Review: Blocked by L.P. Dover

Blocked
Series: Breakaway, #2
Author: L.P. Dover
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

He’s got every reason to be cocky . . . until a female cuts him down to size.

I’m Dallas Easton, the best goaltender in the league. I make a damn good living playing hockey, and with women falling at my feet wherever I go, why not enjoy it? I get whatever I want, whenever I want—that is, until I come across the one player who gets the best of me on the ice.

When I try to pummel the dude, all hell breaks loose. Imagine my surprise when the helmet comes off to reveal a woman underneath. And not just any woman, but the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen. Callie Davis is the complete opposite of the puck bunnies I usually go for, a good girl with sick moves and a selfless streak a mile wide. I need to make amends, but she dodges me at every turn. It doesn’t help that Callie’s brother hates my guts, or that my agent thinks she’s bad for my career.

But I could care less what they think. I can’t let our little run-in on the ice be the end of our story. Because when I set my sights on something, I won’t rest until I score.


Blocked has been on my radar since I finished reading the first book in the Breakaway series, Hard Stick. I really liked Kellan’s teammate and friend, Dallas. I was excited that he was getting his own book.

Unfortunately, Dallas wasn’t the man I remembered from Hard Stick. Maybe it’s my poor memory, but I don’t remember him being such a jerk. It wasn’t his womanizing way that was the problem. It was his overall attitude. He was portrayed to be a hotheaded jerk who didn’t get along with his teammates. I hated him for the first part of the book. Then, he’s trying to redeem himself to Callie and it was like his whole personality changed. I had a hard time reconciling the two sides of Dallas.

Callie was an easy character to like. She was smart and knew exactly how to keep Dallas on his toes. I loved the little “tests” or pranks she played on him. I also liked that she had a close relationship with her brothers. They didn’t like Dallas and it made the story very entertaining.

One thing I thought Blocked was missing was drama. There was one big dramatic moment, but it fell a little flat for me. I just didn’t envision Callie responding the way she did. She seemed like an open and honest person who would let someone explain themselves before completely flipping out.

Overall, Blocked was an entertaining read. I still liked L.P. Dover’s writing style, and she made me excited for both Lacey and Maddox’s story and Justin’s. I can’t decide whose I’d like to read first!

Review: Sugar & Gold by Emma Scott

Sugar & Gold
Series: Dreamcatcher, #2
Author: Emma Scott
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Fantasy
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Nikolai Alexei Young was born with a special gift…one he’d do anything to lose. The heart and soul of every person he comes into contact with is an open book to his heightened senses. Colorful emotions, whispers of thoughts, the sour tastes of old memories…He feels them all. The sci-fi books would call him an empath. For Nikolai, his ability has made him an exile. He roams the U.S. alone, avoiding the glut of life in big cities, and using his innate talents to win money in underground poker games. Just enough to keep going, one town to the next. He has no hope that his life can be anything else, until he meets her…

At nineteen, Fiona Starling was trapped in an ugly, desperate situation until she freed herself the only way she knew how. Now three years later, living outside Savannah, Georgia, she is rebuilding her life on her own terms; seizing every moment and saving every penny so that she might fulfill her dream of moving to the raw wilderness of Costa Rica. But behind her carefree smile beats the heart of a lonely young woman haunted by her past, until a chance encounter with a tattooed stranger changes everything…

Fiona takes Nikolai under her roof for three sultry nights, waiting out the rain of a summer storm. She grows more and more fascinated by this brooding stranger with whom she shares an intense physical connection—a connection so strong, she wonders if there is something between them beyond lust and passion. Nikolai is shocked to discover that Fiona calms the raging turmoil in his heart. She alone silences the din of other people’s lives, and envelops him in the sweet beauty of her inner self. Every moment he’s with her—every touch of her skin—brings him closer to the peace that’s been eluding him his entire life.

But Fiona harbors secrets that she is too terrified to reveal. After Nikolai confesses his unique ability, she is caught between wanting to believe him and fearing he’ll eventually unearth her own dark past. When the unthinkable happens, Fiona’s plans come crashing down, and Nikolai discovers his hated ability might be the only thing that can save the woman he loves.


Sugar & Gold was a brilliant story of two broken people finding love and comfort where they least expect it. Fiona, ready to flee to the wild of Costa Rica, had no plans for love. Love was what broke her in the first place. Nikolai has a gift for seeing and feeling emotions from the people he comes in contact with. It’s made him unwelcome by those he loves the most. He never thought a one night distraction could bring him the peace he craves.

I really loved this book. I’m a little surprised by that. You see, I’m not really one for paranormal stuff in books. I like my fiction to be realistic. But I really, really loved it in Sugar & Gold. Nik’s gift was so well woven into the story. It gave him a connection with Fiona that went above and beyond what would have been in my realistic fiction. I adored their relationship and couldn’t imagine it without Nik’s colors.

Not only did Sugar & Gold have the whole paranormal thing going for it, but it also had some great twists. I couldn’t have foreseen where this story was headed. I loved the turn it took and how everything worked out. I especially loved the epilogue.

If you want to feel all the feels, reach for an Emma Scott book. She won’t let you down. She always crafts a sweet story filled with raw emotions. I was completely captivated by Sugar & Gold. It was just so beautiful. I highly recommend it.

Release Day Review: Logan by Jay McLean

 

Release Day Blitz

Title: Logan – A Preston Brothers Novel #2

Author: Jay McLean

Release Day: October 1, 2017

PURCHASE
LINKS:
BLURB
As
a kid, Logan Preston was a brat.
Through his teens, he
became the bad boy.
Now, at nineteen, no one knows what the
hell to expect.
High
school dropout, Logan Preston is a
good-for-nothing
stoner.
A black sheep.
A disappointment.
The
worst Preston Punk of the lot.
At least that’s how everyone in
his small town
makes him feel.
But Logan Preston
has secrets.
Secrets so dark and so deep below the surface
that the only way he can fight them is to stay high, high, high.
He
wears cockiness as a mask.
Arrogance as his armor.
Until
one girl, one night, asks one life-changing question:
What’s
beneath the bravado, Logan Preston?

REVIEW:

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

I’m all out of feels right now, people!

I have to admit I put off reading this ARC for a few days after receiving it. Normally, I would dive right into a Jay McLean novel, but I couldn’t do it with this book.There were two reasons. One, I knew the moment I started reading Logan I wouldn’t be able to stop. I would read it until I was done, and then I would have to pathetically wait for McLean’s next book. Two, I knew Logan was going to wreck me. That was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Both of those things happened.

Once again, Jay McLean wrote a book that held me in its clutches from the moment I began reading it. Shockingly, it wasn’t a love at first read for me. That had nothing to do with McLean’s storytelling and all to do with Logan. He and his decisions drove me absolutely crazy. I didn’t understand how someone with such an amazing family and support system could act the way he did. (He was definitely someone I would have avoided as a teenager in real life). I, like Aubrey, wanted to know what was behind his bravado.

The more I read, the more Logan made sense to me, and the more I loved his character. There was so much more to him than I originally thought. His inner demons were way stronger than I was expecting. His experience was so different from Lucy or Lucas’ and I came to admire him by the end of this book.

As for Aubrey, that girl rocked. She was so much stronger than she gave herself credit for. She may have been all sweetness, but there was so much fight in her. She was exactly the person Logan needed in his life.

I can’t end this review without saying how much I loved the part the rest of the Preston family played in this story. Lachlan especially stood out. That kid was wise beyond his years. I also can’t leave out Tom Preston. What an amazing father.

There’s not much else I can say about Logan without spoiling the story other than it was an emotional journey that I loved. Logan is one of those books you really have to experience for yourself to understand its magic.

GOODREADS
LINK:
OTHER
BOOKS IN SERIES:
More
Than Forever (More Than #4):
http://amzn.to/2gUKZOq
Lucas
(Preston Brothers Novel) #1:
http://bit.ly/2vLc8JP

GIVEAWAY:

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AUTHOR
BIO
  She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
 Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.
 Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
 
 

Release Blitz: Legs by Kelly Siskind

Title: Legs
Series: One Wild Wish #1
Author: Kelly Siskind
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: September 27, 2017

Running into your one-night stand is a special kind of awkward. Competing against him in a wine tasting contest is delicious torment…

On Rachel’s twenty-seventh birthday, she wishes to finally find a rewarding job. What she doesn’t wish is to drink a boatload of wine, sleep with a tattooed bad boy, and drunk email her boss in one glorious, career-ending move. But the fiasco pushes her to pursue a career inspired by her late father’s love of wine: sommelier. 

Unfortunately, she’s competing against her infuriating one-night stand, a man as intoxicating as a Pinot Noir.

Two years ago, Jimmy was set to inherit his family winery. Then it got ripped from his grasp. To close that dark chapter of his life, he plans to win a local sommelier contest and use the press to expose his family’s tainted wines. 

Jimmy loves studying the streaks of alcohol that cling to a wineglass, known as the wine’s “legs,” but other shapely legs are stealing his focus. Tantalizing legs. Legs that had wrapped around his waist for one wild night. Jimmy, sadly, has a weakness for legs. 

He also hates to lose.
LEGS is a full-length, standalone Smart, Sexy Romantic Comedy with a swoony Happily Ever After. No cheating or cliff-hangers here! Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren, Avery Flynn, Alice Clayton, Emma Chase, and Lauren Blakely.
 

Author Heather Van Fleet – “Kelly is a masterful story teller, and this book proves just that. HIGHLY rec it.”

Bookgasms Book Blog – “This was the perfect way to lose a day – wrapped up in this seductive and satisfying love story.”

Author Elizabeth Zane – “You guys, if you want the perfect book to curl up and read with a nice glass of wine, if you want a book that has romance–sexy, steamy, funny, real, romance–then look no further, you’ve found your book.”


Rachel settled onto the stool beside me, her spine ramrod straight. She tucked her elbows to her sides. Not exactly relaxed.
A drink could help. “What’s your poison?”
“Apparently dangerous men I don’t know, but I’ll have a glass of the Lynmar Pinot.”
I could do dangerous. “If I’m your poison after two minutes, imagine how you’ll feel in a few hours.” That earned me a long swallow from her. “She’ll have the Foursight,” I added to Cameron. It was sweet how confident she was ordering that wine, but her lips would taste so much better after a sip from my glass.
She shot me a look, her freckles sharp against her reddening cheeks. “Pretty sure I can order for myself, and I’d like the Lynmar.”
“You don’t want the Lynmar. 2011 was a brutal year. Trust me.” No need to bore her about the early rains that season and the lack of fruit.
“Actually I do want the Lynmar.”
Cameron moved to grab the bottle, but I held up my hand. He halted. 
To her, I said, “I’ve been sipping the Foursight since I got here. You telling me you don’t want a taste?”
Her attention dropped to my lips again, and she grazed her teeth over hers. Fire sparked in her brown eyes. “I may want a taste of that wine. Later. For now I want the Lynmar.”
“It’s inferior.”
“It’s splendid.”
“The season was crap.”
“The season was hard, not crap.”
“The Foursight is a sure thing,” I said. She must have seen the heat in my gaze.
“I like the underdog,” she countered, a sultry note to her voice. “Finding a diamond in the rough. The vines that survived 2011 were stronger, and a few vintages shone. Like the Lynmar. Hints of spice. Creamy mouthfeel.” A quiet hum passed her lips.
Okay. The girl knew her wine, and my attraction to her spiked. With the haunts I’d been frequenting, and my bartending gig at Rudy’s Tavern, I hadn’t been around a woman like her in ages. No visible ink, her outfit more conservative than racy. Her straight brown hair would look sexy as hell tangled in my fist. “You sure you don’t want to skip to the mouthfeel part?”
She smiled freely, the first hint of her letting loose. “I’m still not sure how bitter the aftertaste will be.”
My answering grin was just as carefree. “I know how to make it sweet, Sunshine.”
She barely reacted, but her nostrils flared. “Then get me a glass of the Lynmar.”
“You’ll regret it.”
“I’m already regretting walking in here.”
I chuckled, unsure the last time flirting had been this much fun. “How about a bet?”
“I don’t bet with strangers.”
“But you have drinks with them?”
She paused. “What sort of bet?”
Between her rejection at Vesper and her stiff posture now, sitting beside me was probably pushing her beyond her limits. Limits I wanted to test. The women I’d messed around with weren’t tough to reel in. We were always after the same thing: a fun night between the sheets. The girl at my side was tipsy, but not so drunk she didn’t know what she was after. Something told me if I could unlace her, it would be lightyears beyond fun.
“You do a blind tasting of the Foursight and the Lynmar,” I said. “If you can’t tell them apart, then I buy you a glass of my choosing, and I get to taste it on your lips. At my place.”
“That escalated fast.” So did her breathing.
“Did you want this to go slow?”
Instead of turning me down, she said, “If I win…if I guess each wine, what do I get?”
“You tell me.”
“A winery?”
I barked out a laugh, but there was nothing funny about her joke. Two years ago, I’d have been able to ante up. “Might be out of my budget. Anything else?”
She looked at me through lowered lashes. “My place.”
Now we were getting somewhere.

LegsComingSoonFINALHD.mp4

 

Kelly is the author of CHASING CRAZY, MY PERFECT MISTAKE, A FINE MESS, and HOOKED ON TROUBLE, the latter three being part of her Over the Top series. A small-town girl at heart, she moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

  
HOSTED BY:

 

Review: On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

On a Tuesday

by Whitney G.
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Second Chance Romance, Standalone
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Model Credit: Andrea Denver

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

We met on a Tuesday.
Became best friends, then lovers, on a Tuesday.
And everything fell apart on a Tuesday…

Charlotte Taylor has three automatic strikes in my book: 1) She hates me. She also claims that I’m a “domineering jerk with a huge, overbearing ego.” (I do have something huge. It’s not my ego, though.) 2) She takes our mandatory tutoring sessions way too seriously. 3) She’s sexy as hell…And a virgin.

At least, those were her strikes before our study sessions started lasting longer than they were supposed to. Until one innocent kiss became a hundred dirty ones, and until she became the first woman I ever fell hard for.

Our future together after graduation was supposed to be set:
Professional football for me. Law school for her.

But she left me at the end of the semester with no explanation, and then she completely disappeared from my life.

Until tonight.

We met on a Tuesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Tuesday.
And now it’s seven years later, on a Tuesday…

This is a full length second chance romance, inspired by Adele’s “When We Were Young”

My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

On a Tuesday was a fusion of romance subgenres. It was part new adult college romance, part second chance contemporary romance. The story began in present day, but then jumped back and forth in time from college to present day to reveal how Charlotte and Grayson met, fell in love, broke up, and then reconnected. On a Tuesday definitely had more of a new adult feel to it since the majority of the story was set in the characters’ college years.

To be honest, I had a little bit of a hard time connecting to the characters and their love story. There were a couple of reasons why. First, both characters were a little unlikable. Charlotte was prickly, especially toward Grayson. That prickliness was felt right through the pages. I have to praise Whitney G. for creating a character that made me feel something because I felt Charlotte’s dislike for Grayson as if she disliked me. I didn’t feel sorry for Grayson because of Charlotte’s dislike, though. Grayson was so full of himself that I couldn’t really fall in love with his character. His ego was too much for me. The other issue I had with the characters was due to the novella length of this book. It really limited the story. I liked how Charlotte and Grayson’s love story was laid out for the reader, but the majority of the story was given to the past. The present felt rushed.

Despite not feeling a deep connection to the characters, there were a lot of good things about On a Tuesday. Whitney’s writing was as amazing as ever. I liked how the story was centered around Tuesdays. It was a fun way to read a story. And I did like how the story jumped around in time. I also loved knowing it was based on a song. That was really cool. Overall, it was a really fun book to read — on a Tuesday.

About Whitney G.

Whitney G. is a twenty-eight-year-old optimist who is obsessed with travel, tea, and great coffee. She’s also a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several contemporary novels, and the cofounder of The Indie Tea–an inspirational blog for indie romance authors.

When she’s not chatting with readers on her Facebook Page, you can find her on her website at http://www.whitneygbooks.com or on instagram: @whitneyg.author. (If she’s not in either of those places, she’s probably locked away working on another crazy story.)

Don’t forget to sign up for Whitney’s monthly newsletter here: http://bit.ly/1p9fEYF

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Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Temporary
Authors: Sarina Bowen, Sarah Mayberry
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…


When I see a new Sarina Bowen book coming out, I don’t even read the blurb. I just request the ARC and pray that I’ll receive one because I absolutely adore her writing. I like going in blind and experiencing her books without knowing too much about them. I was especially excited to read Temporary because I’ve never read a book by Sarah Mayberry before.

Temporary had everything I love in a contemporary romance. The writing was excellent. I wouldn’t have known it was a collaboration between two authors if it wasn’t stated on the front cover. It felt like one author writing a seamless story in dual point of view. Callan and Grace had distinctive voices that fit together well.

Another thing Temporary had going for it were the characters. Callan and Grace came from different walks of life. I loved how their different upbringings shaped them, and then brought them together. Their attraction was fun, but their love for and understanding of each other was what made their relationship shine. I also loved the side characters. Grace’s sister and best friend added so much fun to the story, while Callan’s mom and sister were the perfect enemies.

My favorite thing about Temporary, though, was the plot. It felt new and fresh. It wasn’t just another light contemporary love story. It was filled with real life issues and powerful people who needed to be dealt with. I loved how Callan and Grace worked together to stand up for what they thought was right.

Temporary was a fantastic début collaboration novel for Bowen and Mayberry. I loved reading it so much. I am excitedly waiting what’s to come from this duo of authors. Oh, and  now I need to go read Mayberry’s back list of books! I can’t believe I haven’t read her books before!

Review: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

Fraternize
Series: Player’s Game, #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.


I am normally a big fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s new adult novels. I love the heart she brings to them. However, I was not a big fan of Fraternize. It was well written and entertaining, but I had a lot of little problems with it. (Caution – SPOILERS AHEAD).

First, I am a native Washingtonian. I grew up and live about 40 minutes from downtown Seattle and Bellevue. I had a hard time buying into a Bellevue Bucks  AND a Seattle Seahawks NFL franchise. Seattle and Bellevue are a measly ten miles apart. There is no way the area could support another NFL team. Traffic is bad enough as it is. I did appreciate all the Russel Wilson love, though. And I loved how parts of the game of football and grueling practices were included in the book.

Second, I didn’t love the love triangle between Miller, Emerson, and Sanchez. It made me very uncomfortable. Everyone was too close for comfort. Miller and Sanchez were teammates, neighbors and friends. Emerson had a past with Miller that she wasn’t over. Sanchez was overly aggressive in his attempts to woo Emerson, even though he knew Miller had a past with Emerson. Miller and Emerson had been best friends and then more. The had a very intimate emotional connection. I could feel their bond, and I wanted them to be together. That’s not what happened. Emerson ended up with Sanchez.

Third, my biggest problem was I didn’t care for Sanchez. Like I said, he was overly aggressive when it came to Emerson. He had a filthy mouth when it came to his attempts to get her to go out with him, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was disrespectful and made me uncomfortable. I get that underneath it all, he was a nice guy. I just didn’t get that from him until the end.

There were some things I did like about Fraternize. I liked how Emerson wasn’t the standard NFL cheerleader. I loved that she was fit even though she wasn’t a size 0,2, 4, 6, 8…I also loved that she loved food. Emerson’s confidence was cool. Another thing I loved was the ending. The one about Miller. It leads into the next book, and I’m actually really excited to read it. I loved Miller, and I am hopeful Rachel Van Dyken will give him his happy ending.

Honestly, Fraternize was a good book that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there are going to be lots of people who fall in love with Emerson and Sanchez.