Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

They were “just friends.” Until one tried to teach the other the art of seduction … And became thoroughly seduced.
I THINK I LOVE YOU
Oxford – Book 5
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 10, 2018
Loveswept
A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as “exemplary contemporary romance.”
 
Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?
 
Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.
 
NOW AVAILABLE!
Review:

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

I Think I Love You proves yet again why Lauren Layne is one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. I can always depend on her to give me a romance that will make me smile and swoon. She did just that with I Think I Love You.

In I Think I Love You, it’s finally Hunter and Britt’s turn to fall in love. They’ve been best friends and co-workers for years. They spend the majority of their time together, and have honestly never been attracted to each other. Hunter and Britt have one of those special platonic friendships no believes are real, but theirs is… Or at least it is until Britt asks Hunter to teach her the art of seduction.

This book was a typical LL read. She took me on a fun and fast-paced journey from friendship to love. I enjoyed every minute of it. There wasn’t a ton of drama, and I loved watching Hunter and Britt realize they really were more than just friends. I also enjoyed seeing the other members of the Oxford Stiletto gang again. I Think I Love You was a great ending to an incredibly fun series.

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers WeeklyGlamourThe Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.
Giveaway:
*Lauren is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for TWO gifted Amazon e-copies of
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE.

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Blog Tour REVIEW: Unexpected Love Story by Natasha Madison

Title: Unexpected Love Story
Series: Love Series
Author: Natasha Madison
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 5, 2018

When one man’s death exposes a complex web of lies, three couples discover the true meaning of love, loss and redemption.
 
Crystal
I was the strong one, they said, until two words brought me to my knees. 
It was a secret I didn’t share with anyone. A secret that made me promise I’d never fall in love. 
I no longer wanted that white picket fence of every woman’s dreams. 
Until the unthinkable happened. 
 
Gabe
I thought I had it all with the best medical practice in the state and the woman of my dreams. 
I wore a smile on my face every single day. 
I couldn’t wait to watch her walk down the aisle and start our forever, except she never did. 
My runaway bride made me realize love isn’t worth it. 
 
What happens when your dreams unexpectedly come true?
 

This is the story of unexpected love.

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

After reading Perfect Love Story (Love, #1), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Unexpected Love Story. Gabe and Crystal were my favorite characters from that first book.

Gabe and Crystal’s love story was predictable but entertaining. They had a fiery chemistry. I don’t want to give anything away, but I loved how they met and where their relationship went. There was almost a love-hate aspect to the romance. It was incredibly fun.

My only complaint is that because this book spans the same timeline as the first book in the series, there were lots of overlapping events. I didn’t mind seeing those through Gabe and Crystal’s eyes, but I would have liked more fresh content. I didn’t need some of the recap, although readers who hadn’t read Perfect Love Story probably wouldn’t be bothered by this.

Overall, I really liked Gabe and Crystal’s story. It was feisty, sweet, and fun. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Pinterest

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Crystal

“I’m going to the restroom.” I giggle to Dawn, who nods her head at me. Making my way through the crowd of people around the bar, I bend my head to watch my feet. Walking into the dim hallway, I smash into a man who has just come out of the bathroom. His arm automatically flies to wrap around my waist and bring me against him. His smell intoxicates me further, and I giggle as I try not to fall. I put my head back, looking up at him, and my smile gets even bigger. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.” I look up into his blue eyes, and he smiles down at me.

“It’s my fault.” His voice comes out deep. “I should have looked right and left when I walked out of the bathroom.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “I get it. Like crossing the street.”

He loosens his hold on me, and I step back, finally taking him in. His hair is cut short on the side, the top longer. His t-shirt looks like he is bulging out of it, especially his biceps. Ink decorates both arms to his wrists. His jaw looks chiseled, his nose perfect. I don’t know if it’s the booze talking or not, but this man is fucking perfect. “Are you here for the convention?” I ask him, and he nods.

“Are you?” He puts his hands in his back pockets.

“No, I’m a nurse over at the hospital,” I tell him as someone walks by me and nudges me with their shoulder, sending me flying into him again. “Sorry.”

“You’ve fallen into my lap twice now, and I still don’t know your name.” He smiles at me, holding my arms in his hands.

“I’m Jane,” I tell him, hoping he gets the joke. “Jane Doe.” This time, he is the one throwing his head back and laughing.

“Well, Jane Doe, I’m John.” He holds out his hand, and I take it in my hand, shaking it. “John Doe.”

“I think we’re related somehow.” I smile at him, and this time, his eyes go serious.

“I really fucking hope not.” He takes a deep breath.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” I say, dropping his hand. “Excuse me.” I look down and then back over my shoulder once I walk away to see him staring at me. “Enjoying the view?”

“More than you fucking know.” He smiles, and I push open the bathroom door, whispering, “Holy shit,” the whole time.

Gabe

I watch Jane Doe walk into the bathroom, thinking this night just got a whole lot better.

When we first arrived an hour ago, even with a large crowd I spotted her. My gaze found her right away, and then she moved her hips, and I just couldn’t look away. It was as if fate handed her to me when she smashed into me.

I look toward the bar and then back at the bathroom door as I list the pros and cons of staying and leaving in my head. Everything tells me this is a bad idea, but I go with my gut, which brings me back to the women’s bathroom door. I lean against the wall, facing the door, one foot on the wall, and both hands in my pockets. I haven’t done this in forever. I was never a one-night stand kind of guy, but something tells me not to walk away.

The door swings open, and there she stands. If I thought she was good looking through the crowds of people in the dim light, then nothing compares to her standing in the fully lit bathroom. Her blond hair falls down her back and her blue eyes shine with mischief. Her neck bare and white gives me the sudden urge to bite her. “You waiting for me?” she asks, walking to me.

“I wanted to know if maybe you wanted to grab a drink.” Her citrus smell hits me in the stomach. Fresh and clean. “I was thinking,” I say, tracing my finger down her cheek, “we could maybe go over our family tree.”

Her hands go straight to my waist as she leans into me. “Let’s go have that drink.” She winks at me, walking away from me as I follow her to the bar. “What are you having?” She turns to ask me.

“Scotch on the rocks,” I yell to the bartender, who then looks at her. “I’ll have the same,” she says.

“So.” She leans in, the noise of the bar drowning out her voice. The bartender returns with the two scotches and places them in front of us.

“Put it on my tab,” I tell him, and he nods his head. I pick up the glass, holding it in front of me. “To long-lost family.”

She picks up her glass. “To living in the moment.” I clink her glass in a toast, then she drinks a sip and looks at me. “Are you married?”

I shake my head. “Nope. Single. You?” I ask her. Even though I want to do this, I don’t want to cross that line.

“Always single.” She smiles, taking another sip, this time longer. “So, John”—she looks at me, stepping into my space—“there is just one more question that needs answering.”

I down the scotch, not even hissing when it burns my throat to my chest and then straight down to my stomach. I place the glass on the bar. “Do you want to go someplace where it’s quiet?” I ask her. She nods and smiles at me. It’s a smile that I’m not sure I ever want to see go away. It’s a smile that lights up her whole face. I don’t know if it’s the booze or not, but I’m not ready for it to be over just yet.

“I just have to tell my friends I’m leaving.” She points behind her and goes to tell them something while I close up the tab. A couple of women look over her shoulder, waving their hands at me, and one high-fives her. She shakes her head, laughing, while she walks back to me. “So where to?” she asks me. I grab her hand and walk outside to the building next door. “Well, that wasn’t too far.”

I guide her to the elevator and press the button standing next to her. I’m nervous; I haven’t had sex with someone new since Bethany and that feels like forever ago. I start thinking about different moves when the elevator dings, and the doors open. She steps in before me. “What floor?” she asks.

“Twenty-seven,” I say, and she presses the button. She leans on the wall while I lean on the other across from her. “I don’t usually do this.”

The little minx smiles at me. “A one-night stand or sex?”

I smile at her. “Very funny. A one-night stand.”

She stands straight and walks over to me. Her hands go straight to my chest, causing my heart to beat faster. “Well, then”—she inches closer, her hands moving to my neck, and my hands going to her waist, pulling her close to me, “let me start then.”

She goes on her tippy toes, and something in me takes over. I turn her so she is the one against the wall now. My hand runs over her bare neck, coming up to cup her chin. “I’m the one driving this car,” I tell her right before I hear her breath hitch and my mouth crashes into hers. I taste the scotch on her when her hand touches my cheek, and I angle my head to get more of her. To get all of her. The elevator dings, letting us know we are on our floor. Our lips separate from each other as our chests rise and fall rapidly. I hold out my hand, and she places hers in mine. As soon as our fingers intertwine, I pull her out of the elevator before the doors shut us in. She laughs as she follows me, and I make the mistake of looking over at her, seeing her with her hair going everywhere, the smile on her face, and the twinkle in her eyes. I make sure to remember it all.


Broken Love Story July 10th (PreOrder)

 
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…

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Release Day Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Hot Asset
21 Wall Street
By: Lauren Layne

Releasing May 22nd, 2018
Montlake

Blurb

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Timesbestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32841114-hot-asset

Praise for Hot Asset

“[A] playful romance…Layne populates her world of high-stakes finance with charismatic characters, and the fast-paced story works well with the simmering sexual tension between the leads…It’s easy to root for this couple.” Publishers Weekly

“Layne can always be counted on to create an engaging, steamy, and thoroughly rewarding reading experience.” —RT Book Reviews

Review

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

Lauren Layne’s back with a new series and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Hot Asset is the first book in the 21 Wall Street series, and it was so much fun! I was and wasn’t surprised by that. I wasn’t surprised because Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my book. She consistently makes me smile with her writing. I always know what I’m going to get when I pick up one of her books: a fabulous time. Hot Asset was definitely a fabulous time!

As for being surprised, I was only surprised by how much I enjoyed the Wall Street setting. Wall Street is something that sounds a little boring to me, but L.L. made it exciting! Who knew Ian being investigated by Lara could be so entertaining? This storyline was something I haven’t read before, and that was so cool.

I could not get enough of the characters and their relationships in this book. I adored the love-hate relationship that began between Ian and Lara when she started investigating him. There was some great banter between them. It made their road to love so much fun! I also really appreciated how supportive they ended up being with each other when it wasn’t an easy thing to be.

I also really loved the other relationships in this book. The relationship between Ian and his best friends / co-workers, Matt and Kennedy was hilarious. The three of them were quite the group of cocky, wealthy men. They, along with their other friends Sabrina and Kate, were the perfect little group of friends. I loved the dynamics between all of them!

Obviously, I thought Hot Asset was amazing. It was the perfect light, fluffy, upbeat romance read. It was exactly the book I needed to put me in a great mood and get over a book hangover I had going on. After reading Hot Asset, I can’t wait to read the rest of the 21 Wall Street books! I’m so excited for Matt and Sabrina and Kennedy and Kate’s romances! They need to hurry up and get here.

Purchase Now

KINDLE: https://amzn.to/2rVZEyl
PAPERBACK: https://amzn.to/2kb5DMe
AUDIO BOOK: https://amzn.to/2IyoUSy
MP3 CD: https://amzn.to/2rSMfIc

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in eight languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers WeeklyGlamourThe Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

Author Links 

Website:  http://www.laurenlayne.com/
GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6969772.Lauren_Layne
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_laurenlayne/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-layne
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/LLayneAuthor/
Lauren Layne Library: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/

Excerpt Link: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/hot-asset

Release Blitz REVIEW: Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely

Requesting the presence of your pleasure…

What do you get when you mix a masquerade ball, a smoldering secret rendezvous, and a sexy, billionaire hero who will sweep you off your feet? An opposite-sides-of-the-tracks standalone romance that you’re guaranteed to love!

From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the gorgeous and sexy-as-sin forbidden romance filled with wit, humor, and so much heart, COME AS YOU ARE! Secret trysts and stolen kisses abound in this brand new, swoontastic novel. Get your copy of COME AS YOU ARE delivered now!

✮✮✮COME AS YOU ARE is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!

I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect night.

For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I’m not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine—multimillionaire. But who’s counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I’ve ever met, who happens to like dancing, witty banter, and hot, passionate up-against-the-wall sex as much as I do.

There’s no need for names or business cards. And that’s why I’m eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge…bank account.

Everything’s coming up aces. Until the next day when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash — a lot complicated.)

***

He’s charming, brilliant, an incredible lover, and right now I want to stab fate in the eyeballs.

I’ve had one goal I’ve been working toward, and lo and behold, my mystery man is the very person who stands between me and my dream job. A job I desperately need since my hard-knock life has nothing in common with his star-kissed one.

But it’s time to put that fairytale night behind me, and focus on learning what makes him tick. Too bad it turns out his quirks are my quirks, and his love affair with New York matches mine.

And as we spend our days together, I discover something else that feels like a cruel twist of fate — I’m falling for this naughty prince charming, and that’s not an ending I can write to our story.

ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE!

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REVIEW:

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

Come As You Are wasn’t the office romance I was expecting — and that’s a good thing. Flynn and Sabrina don’t work for the same company, but their jobs put them in close contact. They don’t realize they will be working closely together until after their chance encounter. Knowing it’s unethical to work together and date, they decide to fight their attraction to each other. Despite both agreeing to this, Flynn and Sabrina find it harder and harder to stay away from each other.

Sabrina and Flynn were great characters. I loved their jobs and how they related to each other. That created so many great moments. I adored how they got to know each other, and how their attraction budded into a real fondness for each other. I felt like their growing relationship had me seeing New York in a new light, too. (I haven’t been there, but it was different from any of the other books I’ve read set in this city.)

I loved Come As You Are. I can always count on Lauren Blakely’s writing to be sweet, upbeat, and sexy. I love the connections she creates between the characters she creates, and their journey from Chapter One to the Epilogue. Her writing is so entertaining! Come As You Are. If you’ve never read her books before, this is a great place to start. Come As You Are is a fun romance to read.

EXCERPT:

~FLYNN~

The door crawls shut.

Inch by inch.

A slow-mo door.

I have no patience for its theatrics. I kick it shut, eager for the next part of the evening to begin.

Her laughter sounds across the library and echoes off its dark wood shelves bursting with books. A leather couch takes center stage, flanked by a mahogany table.

“Are you in a rush to read something?” she asks coyly.

Her voice turns me on. It’s like bourbon and honey. A little throaty and husky, but with sweet undertones. Funny, how when you can’t see someone’s face—at least not all of it—your other senses heighten. Your ears work harder, homing in on the voice, or you zoom in on the eyes. Hers are warm hazel with flecks of bronze and green.

“Why, yes, I was looking for a particular book.” I stroll to the bookshelf along one wall, running my fingers across the spines, from old hardcovers like Tess of the d’Urbervilles to modern thrillers from the likes of Clive Cussler to non-fiction reads on the habits of highly effective people. “I thought if you wanted to go to the library you’d want to read. Naturally.”

“Of course. Read me a story. A bedtime story.” She leans against the wall next to a writing desk with a green lamp on it, the kind that has one of those chains you pull down to turn it on. She goes with the moment, and this night seems like role-play with her. I half want to understand who she is. But in a way, I’d rather experience everything she seems to want to give. Her body. Her mouth. Her mind. Whoever she is here in the library is as real as whoever she is behind the mask. My mission is to make sure she gets everything she wants.

I grab the nearest book and crack it open. It’s a James Patterson. “Once upon a time, there was a woman at a party who wanted to be kissed,” I say, walking to her, the pages open.

The angel raises her hands to her hair and sweeps off the headband that holds her halo. She tosses it to the desk. “That sounds like a very scintillating tale.”


✦The audiobook is narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt! ✦
Audible https://adbl.co/2DTfbDi


 ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!

 “With an oh-so-delectable hero, a heroine who’s a vivacious force of
nature, and a romance that’s both adorkable and scorching hot, Come As
You Are had me hooked from page one.” -Yvette, Nose Stuck in a Book

“Come as You Are blends the phenom that is Lauren Blakely with the
fantasy of a fairytale wish and a dash of cold hard reality. Passion
unfolds
with a bit of entertainment, a handful of humor and fistful of
heart
.” -Isha, I Love Romance

“Blakely has whipped up an irresistible romance as sexy and witty as
the nerd protagonists she details in Come as You Are. Their chemistry
snaps, crackles, and pops off the pages. ” – TJ Loves To Read

✮✮✮ COME AS YOU ARE and enter to win the ultimate gift! ✮✮✮

Let’s celebrate the release of Flynn and Sabrina’s New York romance
with a must-have stylish NY Kate Spade Tote with matching journal ($225 value),
perfect for the writer inside all of us!

https://laurenblakely.com/come-as-you-are-giveaway/

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 90 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In April she’ll release COME AS YOU ARE, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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Release Day Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Brooklynaire
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #4
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?


If you’re like me and have read the entire Brooklyn Bruisers series from the very beginning, there’s a romance you’ve been hungery for: Becca and Nate’s. We all know they belong together and have wanted to see that happen. Thank goodness Sarina Bowen has finally given that to us with Brooklynaire!

Brooklynaire is slightly different from any other of the Brooklyn Bruisers novel. It’s the first book not published in the series by Berkley. That brought about one amazing, important change. Brooklynaire is written in FIRST PERSON! Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. As amazing as Sarina Bowen writes in third person, first person is just always that much better. There was a little third person sprinkled in during chapter’s exploring Becca and Nate’s past, but it was done in a comical way that was so much fun.

As for the romance we’ve all been waiting for — IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Nate and Becca’s story was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. Everything. Their was heat, sweetness, passion, adoration, friendship…Brooklynaire had it all. I loved the way Becca and Nate admitted their feelings for each other and navigated through what it meant being co-workers and friends. It was just so much fun and so special.

Honestly, I don’t think Sarina Bowen could have done anything better with these two. I loved how the story went back into their history to show how they met. I loved how they fought their feelings for each other, but couldn’t withstand their attraction for each other. I simply loved everything about it. I’m so, so happy Nate and Becca got their happily ever after. The only thing that bugs me is that I have a feeling this might be the end for this amazing series. I’m really hoping that’s not the case. I would love more Brooklyn Bruisers in my life.

Excerpt:

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

Review: From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

From Lukov with Love
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contem

porary, Sports, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.


Last year, I fell in love with Mariana Zapata’s writing. I loved how her books were set up. They are super slow burn romance. In fact, the majority of her books aren’t necessarily about the romance. They are more about the main character’s journey within themselves. I love how that journey leads them to a romance with (usually) someone unexpected.

But back to when I fell in love with Zapata’s writing… My first book by her was Dear Aaron. I loved that book so much, and I was so excited to find out that From Lukov with Love was about Ruby’s sister Jasmine. It was a fact I didn’t connect until I started the book. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t remember that Ruby’s sister was an ice skater, but I did binge read all of Zapata’s books in between reading the two. Anyways. I was so happy to be back in the world of the Santos family!

Jasmine was the complete opposite of Ruby. She wasn’t the sweet one. Jasmine was outspoken almost to a fault. She didn’t hold back, and in the past that had hurt her. Life was also harder for Jasmine in some ways. I really liked how Mariana Zapata portrayed all of Jasmine’s issues and insecurities. Jasmine had to do more than most to accomplish her dreams. Life wasn’t easy for her, and I applauded her determination. It’s not often that I run into characters who share Jasmine’s problems in other books. I wish more did because there are so many people who will identify.

Ivan wasn’t a character I immediately loved. I was such a fan of Jasmine’s from the beginning that her hatred for Ivan became mine. He had this refined almost silent personality thing going on. I had as many problems reading his thoughts at first as Jasmine did. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to find some good in Ivan. I ended up loving his sneaky tactics to worm his way into Jasmine’s heart.

Jasmine and Ivan had a snarky, competitive frenemy relationship that I loved. Ivan could easily give back what Ruby dished out. I loved how much his character complimented hers. Any time Jasmine and Ivan were together, it was like powder keg waiting to go off. There was that much electricity between them. I absolutely adored their relationship and how it slowly built.

I mentioned earlier being happy to be back with the Santos family again. That was because they have such amazing family dynamics. I loved how Jasmine interacted with her siblings and her mom. She had a very close-knit relationship with her family with the exception of her father. Her dad was another story. That relationship was so tough, but I loved how Jasmine dealt with it in the end. Ivan’s family seemed to be just as tight as the Santos family. I didn’t get to see too much of them, but what I saw I loved.

One of the things that impressed me the most in From Lukov with Love was the figure skating. Man, was the attention to detail about it good. It feels weird saying that because I wasn’t watching it, but I feel like I learned a lot about what it takes to be a figure skater. It’s something I’ve never really thought about before. All that practicing and falling and…well, just everything. It’s made me excited to watch the competition in the upcoming Winter Olympics. I gained even more respect for those athletes than I had before.

Sorry, this review is starting to feel long and rambly. I can’t help it. I loved everything about this book. Everything. I cannot find one fault with it. Well, except maybe that I didn’t want it to end. I could have gone on reading about Jasmine and Ivan FOREVER. I’m really, really hoping that Mariana Zapata will give us another book about one of the Santos or Lukov family members so that I can spend more time with them.

Mini Reviews: Miss Mechanic, Caraval, The Vincent Boys, The Vincent Brothers

Miss Mechanic
Author: Emma Hart
Publication Date: December 12, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Two mechanics. One rivalry.
She’ll prove she’s as good as she says she is.
He’ll prove her place isn’t under the hood.
It’s over it.

“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
For twenty-six years, I lived by my daddy’s motto. Which is why “Mechanic Wanted” is all it takes for me to apply for the job at the garage we once owned.
And I meet the biggest bastard of them all.
Dexter Ryne. Hotter than Hell in July and a firm believer that my place is on reception, taking phone calls and looking pretty. Not getting dirty under the hood of a car.
Determined to prove each other wrong, we make a deal.
I have three weeks to prove my worth as a mechanic. If I don’t, I’m on telephone duty.
If I do, he’ll accept defeat and make my job permanent.
Now, all I have to do is fight my attraction to the cocky little… beep.
Problem is, an engine isn’t the only thing he knows how to make purr…


A while ago my blogger friend Cristina told me I needed to read Emma Hart’s Miss Fixit. I completely trust her opinion on books, so I immediately read it…and fell in love with it. When I heard Emma Hart was coming out with a new book, I had to pick up Miss Mechanic. Unfortunately, it took me a month or so to get to it.

I was hoping Miss Mechanic was going to be a spin-off of Miss Fixit. It wasn’t, but that ended up being okay. It was still hilarious. It made me smile and laugh so much. I adored the love-hate thing Jamie and Dex had going on. They  had such chemistry! Miss Mechanic was such a fun read. It got me out of a book slump I was in. It’s definitely a book I would recommend to readers who like romantic comedy.



Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Welcome, welcome to Caraval! Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


My feelings about Caraval are complicated. I enjoyed it for the most part. The world of Caraval was beautifully created and the story well crafted. My issue with it was that parts of it dragged. I felt myself getting bored right before all the big action parts. If it wasn’t for those action parts, I might have not finished the book. Which would have been sad because the ending was quite good. I also want to mention that the narrator, Rebecca Soler, was amazing.

I’m really happy I decided to listen to Caraval. It was an interesting ride!



The Vincent Boys
Series: The Vincent Boys, #1
Author: Abbi Glines
Narrators: Kirby Hayborne, Shayna, Thibodeaux
Publication Date: October, 12, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any hotter…Beau and Ash’s sinful romance now includes super scandalizing, never-before-published scenes in this special, eBook-only companion to the steamy printed original.

There was something wicked about Beau that drew me to him. What was wrong with me? Why did I want to sin so badly?

Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.

Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.

Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist…


OMG. The Vincent Boys is a total guilty pleasure. I was surprised at how much I loved it. I decided to listen to it because it was the only book I was slightly interested in on Overdrive. I wasn’t sure I would like it because of the love triangle, but I did. The love triangle didn’t bother me at all. I think it was because of the nature of Sawyer and Ashton’s relationship. Plus, for most of the book Sawyer wasn’t even around. I loved Beau and Ashton together so much. If you’re looking for a fun YA contemporary romance, you should try this one out!



The Vincent Brothers
Series: The Vincent Boys, #2
Author: Abbi Glines
Narrators: Kirby Hayborne, Shayna, Thibodeaux
Publication Date: June 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Getting a boy to fall head-over-heels in love with you isn’t easy. Especially when he’s been in love with your cousin for as long as you can remember.

Lana has lived her life in her cousin’s shadow. Ashton always made perfect grades, had tons of friends, and looks model-perfect. And she’s always had Sawyer Vincent—the only boy Lana’s ever wanted—wrapped around her finger. But now things are different. Lana has a chance to make Sawyer see her, and she’s taking it. If only he’d get over Ashton—because Lana is sick of second-best.

Sawyer’s heart is broken. He’s lost his best girl to his best friend. And then Lana comes to town. Ashton’s cousin has always been sweet and soft-spoken, but now she’s drop-dead gorgeous as well. Sawyer doesn’t know if Lana can heal his broken heart, but spending time with her might at least make Ashton jealous.

What starts as a carefree fling becomes a lusty game of seduction. Sawyer and Lana may have different motives, but their scintillating hookups are the same kind of steamy. . . .


The Vincent Brothers was a great follow up to The Vincent Boys. It was just as addictive. I was so happy that Sawyer got a book. His feelings were so raw and brutal. After his loss in the first book, I wanted him to find his truth. I love that Lana was the one to help him find it.

Review: Bad For You by J. Daniels

“If you’re a fan of Kristen Ashley, then you will love this book.” -Aestas Book Blog on Four Letter Word

He didn’t want to be bad. He just didn’t have a choice…

Shayla Perkins isn’t the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean “Stitch” Molina. So when he gives her the world’s biggest rejection, that’s it–she’s done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn’t mean he’s interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he’s paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected–especially from a man like Sean. He’s tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give each other what they want most…is to let each other go?

“The perfect mix of funny, hot and heartwarming. I enjoyed it immensely!” –Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author, on Four Letter Word

AVAILABLE NOW

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MY REVIEW

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

You know that book that is just so amazing you want to call and tell all your friends to read it? Well, that’s Bad For You. I cannot get over how awesome it was. It had everything: humor, romance, angst, heart, emotion, depth…I could go on and on.

I always thought no other Dirty Deeds book could top Four Letter Word. The connection between Syd and Brian that started this whole series was one I didn’t think J. Daniels could beat. Well, I was wrong. Bad For You surpassed Four Letter Word by far. The connection between Sean (“Stitch”) and Shay was so raw and so much deeper than I expected. Their romance was not light and fluffy. There was so much for them to overcome — especially for Sean. The darkness they had to navigate to get to each other was heartbreaking. Not that there wasn’t humor. There was a ton of it. It’s what helped bring light to this book and to Sean and Shay.

My favorite thing about Bad For You is the way Sean and Shay supported each other. Sean’s support showed up in the sweetest, most unexpected ways. Shay’s was a little more exuberant and entertaining. When it came down to it, the support they had for each other is what helped build their friendship and relationship. I loved the progression of it.

Bad For You is J. Daniels’ best book yet! I absolutely adored everything about it. I feel like I can’t adequately express how outstanding it was. I guess I’ll just close by saying YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!!!

J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Sign up to receive her newsletter and get special offers and exclusive release info: http://authorjdaniels.com/newsletter/

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Review: Brave by Tammara Webber

Brave
Series: Contours of the Heart, #4
Author: Tammara Webber
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Courage means rising up to defend your beliefs…
or daring to question them.

Erin McIntyre was captivating, but forbidden
His professional subordinate
The embodiment of unearned privilege
The daughter of his sworn enemy

Isaac Maat was impossible to read
Smart, ambitious, and emotionally detached
Hotter than anyone’s boss should ever be
And definitely hiding something…

He told himself that getting to know her would help him take down her father.
She told herself that getting under his skin would distract her wrecked heart from its misery.

Neither predicted their private war would lead to an intimate battle in which the victor would be the first one to SURRENDER.


I had been waiting on this book so long, I forgot why. I even forgot who Erin was. I had to ask a friend! That makes me sad because Brave and Tammara Weber’s entire Contour of the Hearts series is so good! I love her writing and the world she has created.

Brave was a slow burn romance. The characters, Erin and Isaac, started off as co-workers. Isaac was Erin’s boss, and he wasn’t her biggest fan. This spurred Erin into action. Their feelings built slowly throughout the story. I loved all of their moments together. Those lead to some very big ah-ha moments for Erin. The story was in her point of view, so those moments were extremely important.

While I loved Erin and Isaac together, the romance didn’t feel like the biggest part of the story. Erin coming into her own and learning about herself and her family took up a lot of the story. I really liked that story line. Isaac was woven into it, and how everything played out was very cool.The social and political aspects of Brave were important and relevant to life today.

The only thing I wanted more of from Brave was time with Erin and Isaac together. I didn’t get enough of them as a couple figuring out their lives together. I wanted more than just their attraction and the blooming of their love. I wanted to be deep within their bond.

It may have taken years to finally get Erin’s story, but it was well worth the wait. Tammara Weber gave her a story that showed Erin’s strengths and her heart. I loved reading it.

Review: Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G.

Thirty Day Boyfriend
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: November 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I should’ve never agreed to this arrangement…

Thirty days ago, my boss—Mr. Wolf of Wall Street, came to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse: Sign my name on the dotted line and pretend to be his fiancée for one month. If I agreed, he would let me out of my employment contract with a “very generous” severance package.

The rules were pretty simple: No intimate kissing, no actual sex. Just pretend to love each other for the press, even though I’ve secretly wanted to knock that sexy smirk off his face since the first day we met.

I definitely didn’t need to think twice about this. I signed my name and started counting down the seconds to when I would never have to deal with his special brand of ass-holery again.

I only made it to one minute…

We argued the entire four-hour flight to his hometown, failed to make a convincing impression with the welcoming press, and right when I was about to knock that arrogant look off his face in real life? He purposely dropped his bath towel in front of me, distracting me with his nine-inch cock to “show me who the bigger person was” in our relationship. Then he gave me his trademark smirk once again and asked if I wanted to consummate our marriage.

Tragically, this is only day one.
We still have 29 more days to go…


OMG! This book was SO much fun to read! Thirty Day Boyfriend was everything I’ve come to expect from a book written by Whitney G. It was so sassy and fun! I loved the build up from co-workers to lovers. The love-hate relationship between Emily and Nicholas made for witty banter and so much intense chemistry. It even had some great moments of sweetness. I absolutely adored it.