Blog Tour Review: Tempt the Boss by Natasha Madison

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Lauren
Going back to work was supposed to be a painless transition, but when my new boss turns out to be an arrogant, cocky jerk, he quickly turns my professional life into a world of torture. Okay, fine, calling him an asshat before knowing he was my boss wasn’t my finest moment. Hating him should be easy. I just never counted on him being so gorgeous or charming when he’s not annoying me.

Austin
I expected my new assistant to be professional and punctual, but all I’m getting are dirty looks and rude comments. I should fire the little hellion, but instead all I can think about is bending her over my desk and breaking every rule I’ve ever made for myself.

One look. One touch. One night. If we break the rules, our lives will never be the same again.

Good thing rules were made to be broken. And besides, it feels so good to Tempt the Boss.

My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from Ardent Prose PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

I feel like I won the lottery after having been asked to read and review Tempt the Boss. I’ve read a ton of office romances lately, and it is definitely one of my favorites! It was my first time reading one of Natasha Madison’s books, and I was so impressed.

Tempt the Boss had me laughing non-stop. Austin and Lauren started out as enemies barely able to work together. They couldn’t stand each other, but were so attracted to each other. There was a definite love-hate relationship between them that created so many amazing moments. The antics those two got up to were insane! (Side note: If I was Natasha Madison’s friend, I would not wrong her. I would be scared for my life!) I loved every minute of the war they had going on.

The laughs and tension didn’t stop once Lauren and Austin moved from hate to love, but the story took on a more seductive and sweet tone. Lauren and Austin’s were freaks between the sheets! Their passion was so hot and intense. Their relationship wasn’t all about the sex, though. Lauren had kids, and so much of their relationship was about finding balance and creating a family. I loved how seamlessly the author was able to combine both aspects of Lauren’s life into the story.

Lauren and Austin were both amazing characters. I loved Lauren’s tenacity and the way she rebounded from life’s harder experiences. She was a strong woman and a great role model. Austin was a cocky jerk, but he also had a lot of good things about him. He was a much more decent guy than I thought he would be. He really won me over with his approach to Lauren and their life together.

There were so many other great characters in this book, too. I loved Lauren’s crazy sister and all of Noah’s friends. I really need to check Madison’s backlist of books and see if there are any about them. I would love to read more about them!

I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about Tempt the Boss. It pleasantly surprised me, and made me excited to read more from Natasha Madison. I highly recommend this book if you love witty dialog, hilarious standoffs and super sexy office romances.

Lauren
I’m singing along to Maroon Five’s “Don’t Wanna Know” when a call comes in. Penelope’s name flashes on the screen. Penelope is my friend from college, the only friend who I kept in touch with. She runs an HR firm that specializes in placing temps. She is the reason I have this job right now.
“Hello,” I say while I wait for her voice to fill the car.

“Hey, there, just checking in. You ready?” she asks me. I hear her rustling papers in the background, so I know she is already at her desk.

“Yup, I’m on my way there now. I’m so nervous, I may puke, though. But I’ll be on time.” I chuckle at the thought of me barfing all over my new boss. I brake for the traffic that is slowing to a crawl in front of me when I feel my van jerk forward slightly. My head flies forward and then snaps back. Looking in my mirror, I see that someone just hit me.

“Oh my god. Someone just ran into me. Fuck me, P. I have to call you back,” I say, unlocking my seatbelt and climbing out of the car.

I put my Tory Birch sunglasses on top of my head, walking to the back to see the damage. I don’t even have time to get there before I hear a raspy voice ask, “What the hell is wrong with you? You just stopped!” I put a hand over my eyes to block the sun and see him. And boy, do I see him. My heart skips a beat when he whips his aviator sunglasses off his face.

He’s about six feet tall, maybe taller, with dark hair that’s short on the sides and a bit longer at the top, which almost looks like it was combed back by his hands. His eyes are a mossy green with shimmery gold flecks in them that I can see thanks to the sun hitting them just right. A freshly-shaven face that shows off the strong angles of his jaw and hints at where I’m sure a five-o’clock-shadow of delicious stubble will emerge in a few hours.

He’s wearing a suit minus the jacket. His dark blue pants are a perfect fit, molding to him like they were made especially for him, and from the looks of them, they probably were. His crisp, white dress shirt is open at the collar and covers his broad chest and thick biceps. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbows and show off a big, masculine silver Rolex watch.

He throws his hand up as he angrily asks, “Is something wrong with you? Are you drunk?”

I take a step back, putting my hand to my stomach. “Are you talking to me?” I look around wondering if there is someone else he could be talking to. “You hit me. You. Hit. Me.” I storm to the back of the car to assess the damage. I see that my bumper is a bit scratched, but his Porsche is going to need some body work.

“I can’t believe this. I can’t flipping believe this! Now I’m going to be late because you were probably too busy on your phone texting to pay attention to the road.” I walk to my car, opening the door and leaning across the seat to grab my purse. Cars pass us slowly, everyone taking a look to see what’s going on.

Looking at the clock on the dash, I see that I have to be at my new job in twenty minutes. Grabbing my license, registration, and insurance ID card, I slam the door and walk over to see him leaning on the side of my car, watching me.

“I’m going to be late. Is there any way we can just exchange numbers and get all the information after?” I ask, looking through the papers.

I hear him huff. “You probably don’t have insurance, which is why you want to call me later so you can get some while I drive around with a missing a light.” He walks over to his car, leans down, and grabs his phone from the driver’s seat.

I look at him. “So, you weren’t on the phone? Riiighhhhttt,” I say glaring at him.

“I don’t have all day. Some of us have actual work to do. What do you want from me?” His tone is snarky.

“Actually, I don’t want anything from you. My car has a scratch, yours is the one that is damaged. Besides, it wasn’t even my fault. Maybe we should call the police to make a report so we can get it on the record that you were driving while texting.” I lean my head to the side. “I’m not a police officer or anything, but I think that’s against the law.”

He snarls at me, “Just give me your number.” I tell him my number, and when he asks my name, I gladly tell him. “The woman whose car you hit because you were texting while driving.” He looks at me and his eyebrows pinch together. “Is that name already taken?” I ask him, waiting for his answer. When I realize he isn’t going to reply, I ask him, “Now, what’s yours?” He shoots off his number, and I store it in my phone.

I turn around to walk away. “Aren’t you going to ask me my name?” He puts his hands on his hips, his biceps bulging and his chest looking impossibly broader.

“Nope, no need. I just put you under ‘Asshat who texts while driving and hit my car.’” I smile at him. “Have a fabulous day,” I grumble, turning around and getting back in the car.

Fuck. I see that I now have ten minutes to get there. I dial Penelope right after I buckle and take off watching the asshole get into his car. “I think I might still make it,” I tell her even before she says hello.

“It’s okay. I called and told them there was an accident on the way, and they said not to worry, that Austin was going to be late, too. So, you’re still good to go.  How’s the damage?” she asks.

“Minivan: 1 – Porsche: 0.” I laugh and tell her I’ll check back in with her at lunch.

When I finally make it to the office building, I check my face and apply lip gloss one more time before walking inside. I look at my phone and notice that I’m only seven minutes late. Not bad all things considered. I walk in and tell the security guard I am there for Barbara at Mackenzie Jacob Associates. When he calls up, he gets the all clear to send me up.

I make my way up to the forty-sixth floor and walk to the receptionist, who is smiling from ear-to-ear. “Hi. I’m here to see Barbara. My name is Lauren. I’m the temp,” I explain as she gets up and comes around to shake my hand, introducing herself as Carmen. She then takes me back to meet Barbara.

Barbara is short with white hair, and her glasses are perched on her nose. “Hey, there, Lauren. I’m so happy to finally meet you. I’ve heard great things from Penelope.” She reaches out to shake my hand and motions for me to sit down.

“Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry I’m late. I was in a little fender bender, and I tried to finish as fast as I could,” I tell her, sitting down in the chair in front of her desk.
“No worries. I heard Austin was going to be about ten minutes late, but he got here right before you did. Now, if you will fill out these papers here, I will get your elevator pass ready for you,” she says while she goes to her cabinet in the corner.

Because this is just a temp job, I don’t have to do much. Just an emergency contact form. “Now, I should warn you that this is the tenth temp we have hired for this position… this month,” she finishes quickly.

I look at her, confused. “But it’s only the seventeenth of November.” My heart starts racing. What if he throws me out? What if he laughs at me since I haven’t worked in ten years?

“Mr. Mackenzie is, um, well… special to work for,” she murmures while looking down at the papers in front of her and not even trying not make eye contact with me.

“Special? What does that mean?” I ask, my eyebrows pinching together.

“Let’s just say that my money is on you.” She gets up. “Shall we?” She points to the door. I nod at her, trying to get some saliva going in my mouth. It’s dry, and my palms are sweating. I think my armpits are actually starting to sweat, too. Oh boy. I can’t do this. I should turn around and run away.

But before I can make my move, we reach a door that is closed. The big brown door is solid, and the windows that look out into the office have their shades drawn. I hear Barbara knock on the door before we enter.

I don’t see much in front of her. I just look around the office at the view of the city, since there are wall-to-wall windows affording it an amazing view. I don’t have a chance to look much further, because all I hear is a raspy voice asking, “Are you fucking stalking me? Did you follow me here?” I whip my head around to look at him.

Just my luck. It’s the asshat from this morning, the one who hit me. Except now, the asshat is sitting behind the desk, the desk that apparently belongs to my new temporary boss.



Austin

I’m already having the shittiest day ever and it’s only fucking eight o’clock. My alarm didn’t wake me at five a.m. like it does every day, so I didn’t have a chance to get my run in before I had to head to work.

Just a quick shower and a coffee before I hurried out. I walked out of my apartment, rushed to the elevator, and ran smack into my ex who, according to her, ‘just happened to be in the area.’

It took a lot for me not to roll my eyes at her. She wasn’t in the area; she’s fucking the dude who lives upstairs. Not that I care. I was the one who let her go. Whatever, I blew her off and headed to my car.

Right as I started up my car, my mother decided it was a great day to call and lay out everything that’s wrong with my life. I’m nearing forty; all I have is my career, blah blah blah. Newsflash, Mom, that’s all I want.

So, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I hit a mini bus, or a van, or whatever the hell it’s called.

I expected a frumpy housewife to get out of the car, but instead I was greeted by a woman who could only be described as sex-on-a-stick, or I guess I should say two sticks, because those legs of hers aren’t something I’ll forget anytime soon. I couldn’t even talk I was so stunned. Then she bent over her seat and presented me with the most perfect ass. I think I actually groaned.

My cock was getting ready to salute her right then and there as she walked back to me from her minivan. The thought that she was someone’s wife and I was jonesing on her made my skin crawl. I may be an asshole, but I don’t fuck with marriages or people in relationships. There are more than enough single people on earth to not get involved with someone who isn’t.

I tried to see if she was wearing a ring, but I couldn’t see anything. I took her number, and she rushed away.

The whole way to work, I replayed the scene in my head over and over again. I tried to think back on anything that I could have said that would have had her reacting so hostilely.

I got to the office just four minutes late. I absolutely loathe tardiness; people who are late drive me nuts. I built this company from the ground up. I am now the most sought-after commercial contract developer in the city, especially when it comes to entertainment establishments. If you want to open a restaurant or nightclub in this city, let’s just say I am known widely as the best choice to make sure it happens.

There is never a dull moment in this business. If I have to get in there and swing a hammer or wash the damn glasses myself, I do it. There is nothing I won’t do to protect my and my company’s reputation. If you are opening a restaurant or a nightclub and you attach it to the name Mackenzie Jacob, chances are it’ll be a hit from day one.

So now, here I am walking into my office a few minutes late. The cute new receptionist, Carmen, is batting her eyes at me as I walk in, dragging out her greeting. “Good Morning, Mr. Mackenzie.” She’s new here, so she mustn’t have heard the news yet, but I don’t fuck where I eat. Ever.

“Morning. Is my new temp here yet?” I ask her, getting right to the point as she hands me my messages. A new temp who is yet another thing I didn’t need today.

Since my secretary retired last month, I’ve gone through six or seven temps…okay, maybe ten. But it’s not all my fault. I can’t take it if they’re stupid and I have to sit there and spell things out for them. I need someone who can take direction, get it right the first time, and just do what I ask the first time I ask it. It’s simple, really.

When I ask you to get me coffee, I’m not asking you to join me for a cup. When I tell you to scan and email something, I don’t need reporting of the task as if you’re waiting for a sticker on your paper. When you have a caller on hold, I don’t need you announcing them to me through the intercom in a singsong voice. I also don’t need you knocking on my door every few minutes to ask me if I need anything. Trust me, when I need something, you’ll be the first one to know.

“Can you tell Barbara I’m in now?” I prompt her, walking away while I pull the collar from my neck, making my way down the hall toward my corner office.

I walk into my office, taking in the view of the city. We are on the forty-sixth floor, so I can see the skyline perfectly, and at night, it’s even better. I eat, sleep, and breathe my work. There aren’t set hours for my work. So, if I have to be at the office for fifteen hours a day, then that’s what it takes. Which is why I don’t need, or want, a wife at this point. I’d just let them down.

I’ve lost count of how many relationships I’ve had that have ended because I wasn’t there when I said I would be. I’m married to my work, and she is my first priority.

Sitting in my chair, I start going through the messages. I flip through them, seeing two messages from Vegas. I’m thinking of branching out and opening an office there, but something is stopping me. I like to stay local. I like to show up during construction. I like to pop in when you least expect it, and I wouldn’t be able to do that if I branched out to Vegas.

I’m about to call them back when there is a knock on the door. I don’t even have to tell them to come in before Barbara opens the door. I look over at her. She’s been here from day one, but she isn’t what I’m looking at this morning; it’s the girl behind her.

Fucking unbelievable! This crazy chick followed me to my work. She is probably coming to sue me. I’ll show her. “Are you fucking stalking me? Did you follow me here?” I growl at her while I stand up behind my desk.

Barbara’s face pales and her mouth hangs open, but not the sassy one behind her. “Follow you? Are you insane?” She looks at Barbara. “I can’t do this. I totally understand why you’ve gone through so many temps. Who would work for him?” She shakes her head. “Not only did he hit my car”—she looks at me—“while texting. The first thing he asked was if I was drunk!” She looks back at Barbara, who then glares at me. Great, just great, she’s on crazy chick’s side. “You would think he would ask me if I’m okay, right? Nope, not this guy. He wanted to know if I was drunk at eight a.m. Who the hell drinks at eight am anyway?” She folds her arms under her breasts, unnecessarily pushing them up. Fuck. I can’t stop the mental image of her standing there, arms crossed under her tits, in nothing but her shoes. I shake that thought from my head.

“Wait.” I throw the messages on my desk. “You, you’re my temp?”

“No, sir,” she says, and fuck me, but does that ever make me want to hold her hands behind her back as I bend her over my desk and pound into her while she calls me sir. “I was your temp.” She looks at Barbara. “I wish you well.” Then she turns and starts walking out the door.

Barbara’s raised voice stops her. “Wait a second!” She looks at me.  “Austin Montgomery Mackenzie, is Lauren telling me that you hit her car and then asked her if she was drunk? I raised you better than that, young man,” she chides in that sharp tone I remember from my childhood. Okay, so Barbara was also my nanny growing up. That was to be expected when you’re the child of world-renowned doctors who jetted around the globe saving lives. One is a cardiologist, and the other is a brain surgeon. They had very little time to raise a child. So, that’s where Barbara came in, and she stayed until I was eighteen. She retired, but when I opened this firm, she was the first one I thought of to handle the HR side of the company, something I knew she would handle far better than me. “Apologize right this second, Austin,” she demands, and I scoff at her. I will not do any such thing.

“She braked suddenly for no reason! There was no one in front of her,” I defend myself. Barbara’s eyebrows pinch together, and she takes her glasses off so they hang on the chain around her neck. I know that if I don’t say sorry, this will just end in her quitting again. Last time, it cost me a month-long Mediterranean cruise. “Fine,” I huff out, “I’m sorry I accused you of being drunk. I should have just called you what you are—a reckless, clueless female driver.”

Lauren stands there glaring at me as Barbara yells, “I quit!” This must shock Lauren, because she immediately goes to Barbara and strokes her back. “Oh no. No, no, no. Please, really, it’s fine. It’s totally okay. I accept his apology.” She aims a glare at me. “I understand now why so many women left, he’s a…” She leans in and whispers in Barbara’s ear. I don’t know what she says, but they both snicker. Great, just great.
   
“Yup, my money is on Lauren.” She looks at me. “You’re lucky she saved you this time.” She smiles at Lauren. “Let’s do lunch tomorrow. Austin’s treat.”

She leaves the room leaving us all alone. “Fine. I guess I’ll try and work with you, for Barbara.” She walks out to the desk facing my office. She puts her purse on it. Turning the computer on, she grabs a pen and notepad and comes back in. “No time like the present to get this out of the way, so why don’t we start with your expectations of me?”

I look at her while she sits in the chair in front of me, crossing her legs at her ankles. I sit down, leaning back in my chair, and start rocking. “Okay, fine. I expect you to be on time. Every day. No exceptions.”

She doesn’t write it down. “That isn’t a problem. I hate when people are late, so you don’t have to worry about that. Unless, of course, irresponsible people hit my car while I’m innocently driving, I’ll be here on time.”

“There is a list on your desk of routine tasks required of this position that you can read. If it’s not clear enough, then come ask me questions. How’s that?”

She gets up. “That sounds like a plan.” She turns to walk away, and I watch her. Every fucking step she takes she swings her hips; the best thing is, she has no idea she’s doing it. She has no idea that I’m sitting here negotiating with myself about my own rule. I’m not sure how I’m going to get anything done, because fucking her on my desk is the only thing I can think of that needs to be done right now.

 

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

Author Links

Blog Tour Review: The Best Man by Barbie Bohrman

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Today we have the blog tour for The Best Man by Barbie Bohrman! Check it out and grab your copy today!

FINAL_The Best Man FOR WEB

Title: THE BEST MAN

Author: Barbie Bohrman

Genre: Contemporary romance

About The Best Man:

Veronica Webber is single again after being in a loveless marriage way past its expiration date. For the first time in a very long time, she feels free and after being burned so badly by love in the past, any thought of romance is the last thing on her mind.

In walks a man from her past, Trevor Allen, a tall, dark, and handsome womanizer who is usually all about the bottom line. For Trevor that bottom line has always been made up of the countless notches on his bedpost. But when he sees Veronica after so many years, he can’t help but be drawn to her and know her again… even if that means being friend-zoned from the start.

As this unlikely pair spends more and more time together, they quickly realize that there might be something between them that goes past “just friends.” But there’s just one tiny detail that makes this situation slightly more complicated… Trevor was Veronica’s ex-husband’s best man at their wedding nine years ago.

So when past mistakes and indiscretions come back to haunt them, will their happily ever after end before it even gets started?

Or will the best man win this time.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | BN | Goodreads!

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

I loved the concept of this best man romance. It wasn’t the traditional bridesmaid falling for the best man. It was a woman falling for her ex-husband’s best man. It was a little bit forbidden and a lot of fun to read.

The first person dual point of view narration was really enjoyable. Veronica was a woman on a mission to recover from the life she had lost. She was all about reinventing herself and living life. There were moments her insecurities flared, but overall she was a very confident person. I loved that. Trevor totally fit the ladies man vibe. His point of view was cocky, yet likable. The times he spent figuring himself out were fun to read. I liked that he paid attention to Veronica’s wants and needs. He was a better guy than most cocky leading men you meet.

The best part of this story is the way Trevor woos Veronica. It was simple, yet swoon worthy. I loved how their friendship came about and how it slowly slipped into something more. The progression felt real. I could always see the drama that was coming, but I didn’t mind that. I wasn’t sure how it would all play out, and I have to admit I was a little surprised how it happened.

Overall, The Best Man was a great contemporary romance. It was fun, flirty and sexy. It’s filled with humor and just a touch of angst. I’m really looking forward to book two in this series about Trevor’s brother, Max.

About Barbie Bohrman:

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Barbie Bohrman dreamed of becoming an author. Long after she had given up, a book club’s prologue contest enticed her to give it one more go. What emerged were the beginnings of her debut novel, Promise Me. Now she’s living her dream and writing stories that entice readers to escape and break away from reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to get through the books on her Kindle (more than a thousand at last count) or watching Lost or Seinfeld. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

Connect with Barbie:

FB~ https://www.facebook.com/Barbie-Bohrman-Author-170019943145037/

GR~ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6875784.Barbie_Bohrman

Twitter~ @BarbieBohrman

Instagram~ @barbiebohrman

Website~ www.barbiebohrmanbooks.com

Amazon Author Page~ https://www.amazon.com/Barbie-Bohrman/e/B00DJASPA0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1482419573&sr=8-1

Enter Barbie’s Giveaway:

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Blog Tour Schedule:

March 29th

Elle lim Review

Books and Tequila Review

What Is That Book About Excerpt

Bound By Books Book Review Review

Sip Read Love Review

March 30th

a geordielass honest blog on reviews Review

A Literary Perusal Review

Friends Till The End Book Blog Excerpt

All Romance Reviews Review

SBB Reviews Review

MammieBabbie Review

March 31st

Booked All Night Review

Mixed Emotions Book Blog Review

Bookishly yours Review

Sweet Red Reads Review

Musings of the Modern Belle Review

A Novel Glimpse Review

Reviews from the Heart Review

April 1st

Books and Tequila Review

Woman who stare at books Excerpt

Books and Things Blog Review

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog Excerpt

April 2nd

From the TBR Pile Review

Fire And Ice Book Reviews Review

Evermore Books Excerpt

The Bohemian Bookworm Review

April 3rd

Readers Retreats Excerpt

The Ordinary Housewife Book Blog Review

Ramblings From This Chick Review

April 4th

My Slanted Bookish Ramblings Review

Briar’s Reviews Excerpt

Ashley Book Blog Review

April 5th

Shannon’s Book Blog Review

Books n Wine Review

Summer’s Eve Reads Review

April 6th

Two Girls with Books Review

Once Upon a romance blog Review

kdrbck Review

April 7th

The Escapist Book Blog Review

three chicks and their books Review

Book Bitches Blog Review

April 8th

Beneath The Covers Blog Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book Excerpt

April 9th

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore Review

We Like It Big Book Blog Review

Stephanie’s Book Reports Review

Jax’s Book Magic Excerpt

A Naughty Girl’s Novel World Review

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews Excerpt

April 10th

Shahla’s bookcorner Review

Four CHicks Flipping Pages Review

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog Review

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews Excerpt

April 11th

Shelly’s Book Corner Review

Dirty Girl Romance Review

Engaging Secrets Review

EskieMama Reads & Dragon Lady Reads Excerpt

Battery Operated Book Blog Review

G & T’s Indie Café Excerpt

Channelling Colee Review

Tanya the book obsessed momma Review

After Dark Book Lovers Review

 

Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?


I put off reading By Your Side for a while because I had read some reviews that weren’t all together positive about it. I didn’t want to tarnish my view of Kasie West’s outstanding writing, so I didn’t immediately pick this one up. I’m really sorry I did that. I should have had faith in West. I ended up really enjoying By Your Side for many reasons.

I do have to admit that By Your Side started out a little rough for me. I loved the idea of the characters being stuck in the library and forced to work together. My problem was that it took me a long time to connect to either character. Both seemed a little abrasive at first. It wasn’t until they started revealing their true selves that I began to connect with them.

Autumn had everything going for her. She had a group of amazing, popular friends and a close family. The guy she had been crushing on for years, Jeff, was interested in her. The only thing standing in her way of happiness is a closely guarded secret she hides from the world. Once I got to know Autumn’s secret I could completely identify with her. I understood why she kept her secret, but I felt so badly about how that affected her.

Dax wasn’t as lucky as Autumn. He, too, kept secrets. Dax would rather have avoided people than admit what his life was like. Despite his tough exterior, he was a sweet guy. He put himself on the line to help others. I loved how his friendship with Autumn developed and slowly turned into something more. I loved how he stood by Autumn. I also loved they way they ended up supporting each other.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my favorite part of this story wasn’t the library. It was what came after. The second half of this story was unbelievably good and completely made me forget those awkward library moments.

Overall, I loved By Your Side. Kasie West once again wove a beautiful coming of age story.

Review: Love Story by Lauren Layne

Love Story
Series: Love Unexpectedly, #3
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.


Lauren Layne is one of my go-to contemporary authors. Her romances are always filled with fun characters and sweet romances. Love Story was filled with both of those things. It also included two of my favorite relationship tropes: falling for the older brother’s best friend and a second chance romance.

In Love Story, Lucy is forced on a cross-country road trip with her brother’s best friend, Reese. Reese isn’t just her brother’s friend, though. He’s also Lucy’s ex and the last person she wants to spend two weeks in a car with. Reese isn’t exactly pleased to be stuck with Lucy either. Their failed romance didn’t just scar Lucy, it tore Reese apart, too. Two weeks on the road together will either mend their broken hearts or kill them both.

Love Story was written in first person dual point of view. I loved this because it gave me a glimpse at both Lucy and Reese’s true feelings about being around each other. I also loved the little memories of the past Layne included. They shed light on what really happened between the two back in high school. This love story wasn’t as simple as I was expecting. There were so many little revelations along Lucy and Reese’s journey. Some I saw coming, but many surprised me.

One of the thing that surprised me was that it took me a long time to warm up to Reese. He was pretty hard-headed. I could understand where he was coming from, but it was hard to empathize with his anger. He created the situation they were in, so I didn’t feel as bad for him as I did for Lucy. Reese had so many hang ups.

Lucy I could completely identify with. She had every reason to be angry with Reese. He broke her heart in the meanest of ways. I could understand and empathize with every feelings and thought she had. Personally, I thought Reese was lucky Lucy had an unconditional love for him that she couldn’t let go of. Lucy was a catch — even when she was being a bit of a witch.

The only thing that bugged me a bit about Love Story was that pretty much the entire book was filled with angst. The love-hate thing between Lucy and Reese was fun, but it went on entirely too long for my taste. I liked the sexual tension it built, but I got a little tired of the dramatics. I wanted their hot nights together to last longer than their hatred of each other.

I did love the climax of the story, though. It was pretty perfect. The way Lucy and Reese resolved their problems was so much fun. And that ending! It totally made me swoon.

Love Story wasn’t my favorite Lauren Layne novel, but it was still a ton of fun. There was some great witty dialog, a believable romance and a swoon worthy happily ever after. Contemporary romance fans will enjoy this second chance romance.

Blog Tour Review: More Than a Feeling by Erika Kelly

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From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final full-length standalone contemporary romance in Erika Kelly’s red-hot Rock Star Romance series, MORE THAN A FEELING. A steamy and emotional story about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet, MORE THAN A FEELING finds the perfect pitch and will leave you with more than a song in your heart! Order your copy of MORE THAN A FEELING today!

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About MORE THAN A FEELING:

From the award-winning author of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT comes the final story in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a loner rocker finding his perfect duet.

When Cooper Hood left Snowberry, Montana ten years ago, he swore he’d never go back to the town that painted him with the same brush as his addict mother. But right in the middle of his band’s national tour he gets a call to come home: his mom’s got a whopper of a secret to reveal.

Daisy Charbonneau’s in trouble. The talent she hired for her resort’s annual Huckleberry Festival just bailed on her, and she’s desperate to find a replacement act. Luck turns her way when she discovers her high school crush is back in town—and he happens to be a rock star.

As they work together, a crush deepens into so much more, but who falls in love in two weeks?

Especially when Cooper’s never coming back to town, and Daisy’s never going to leave it.

 MY REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

If you like rock star romances, you really need to read Erika Kelly’s Rock Star Romance series. I’ve been a fan of her writing ever since I read the first book, You Really Got Me. I fell in love with the band members of Blue Fire, and have enjoyed watching each of them fall in love throughout the series. Each in the series was better than the last, and that’s saying a lot because they were all adorably fun reads.

In More Than a Feeling, the fourth and final book, Blue Fire’s Cooper Hood is forced to return to the small Montana home town of his youth. Cooper hasn’t set foot there since he left home all those years ago. There’s nothing but bad memories there for him. The only reason he’s come back is the promise of a secret his mom wants to reveal to him.

When Cooper arrives, he realizes there was one bright spot in his youth: Daisy Charbonneau. Daisy is just as beautiful and nice as she was when Cooper was a kid. When he learns she needs help finding a musician to head the local Huckleberry Festival, Cooper can’t stop himself from volunteering to help her find one. Working with Daisy only reminds Cooper of the giant crush he had on her as a teenager. And it seems Cooper wasn’t the only one with a secret crush. As Daisy and Cooper work together, their relationship heats up. The only problem is Cooper doesn’t plan on staying in Montana and Daisy never plans to leave it.

More Than a Feeling was such a fun second chance romance. Like most contemporary romances, It was written in third person dual points of view. This isn’t always my favorite style of narration, but Erika Kelly knows how to make it work and work well. Each character had their own voice and personality. Even though it wasn’t written in first person, I felt like I was in the characters’ heads.

Cooper and Daisy were soul mates. They saw through each other and knew what the other needed. I loved how returning to town and reconnecting with Daisy had Cooper re-examining his childhood experiences and learning new things about himself. It wasn’t just Cooper that had some examining to do, though. Cooper helped Daisy realize some thing about herself, too. I loved how the give and take truly balanced out in this book.

Another thing I really loved was how the characters treated each other. There was so much respect and care between them. Daisy and Cooper were so cute together. Well, when they weren’t burning up the sheets. Then, they were more than just cute. They were hot!

If you’re looking for a great contemporary rock star romance, you should pick up More Than a Feeling or any of Erika Kelly’s other books in her Rock Star Romance series. They’re all super sexy and fun. I highly recommend them.

Order MORE THAN A FEELING Today!

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And don’t miss the first three standalone titles in The Rock Star Romance Series!

 YOU REALLY GOT ME

 I WANT YOU TO WANT ME

 TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

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 Erika Kelly’s MORE THAN A FEELING – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule

March 27th

A Novel Glimpse – Review

Beware Of The Reader – Review & Excerpt

My Slanted Bookish Ramblings – Review

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

March 28th

ageordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Mes Livres – Review & Excerpt

SBB Reviews – Review

Textteaser Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

March 29th

All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

Ashley Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma Reads – Review

March 30th

A Sky Filled with Sparkling Stars – Excerpt

Bookishly yours – Review & Excerpt

Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Sassy Cool – Review & Excerpt

March 31st

Babbling Chatter Reads – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Obsessed with Romance – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

April 1st

Author Zoe Forward – Review

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

For the Love of Books & Alcohol – Review

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

April 2nd

Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review

Once upon a romance blog – Review & Excerpt

Quesarasera Book Blog – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

April 3rd

Books & Boys Book Club – Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

iScream Books – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

April 4th

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

Marieke’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

April 5th

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review

Lightning City Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Peace Love Books – Review & Excerpt

April 6th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

Miss Betty’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

April 7th

Melena`s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

Those Crazy Book Chicks – Excerpt

April 8th

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews – Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Miranda’s Library – Excerpt

Movies,Shows, & Books – Excerpt

Erika Kelly - author picAbout Erika Kelly:

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter Signup ** Erika Kelly Goodreads

 

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Mini Reviews: Unraveled, Unrequited and Unwritten by Jen Frederick

I was finally able to finish my series binge of Jen Frederick’s Woodlands series this past week. Rather than post each review separately, I am going to post all three reviews at once. So, here we go!


Unraveled
Woodlands, #3
Publication Date: January 18, 2014

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?

My review:

I absolutely loved this military romance between an army widow and a Marine. There was so much depth to the story. It was all about healing and living the best life possible. I liked that it brought me back to the Woodlands, but wasn’t about one of the main guys who lived there. It gave the story a completely different feel than the rest of the series.

Sam was a really complex character. I could feel the two different sides of Sam. One side was an older Army widow who feelings of guilt and heartache. The other side was a twenty-two year-old young woman who wanted to be an adventurous young adult. Meeting Gray was the best thing that could have happened to her. I love the ability to heal being around him gave her. I loved Gray. He was a good guy with his own cross to bear. His wasn’t as hard as Sam’s, but it threw some great twists in their story.

Unspoken is still my favorite Woodlands book, but Unraveled is a close second. I can see the progression and improvement in Jen Frederick’s writing with each book.


Unrequited
Woodlands, #4
Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister’s ex boyfriend. She’s spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O’Malley looked hollowed out by his father’s death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.

Finn can’t stop thinking about Winter and the night and he’ll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.

Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.

My review:

I’m not the biggest fan of romances between a woman and her sister’s ex, but this one works. I think it helped that I didn’t like Ivy, Winter’s sister. She was a hag. The more I found about Ivy and Finn’s previous relationship, the more Winter’s relationship with Finn the less it bothered me.

Winter was a sweet young woman. She cared a lot about people. I really liked her and how she tried to put the good of her family first. I loved her when she grew a backbone and stood up for what she wanted. Finn was a cool guy. He’d had some tough blows in life, but he also did what was needed. I loved Winter and Finn together. Although, I did get tired of hearing about her nipples.

Overall, Unrequited was a fun read and strong addition to the Woodlands series.


Unwritten
Woodlands, #5
Publication Date: March 6, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

After years of trying to hit it big with his band, Adam Rees’ dream is finally about to come true. A new lead singer brings with him a hot tour invite, but with a catch—his sister has to come with them. Despite an off-limits edict, Adam is instantly attracted the smart and beautiful Landry. But if he wants to claim his woman, it might be at the expense of all his ambitions.

Landry Olsen has had success at every stage of her life, except when it comes to men. She’s put her heart on the shelf, but one look at Adam and she’s a goner. The hot rocker heats her from the inside out, and she wants him as much as he wants her. The only thing standing in their way of their happiness is Landry’s brother—she ruined his musical hopes before, and she won’t do it again. Even if it means saying no to the one guy who makes her believe in love again.

There’s no fruit more tempting than the forbidden kind…


I’ve read several rock star romances that are similar to Unwritten in the past year. It’s basically a tour bus romance. Unwritten stands out from the rest based on Jen Frederick’s awesome writing and the love I already had for Adam prior to reading this book.

What made Unwritten stand out from other rock star tour romances was Landry’s reason for being on tour with FMK. I won’t giveaway why she’s forced to go on tour with her brother and his band, but I thought it added a lot to the story. My favorite part of this book was getting to know Adam better. I didn’t know all the layers he had. It was interesting to hear what people in his industry thought of him and his past. I also really enjoyed the forbidden aspect of Adam and Landry’s relationship. It was a lot of fun and super hot!

The only thing I would have liked was if Adam and Landry spent more time in the Woodlands. The few glimpses I saw of the old gang were fun, but I need more of them and less of the new characters.


Overall, the Woodlands series is a really great read. You can find my reviews for the first two books by clicking on the links below.

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1) and Undressed (Woodlands, #1.5)
Unspoken (Woodlands, #2)

Review: Altercation by Mignon Mykel

Altercation
Series: Playmaker Duet, #1
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sometimes it’s the fight that proves your worth.

Porter Prescott spent years fighting to be his own person.
His goal of playing for a hockey club not associated with the Prescott name finally comes true.
But just as he’s leaving for the next chapter in his life, he meets her.

Asher Spence spent a lifetime learning she was worthless and unwanted.
She learned that sometimes the only person you can count on is yourself, and even then, you can fail.

What starts out as picture perfect can only come crumbling down.
No one listened to her pleas before,
Why should they listen to them now that she’s found a place to finally call home?

But sometimes, it’s the fight that takes you out of the game.

Note: This is book 1 of 2 in the Porter and Asher story. This does end with a cliffhanger that will be resolved in book 2, Holding.


I’ve been waiting to read Altercation ever since I finished its prequels, Troublemaker and Breakaway. (Click on the titles of the prequels for my reviews.) Getting to know Porter and Asher’s pasts was both heartbreaking and addicting. Their stories made me hunger for a happy ending for them both. I couldn’t wait to find out how Mignon Mykel was going to navigate their struggles and make them wind up together.

Altercation begins where the prequels end with Porter and Asher meeting. There’s an instant attraction between them, especially for Porter. He immediately picks up on the fact that Asher is more complicated than she’s letting on. That (along with the fact that he’s moving to another state for his hockey career) should deter the nineteen year old’s interested in her, but it instead makes him want to know more about Asher.

Asher is just as attracted to Porter, but she knows nothing will come of her attraction. She’s found a temporary family within Porter’s and she’s not willing to give up her newfound happiness and safety. Nor does Asher think she’ll be able to have the relationship with Porter he would expect. Despite her reservations, it doesn’t take long for Porter to convince Asher to give him a chance.

With each book I read from Mignon Mykel, I fall further and further in love with her writing and the love stories she crafts. Her first person dual points of view was amazing in Altercation. Porter and Asher had two very distinctive voices and their histories melded so well together. I also loved getting to see a little bit more of the large Prescott family — I hope I get books about each sibling!

Porter surprised me a lot in this book. I knew he was a great guy, but I wasn’t expecting the patience he had for a young man. He truly cared about Asher’s well-being and it made me love him even more. Porter created a slow burn romance with Asher and controlled himself better than any book boyfriend I’ve ever read. He was almost a saint.

Asher was the more complicated of the characters. Her story broke my heart, but I loved that it was Porter who helped her restore faith in life and love. Their relationship was adorable. I loved how Mignon Mykel made it span not just weeks or months, but years. It was the perfect progression for Asher and Porter’s love story.

Altercation was just as good as I was expecting it to be. Watching Porter and Asher falling in love was so sweet and satisfying. I loved the twists and turns to their story. I was shocked by the cliffhanger at the end, even though I knew it was coming. I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Porter and Asher in Holding.