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.

Review: Jilted by Sawyer Bennett

In this fun, flirty second-chance romance from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett, an aspiring starlet reconnects with her first love.

“Sawyer Bennett never fails to deliver heroes I fall hard for and heroines I adore.”—Violet Duke

SYNOPSIS

Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.

Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be.

MY REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Sawyer Bennett romance. I had forgotten how much I love her writing. Her characters are fun, the plot interesting, and the sexy times are always hot.

Jilted is a second chance love story. Eden and Cooper broke up in college when their lives took a drastically different path. Eden went on to fame and fortune in the world of modeling and acting. Cooper got his college degree and took over his dad’s landscaping business. The two haven’t seen each other for fourteen years, but the scar their break up left still haunts both of them. When Eden returns to their hometown of Newberry, they are forced to face their past and their unresolved feelings for each other.

I loved Jilted. It was exactly the type of romance I’m looking for when I want a sexy escape. Eden and Cooper had amazing chemistry. It didn’t matter whether they were loving or fighting, their dynamic was intense. I could feel the sexual tension rippling off of them pretty much all the time. They put that sexual tension to good use, too. Those love scenes were hotter than hot.

The sexual escapades weren’t the only thing enjoyed about Jilted, though. It was a really sweet love story. Eden and Cooper hadn’t found anyone quite like each other after breaking up. Their connection ran deep, and I loved that.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about Jilted. It truly was a fun second chance romance. Fans of Sawyer Bennett are sure to enjoy it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

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Review: Sweeter Than Ever by Bella Andre

Sweeter Than Ever
Series: The Sullivans, #16.5
Author: Bella Andre
Publication Date: April 5, 2017
Publisher: Oak Press, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with The Sullivans—especially Smith Sullivan, the movie star with the heart of gold.

Get ready to join Smith and his new wife Valentina in the novella SWEETER THAN EVER as they embark on their life together with the sweetest, sexiest, most surprising honeymoon ever. Seven days and seven nights of just-wedded bliss that will sizzle, make you laugh out loud…and tug on your heartstrings. After all, true love—and family—are what the Sullivans do best!


The Sullivans were one of the first contemporary romance families (and series!) I fell in love with. Each sibling’s story was special in a magical way. I especially loved Smith and Valentina’s romance in Come A Little Bit Closer. I was so excited to find out they were getting an extended epilogue in this novella.

Sweeter Than Ever was fun update on Smith and Valentina’s relationship. They’ve just been married and have escaped to the wilderness to hide out from the press. Smith and Valentina have love-making on their mind, but surprises pop up frequently keeping them busier than they intended. All of the things they encounter on their honeymoon also have them entertaining the idea of adding to their family.

I really enjoyed this addition to The Sullivans series. Smith and Valentina’s relationship was as sweet and spicy as ever. Their physical and mental connection shined in this short novella. It was the perfect addition to their story.

Sweeter Than Ever is a book Bella Andre fans will not want to miss.

Release Day Blitz Review: Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Tara Wyatt
Series: Bodyguard #3
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Formats: Mass Market
Price: $7.99 (mass market)
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SYNOPSIS

Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature-and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.

Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he’s training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he’s afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings-to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .

BODYGUARD SERIES
Bodyguard #3
Series Page on Goodreads

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REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Romantic suspense is one of those tricky genres for me. I either find myself deeply involved in the storyline or completely bored with it. In the case of Chain Reaction, it was deeply involved.

Tara Wyatt’s writing quickly pulled me into the story. It was fast-paced and moved the story along quickly. Nothing was too drawn out or boring. The story contained just the right amount of suspense, and was entertaining. I found myself easily connecting to the characters.

Alexa and Zach were so adorable! I loved how the author set up their back story. It turned what could have felt like insta-love into a believable romance. They way they tried to avoid a romantic relationship but couldn’t was cute. And once they acted on their feelings for each other — dang! The story took a super steamy turn. The last third of the book was over the top sexy times. I loved it!

The only slight issue I had with Chain Reaction was that it was written in third person dual points of view. This isn’t my favorite style of narration, but it worked for the most part in this story. The only problem I had with it was at the beginning when Zack is introduced. His character is presented in the middle of a party and his name kind of got lost in the mix of other male characters to me. It took me a while to remember who he was. That could be related to the fact I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series and had no idea who all of the other characters I was being quickly introduced to were. Had the story been told in first person, it might have been easier for me to navigate.

Overall, Chain Reaction was a great romantic suspense novel. It kept my attention the entire time, and had me invested in the characters’ lives. I highly recommend it to readers who like a series with interconnected characters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Wyatt has been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.

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