A hopeless romantic with an exceedingly demanding schedule, I’ve found it impossible to find the man of my dreams—so Going in Blind seems too good to be true! That’s until they start setting me up on dates—three very different, very attractive, very distinct blind dates—and only one thing is for certain . . .

I’m in big trouble.

Good Morning Malibu,
I’m Noely Clark, and I have a choice to make.
The question is who will I choose; the suit, the rebel, or the jock

AMAZON | AMAZON PRINT | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | AMAZON CA

MY REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Meghan Quinn surprises me with each new book she writes. Her titles are always a little shocking and worrisome, but the way she twists her stories to fit them is phenomenal. I have to remind myself of this every time a new one is released because I get hesitant when I read a title or blurb that has the possibility to make me uncomfortable.

Three Blind Dates had both the blurb and title to scare this romance reader who is not a fan of love triangles (or possible square in this case). I would have passed on the chance to read this book if Meghan Quinn wasn’t the author. I’m so glad I didn’t. Three Blind Dates wasn’t what I expected at all. Yes, the main character Noely goes on three blind dates, but they don’t create the love triangle you’re thinking of. I don’t want to explain things too much because I want you to experience this book yourself. Just know that guys don’t necessarily overlap, and the story is done in a really cool way.

There was so much I loved about Three Blind Dates. Like I said before, it had a format that I really liked. There was Meghan Quinn’s hilarious humor and her crazy, fun characters. It also had a really cool tie in to the movie You’ve Got Mail. I loved how the little references were worked into every aspect of the story.

I do have to admit there were a couple of things that bugged me in Three Blind Dates. They were both near the end of the book. I guess I was just a little shocked by something that occurred at Noely’s work. Then, there was the direction the story went. Things didn’t go as I expected, which was cool, but also surprising. It made me a little unsure of how much I felt about this book at first.

Overall, I enjoyed Three Blind Dates a whole heck of a lot. I loved the blind dates with “The Suit”, “The Rebel”, and “The Jock”. (I may have also been a little partial to one of the male characters, but I refuse to tell you who until you read this book!) I liked how Meghan Quinn spun the story. Most of all, I loved the humor.

Oh! I can’t leave out another thing I loved! Three Blind Dates is actually the FIRST book in a SERIES!!! (If you haven’t read this book, and don’t know who won Noely’s heart, don’t look up the other books! It will ruin the surprise!) I’m so excited to read the rest of the series and find out who steals the other men’s hearts.

I didn’t realize how close I was to the restaurant because I’m ten minutes early. Does that make me seem desperate? No, I chastise myself. It shows that I respect the other person’s time . . . right?

God, dating is the worst. There are so many unspoken rules you have to follow to not look desperate, or to not look like a psycho, or a creep, or horny, or—

“Can I help you, miss?”

Straightening up, I turn toward the hostess stand, which is a beautifully carved piece of wood. Standing behind it is an exotic, tall woman with long black hair, stunning grey eyes, and a massive engagement ring on her hand. Please tell me she got that rock from dating someone in this program.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that happiness for my life is dependent on getting married, but to see a success story in the flesh—particularly for me—would be encouraging.

“Hi, yes, I’m Noely Clark. I have a date at seven tonight with”—I lean forward, feeling silly and whisper—“with WindsorKnot.”

Her smile is kind and reassuring, making me feel a little calmer. “Yes, Miss Clark, I have you here for seven. You’re date hasn’t arrived yet, so can I show you to the bar for a drink while you wait?”

“That would be lovely, thank you.”

With my clutch tucked under my arm, I follow tall, dark, and beautiful to the bar where a very handsome Asian man is standing with a towel draped over his shoulder and a bright grin on his face. He’s wearing a button-up shirt with rolled sleeves, a brown vest covering his chest, which totally channels his inner Justin Timberlake.

“Danny, this is Miss Clark. She has a reservation at seven. Would you be so kind to make her whatever drink she would like?”

“Of course.” He winks at the hostess who presses her warm hand on my arm.

“Enjoy, Miss Clark. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. My name is Veronica, this is Danny, and we will be happy to serve you in any way.” With a parting grin, she moves back to her hostess spot.

Well, she’s nice.

“Miss Clark, please take a seat. What would you like?”

My tight, formfitting red dress makes my hop onto the bar stool a difficult task, but with a pleading prayer to the dress gods and a swift jump, I situate myself, only breaking a minor sweat.

I let out a sigh of relief and place my hands on the bar in front of me, scanning the glitzy bottles of “muscle relaxant.” “Hmm . . . how about a Moscow Mule?”

“Coming right up.” He gets to work and I watch as he magically floats around the bar, pulling the ingredients. “We recently bought new copper mugs, and I’ve been dying to use them.”

“Yeah? Am I the first?”

Winking, he says, “You are.”

If I didn’t know any better, I would say Danny is a bit of a flirt. Either that or he’s super friendly. Or simply made to be a bartender.

From beneath the bar, Danny pulls out a shiny, hammered-copper mug, and I’m instantly taken by the design. So sleek, just like its surroundings. The restaurant, with its white exposed brick, natural wood features, electric colors, and stone tabletops, is sexy, yet inviting. The friendly waitstaff is an absolute bonus. Every table is cornered off in its own spot, never getting too close to the other tables around it, and the mood lighting is on point with dim Edison bulb lights hanging from the ceiling and tabletop candles. I’m feeling the mood.

Despite the welcoming atmosphere, I can’t help but feel nervous, even after my brief exchange with WindsorKnot. There’s something to say about a blind date: the anticipation, the unknown, the knowledge that you’re having dinner with someone to possibly form a romantic relationship. It’s intimidating, but exhilarating all at the same time.

Could this be the last time I ever go on a first date? Will he like me? Will he want to get to know me?

Butterflies float around in my stomach and my cheeks heat as Danny places a napkin in front of me, topped by my drink with a lime slice on the side.

“Here you go, Miss Clark. Please enjoy.”

I smile politely. “Thank you.” When I take a sip, I’m instantly assaulted by the ginger-lime combination. Perfect. “This is fantastic.”

“Good.” Danny winks again and like an old-time bartender, starts drying a tumbler with the towel hanging over his shoulder. Eyeing me for a second, he asks, “A little nervous?”

After taking a sip from my drink, I lick my lips and nod. “Just a little.” I scrunch my nose, squinting ever so slightly. “Is it obvious?”

“Nah, you look pretty chill compared to a lot of blind daters I see come through the door.”

“Oh, I’m sure you see a lot of different reactions to these dates.” I lean forward, the cold wood of the bar cooling my sweaty hands, and whisper, “Any good stories you can tell me?”

Danny chuckles quietly and leans forward himself, taking a look from side to side before answering. “Plenty, but looks like your date just arrived.”

My date just arrived?

The temperature in the room seems to go up a thousand degrees as my body seizes and my shoulders tense. “Oh God, can you see him? Is he hot? What does he look like? Should I turn around? No, I shouldn’t, he would know I was checking him out.” Whispering a little louder, I ask again, “Just tell me, is he cute?”

Danny’s eyes scan over my head and his smile stretches across his face. “That’s for you to judge, not me.” Damn you, Danny.

Oh Christ, I’m not ready.

That’s right, I’m not freaking ready for this.

I get it, I know I said I was ready, that I wanted to do this, that I was all-in, that I wanted to find my soul mate, but now that I’m here, seconds from meeting “the one,” I’m pretty sure I’m going to throw up. Yep, I’m going to throw up. I can feel it rising.

Oh God, I’m going to retch all over him, right on his shoes. I know it. It’s bound to happen.

“Relax, you’re going to have fun,” Danny whispers before he turns to the bottles behind him.

As if the light hairs on my arm can sense it, they stand at attention as the sound of faint footsteps come closer.

Click, click, click. The cement floor leaves zero room for sneaking up on anyone.

Don’t throw up, don’t throw up. Think compliments, think pleasantries, think—

“Hello.”

Smooth molasses drips over my shoulders as the most velvet of voices I’ve ever heard echoes behind me, pulling me away from the death grip on my copper mug and turning me in my seat to face one of the most handsome and polished men I’ve ever seen.

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!

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Review: The Real Thing by Melissa Foster

The Real Thing
Series: Sweet Lake, #1
Author: Melissa Foster
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.


Willow has always longed for her older brother’s best friend, Zane. They had a night together back before Willow left for college, but their relationship went no further. It left Willow with feelings of anger and resentment toward Zane — especially when he became a womanizing famous actor. Now, Zane’s back in town and looking to change his image. He needs Willow to help him do that by pretending to be his fiancée. The arrangement is something Willow should know better than to say yes to, but she still can’t resist Zane.

The Real Thing was a fun fake fiancée romance. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Melissa Foster. I had forgotten how much I enjoy her writing. She’s an author who knows how to write third person point of view. A lot of the time, it takes me a while to be able to get into third person narration. It wasn’t that way with The Real Thing. I didn’t even notice it. Third person felt just as easy as reading first person in this book. I really appreciated that. I also appreciated that both Willow and Zane’s perspectives were included.

Willow and Zane were a cute couple. She was independent, loyal and fiery. He was overconfident, but deep down had a big heart. All of those things fit really well and complimented each other. I loved that they had been pining over each other since high school. It made their love story all the sweeter.

I do have to admit there was something that bugged me about this book that I couldn’t let go. Willow’s hatred and distrust of Zane didn’t make complete sense. I understand that she’s mad that he moved on, but she set things up that way. He truly didn’t do anything that set out to hurt her or break her heart. Plus, it had been like ten years and she was still holding onto to her anger. It seemed weird since she had been in contact with him at least monthly and had seen him several times over the years. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe I needed more than just a snapshot of the aftermath of their teenage decision.

One of my favorite things about this book was the cast of secondary characters. Willow had an amazing family. Each was an individual with a strong personality. Meeting them made me very excited for what’s to come in this series. I hope they all get their own books. I’m really hoping to see more of Ben and Amelia!

Overall, The Real Thing was a sweet contemporary read, and an entertaining take of a celebrity fake relationship.

Review: Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid

Grin & Beard It
Series: Winston Brothers, #2
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Penny Reid
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Comedy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?


If you read my review post for Truth or Beard, you know I’m currently binge reading the entire Winston Brothers series. I loved that first book and I was so excited to read the second, Grin & Beard It.

Grin & Beard It is Jethro Winston’s story. He’s the ex-troublemaker of the Winston family. He put his brothers and sister through a lot growing up, and he still feels the guilt of his former life. Jethro doesn’t feel he’s worthy of love.

Enter Sienna Diaz. Sienna is the hottest actress and screenwriter in the business right now. Her “plus size” curves and witty sense of humor set her apart from the rest of the Hollywood crowd. Sienna loves her career, but having a family has always been her ultimate goal.

Jethro and Sienna’s relationship was a slow burn romance that was built on humor, acceptance and an immediate connection. I loved their witty banter. The way they saw things in each other no one else did was so special. Their support of each other was unwavering and inspirational.

Reformed Jethro was an amazing character, but Sienna is the one that stood out in this story. Sienna is one of my all time favorite female characters. She’s so much more than an actress. She’s a writer. She’s a comedian. Most of all, Sienna is happy with who she is. I loved that she loved her body. She was proud of her curves and knew she was more than what the media or society saw her as. I also loved that family was Sienna’s first priority. Her relationship with her mother was so sweet.

I adored Grin & Beard It. Penny Reid’s writing is brilliant. The Winston Brothers is one of the best series I’ve read in a long time. Each book gets funnier and funnier. If you like funny romance, you have to read this series! I can’t wait to read Beard Science next. I can only imagine what Cletus has in store for me!

Review: To Hate Adam Connor by Ella Maise

To Hate Adam Conner
Author: Ella Maise
Publication Date: June 9, 2016
Publisher: Ella Maise
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

*Lucy’s story is a complete standalone*

So you may ask, who is Adam Connor? He is the recently divorced, Academy Award-winning actor who just moved in next door with his kid. He also happens to be an exquisite male specimen and the most infuriating sly bastard I’ve ever come across.

Let’s be honest here, wouldn’t you wanna take a peek over the wall to catch a glimpse of him, hopefully when he is naked? Wouldn’t you melt away after watching him work out as his five-year-old kid cheered him on? Do I even have to mention those abs, the big bulge in his pants, or that arm porn? Oh, wait, you would never spy on him? Sure…

While I was being thoughtful by not breaking and entering and was actually considering going over to offer him a shoulder—or maybe a boob or two—to cry on (y’know, because of his divorce), instead he had me thrown in jail after a small incident. Jail, people! He was supposed to grant me countless orgasms as a thank you, not a jail cell.

After that day, I was mentally plotting ways to strangle him instead of jumping his bones to make sweet love. So what if my body did more than just shiver when he whispered dirty little things in my ear? I can’t be held responsible for that. And when was the last time he’d kissed anyone anyway? Who’d enjoy a kiss with a side of heart attack?

Even if he and his son were the best things since sliced bread—and I’m not saying he was—I couldn’t fall for him. No matter what promises he whispered on my skin, my curse wouldn’t let us be. I wasn’t a damsel in distress—I could save myself, thank you very much—but deep inside, I still hoped Adam Connor would be the hero of my story.


I’ve wanted to read To Hate Adam Connor ever since I read To Love Jason Thorn. I fell in love with all of the characters in that book, and I wanted to get to know Lucy better. Her relationship with Jameson intrigued me, and she made me laugh so much.

I have to admit I was a little surprised when I read the title and blurb for this book. How could Adam Connor be the star of Lucy’s book? I mean, what happened to Jameson? Not to worry, Ella Maise did an amazing job at explaining why Lucy didn’t end up with Jameson. She gave us a much better man for Lucy to fall for.

Adam Connor was the full package. Not only was he an incredibly sexy famous actor, he was also a doting single father. The way he loved his son increased his hot factor by about a million.He was the perfect match for Lucy’s over the top personality. I loved the way Adam and Lucy fell in love. They started out hating each other, and it made watching them fall for each so much fun.

Lucy was just as hilarious as she was in the first book, if not more so. I was surprised to find out how much she hid behind her humor. Lucy was a much deeper character than I expected. She had a past that haunted her. I’m so happy Adam was the man to prove to her that she could break the cycle.

I was also super happy to see Olive and Jason back in this book. They made many little appearances, and their relationship with Lucy made me smile. Lucy and Olive are some hilarious friends.

To Hate Adam Connor was a great hate to love romance. It was also a really fun take on a celebrity romance. If you like both of those romance tropes, you need to read this book! But read To Love Jason Thorn first. You don’t want to miss out on the beginning of Lucy’s (and Olive’s) high jinks.

Mini Romance Reviews: Hot Cop, Sex Symbol and Dr. ER

Good morning! Today, I have three mini reviews for three hot romances for you!


Hot Cop
Authors: Laurelin Paige, Sierra Simone
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

You have the right to remain sexy.

Anything you say can and will be used to get you in my bed.

You have the right to use my body to give yourself a delirious, life-changing orgasm.

If you have trouble…don’t worry, I’m a bit of an expert in that department.

There’s nothing ‘thin’ about my blue line, if you catch my drift, and trust me, I know how to put those handcuffs to good use.

***

Livia Ward wants a baby before she’s thirty.  And even though Officer Chase Kelly is exactly the kind of cocky jerk this librarian has sworn off, he is undeniably hot.  Both of them think they can give each other what they want–a few nights of fun for Officer Kelly, a no-strings baby for Livia–but this hot cop is about to learn that sex, babies, and love don’t always play by the rules.

My review:

I was excited to learn Laurelin Paige and Sierra Simone were releasing another book together. I read Porn Star when it came out, and thought it was a lot of sexy fun. Hot Cop was just as fun. I loved the dynamic between the characters, their witty banter, and the off the charts hot sexy times. Man, those sexy times were great!

There was one little negative thing that kept popping up in my mind while reading Hot Cop. It reminded me of another new release that I recently read. Both books have women who are looking for a sperm donation and use it as a bargaining tool to satisfy the guy’s need to have sex with them. They weren’t exactly the same story, but they were pretty similar. I couldn’t help comparing the two, but I loved both books so I’m not sure why I’m even pointing it out.

This book was a great romantic escape. It’s not a book you’ll want to read when little eyes can peek over your shoulders, but that’s part of the fun of it!


Sex Symbol
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publication Date: June 28, 2017
Publisher: Paige Press LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Micah Preston is Hollywood’s #1 sex symbol.

A rich and famous actor who has sworn off any serious relationships, the playboy is the media’s favorite bachelor.

But he wasn’t anybody when Maddie Bauer met him seven years ago. Then he was just the hot guy at the party who gave her an amazing orgasm and never called her again.

Now her job as a camera assistant has landed her on the set of his latest movie, and despite her vow to ignore his charm, she finds him pulling her focus.

She just has to make it through the shoot without landing in his bed. But when the legendary bad boy sets his sights on her, how can she possibly resist?

The book was previously published under the title Take Two.

My review:

Sex Symbol was an entertaining celebrity romance. Maddie and Micah had met at a party in their early twenties and immediately hit it off. He promises to call her after the party but doesn’t because his agent suggests he stay single to make it to super stardom. Years go by before they see each other again, but the spark is still their between them.

I loved the way Sex Symbol started out with Maddie and Micah meeting in their early twenties. They had that instant-attraction thing, but I could also feel a real connection between them. (I almost wished seven years hadn’t gone by between their contact because I think there could have been a fun story that way, too.) Their reconnection 7 years later was full of sexy fun. I really enjoyed how their story played out. It’s another book I’d recommend if you’re looking for hot sexy times.


Dr. ER
Series: St. Luke’s Docuseries, #2
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Dr. Erotic.
That’s what they’ve decided to call me, Scott Shepard, the head of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department.
Just thinking about it makes me smile.
As the new face of the reality docuseries, The Doctor Is In, I plan to take his power and recognition right to the streets of New York City and into the pants of willing women.

Well, that was my plan.

Until her—feisty, beautiful, and addictively sexy Harlow Paige.
A gossip columnist that just loves writing about yours truly, she’s everything I thought I never wanted and then some.
She drives me crazy.
Problem is, she doesn’t want to be anything when it comes to me—not friends, not lovers, not even adversaries.
God, I love a good challenge.
Get ready, Harlow. Love is contagious.

My review:

I can’t get enough of Max Monroe’s writing. They are my favorite romantic comedy duo at the moment. Everything they write has me laughing uncontrollably. Dr. ER was witty, fresh and so sexy! I have no how they come up with the stuff they do, but I love it!

Dr. ER. Scott’s pursuit of Harlow was so much fun to read. His cocky confidence in his abilities was perfect for Harlow. She had spunk and wasn’t going to let his ego get away from him. Their strong personalities could have clashed, but instead created an insane chemistry.

One thing that really surprised me about Dr. ER was the twist in the story. I wasn’t expecting it. There were signs, but I somehow I missed them. I liked where the twist took the story.

If you’re looking for a humorous romantic read filled with a lot of amazing sexy times, look no further than Dr. ER or any of Max Monroe’s books.