Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

So Over You
Series: Chicago Rebels, #2
Author: Kate Meader
Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels….

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then… let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…


Earlier this year, I read the first book in the Chicago Rebels series. I liked Irresistible You, but so much of it was a setting up the Chase family drama for books to come. I felt like Harper and Remy’s relationship took a back seat, and I didn’t connect to them as much as I wanted. I finished that book wondering if Isobel’s story would feel the same way.

It didn’t. Isobel and Vadim’s story felt more like their own. There wasn’t as much family drama, and what there was fit into their lives. It made it easier to connect with them and their love story — which I adored.

Isobel and Vadim had a lot in common. They were both in love with playing hockey, both had previous injuries, and both were strong-willed. The first two things bonded them. The third had the potential to destroy them. Every interaction between them was passionate. I never thought coaching someone in drill could be fiery, but I was wrong. I loved how their shared hockey experiences connected them.

The sisters weren’t quite as involved in this story, but the moments they were together were magic. Instead of bonding, they had moved onto a deeper relationship. They were there for advice and friendship. It wasn’t such a struggle for them anymore. I liked that.

I also liked Vadim’s family dynamic. It was almost as scandalous as the Chase family. His relationship with his sister was so sweet. (Can she grow up and get her own book?)

Overall, So Over You was a fun second chance romance. It moved the Chase family onto a new time in their hockey owning career while spotlighting a special relationship.

Review: Bad Princess by Julianna Keyes

Bad Princess
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: November 27, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Notorious for leaping off roofs, maiming foreign royals, and that twerking incident, Brinley Cantrella of Estau is nobody’s definition of a good princess. She’s fearless and bold, not good and gracious. And after a lifetime of being told she’s unfit to be queen, wearing the crown and helping to usher Estau into a new era is the one dream she’s never dared chase.

But when her older sister abdicates the throne, all Brinley has to do to inherit the role is not twerk, not maim anybody, and definitely not get caught fooling around topless with Prince Finn, her childhood crush, the only man she’s ever loved…and her sister’s former future husband.

Finn embodies the definition of good. Tall and handsome, serious and honorable, he always does the right thing—including agreeing to marry his ex’s sister to cover up this latest scandal. Brinley has fallen down stairs, broken teeth and broken bones, but this is the first time her heart has ever been broken. She now has the crown and the prince, and on the surface, life is good—but is being married to a man everyone swears could never love her back good enough?


I don’t always read princess stories, but when I do they’re by a trusted author. I had faith that Julianna Keyes could make me fall in love with her bad princess, and she totally did! Bad Princess was delightfully fun.

Princess Brinley wasn’t a horrible person, she was just a young woman who acted on her impulses. Sometimes they were good, most of the time they didn’t work out so well for her. Hence, her nickname Bad Princess. I loved that no matter what, Brinley stood true to who she was.

Prince Finn came across a little stuffy, but there was more hidden beneath his rule following exterior. I was surprised by how much I ended up loving him. All of the moments between Finn and Brinley were special and sweet. I didn’t expect their story to be what it was, and I loved that.

Another thing I loved were all of the side characters. They were all so animated. I could easily imagine them in my heads. The one that ended up shocking me the most was Princess Elle. I didn’t expect her at all. I’m hoping we get a story about her some day.

Bad Princess was a fun, fast-paced read filled with a lot of tenderness and little bit of sexiness. It would be a good starting point for those mature enough to advance from YA to NA royalty.

Mini Reviews: Perfect Ten: A Rockstar Romance and Forgetting You, Forgetting Me

Perfect Ten: A Rockstar Romance
Author: Kelley R. Martin
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

First comes marriage. Then comes love.

His band’s record went platinum ten times.
I’ve known him for nine hours.
Our wedding ceremony lasted eight minutes.
Last night I must’ve had seven shots.
When our nuptials are accidentally live-streamed, I wake up to six voicemails.
He gave me five toe-curling orgasms.
His tour lasts for another four weeks.
He says he can’t wait to turn us into a family of three.
He’s only in Vegas for two more days.
His name is Tennessee King, and I’m absolutely terrified he might be the one.


I wasn’t immediately drawn into reading Perfect Ten by the blurb. I’m not always big on rockstar romances, but I decided to give it a shot because I am a fan of Kelley R. Martin’s romances. I loved Knockout Love series. I was pleasantly surprised by Perfect Ten. Despite sounding like it might completely revolve around sex, there was a ton of courting and build up. I was amazed at how much considering this was a novella.

Perfect Ten was really cute, kind of sweet, and pretty funny. It was a blast to read. I would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, fun romance to read.



Forgetting You, Forgetting Me
Series: Memories from Yesterday, #1
Author: Monica James
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

My name is Lucy Tucker, and my life…it was perfect.

I worked the dream job. I had the most incredible family and friends. My home, Whispering Willows, a ranch in Montana, was everything I could ever wish for. My adoring fiancé, Samuel Stone, loved me unconditionally.

I had everything a girl could ever want.

But one fateful event shattered my perfect life. It’s unimaginable how simple, ordinary words can change a person’s life forever. For me those words were, “There’s been an accident.”

I thought Sam was my forever, but that forever came to a close the day Saxon Stone, Sam’s identical twin brother, came back. Saxon returned to Montana to help save Sam, however, the moment he entered my life, he turned my world upside down. But through chaos I somehow found clarity—clarity of who I was meant to be.

As time progressed, as seasons changed, and as a fire began to burn, I soon realized that Saxon was there for another reason…he was there to help save me.


I’m not a big fan of love triangles — especially involving siblings — but this one kind of worked for me. Monica James did an amazing job of making me not care about the love triangle, but about Lucy’s entire journey. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. There was a good amount of angst and emotion throughout it. I did wish the author hadn’t left the end the way she did. I needed a more concrete HEA. I’m guessing that’s not coming until later on in the series.

Review: Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Spider
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: November 13, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s a British rock star.
And my stepbrother.
What can go wrong?

He called himself Spider. I just knew him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate sat next to me on the airplane. I didn’t know who he really was…rock star…my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought we’d never see each other again. We would.

Everyone warned me about him.
They said he was ruthless and cold and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built up a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.

Some have said there’s an unbreakable thread that connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…


I almost didn’t read Spider. I saw “step-brother” in the blurb, and was like no thank you. Then, I reconsidered. I love Ilsa Madden-Mills’ writing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to miss out on one of her books. When I realized Spider was part of the KU program, I went ahead and downloaded it.

I have some mixed feelings about Spider. I liked it for the most part. The whole step-brother thing wasn’t an issue for me. Rose and Spider are newly acquainted step-siblings. They didn’t grow up together. Their attraction preceded their knowledge of their new familial status. I liked their connection and most of the scenarios they ended up in.

My biggest problem was Rose’s age at the beginning. She was only seventeen, not quite an adult. Spider didn’t know this at first, but once he did I felt a little uncomfortable with his attraction to Rose. He wasn’t that much older, but it still kind of bugged me. Luckily, not all of the story was in this age gap.

Another thing I had issues with was Trenton. I’m not going to say what went down, but I was a little disappointed in Rose. It was all resolved well, but still. She was too good of a person for it.

Despite this all sounding negative, I did enjoy reading Spider. The story kept my attention, and I loved the ending. I just wish those couple of things didn’t bug me so much.

Mini Reviews: The Law of Moses and The Song of David by Amy Harmon

The Law of Moses
Series: The Law of Moses, #1
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.


The only way to describe Amy Harmon’s writing is the word beautiful. Everything about it is beautiful. The way she puts words together is so dang gorgeous. The stories she crafts with those words are just as beautiful. I’m always amazed at how brilliant and touching her words and stories are.

That’s exactly how I felt when reading The Law of Moses. I was constantly amazed. The book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I could see some of the plot coming, but there were also moments when I was shocked.

Moses was definitely “a law unto himself”. I wasn’t always happy with him, but he amazed me. Same with Georgia. She was a fire that couldn’t be put out. She had spunk and grit. Their love for each other was raw and unconditional. Their story wasn’t easy, but it was magical.

I loved every moment of reading this book. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.



The Song of David
Series: The Law of Moses, #2
Author: Amy Harmon
Publication Date: June 13, 2015
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Rating:★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.

I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.

For me, heaven was the octagon.

Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?

If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.


Once again, Amy Harmon has surprised me. The Song of David wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s narrated partly by Moses with David telling some of his own story from afar. At first, I wasn’t so sure about this set up. Once I got into the story, I found I really loved it. In fact, I loved the entire story. The way David tells about falling in love with Millie and everything they went through was so special.

I loved the way Moses added to the story. He brought a completely different aspect to it. His was a connection to David by friendship. Their relationship was tight and special. His emotions made the story even more special.

Everything about this book was just so good…until the end. At the end, I felt like I had missed something big. I needed one more piece of information that I didn’t get. That’s okay, though. I still loved The Song of David. Anyone who has read The Law of Moses will love getting to know David better.

Review: Worth the Wait by Lori Foster

Worth the Wait
Series: Guthrie Brothers, #2
Author: Lori Foster
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ready or not…love will find a way

Single dad Hogan Guthrie is getting his life back on track, and working as the “barbecue master” at a local diner is just a temporary detour. He and restaurant owner Violet Shaw constantly butt heads…until one night they end up mingling other parts instead. Hogan thought he had the recipe for happiness all figured out. But loyal, carefree Violet is daring him to trust his impulses…and see just how sweet small-town living—and loving—can be.

Nathan Hawley traded his SWAT team credentials for a sheriff’s badge, but a gorgeous new neighbor is shaking up his orderly life. Nathan has a hunch there’s more to Brooklin Sweet than meets the eye—but given her caution about getting involved, he has his work cut out for him. Still, there’s something about the elusive beauty Nathan can’t walk away from—and helping her come to terms with her past might pave the way to the future they both secretly long for.


Earlier this year I read the first book in the Guthrie Brothers series, Don’t Tempt Me. It was my first time reading a book by Lori Foster, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much that I needed to read the next book in the series, which leads to this review. I finally got my copy of Worth the Wait from the library.

Hogan and Violet were fiercely attracted to each other, but neither was willing to make a move. They liked what they had going on. Violet was Hogan’s part-time boss. Plus, Hogan was a bit of a womanizer and had no plans of settling down. Violet might have been considering happily ever after. When Hogan starts working full-time for Violet, all bets are off. Their attraction to each other is too much to contain.

I loved both Violet and Hogan. Violet was a gutsy chick. She was strong-willed and determined to make her business successful. She knew what kind of man she wanted, and wasn’t willing to be a one-night stand. Hogan wasn’t truly the womanizer he was playing. He was sewing the oats he thought he needed to. What Hogan really needed was the right woman. Violet was the gal to make him believe in love again. I also really loved the way Colt was involved in Violet and Hogan’s story.

Nathan and Brooklin are thrown together when she moves in nextdoor. Nathan knows there’s something going on in Brooklin’s life, and he’s determined to find out what it is. Practically stalking her, Nathan starts to get to know Brooklin and likes what he learns. Brooklin isn’t so sure about getting into a relationship with him when she’s running from her past. The two start a love affair that becomes complicated when it’s apparent someone is looking to cause problems for Brooklin.

It kills me to say this, but I was not a fan of Nathan and Brooklin’s story line. I’m sorry. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them or want them together. The whole suspense aspect of it bored me a bit. When it started to intertwine with Hogan and Violet’s story, it really lost me. Violet took just way too much abuse for my liking. I’m blaming my dislike for all of this on my disinterest in romantic suspense.

Anyways. I did like Worth the Wait overall. It was a fun read filled with interesting characters and a cute romance (Hogan and Violet). It wasn’t quite what I was expecting in some parts, but it was still a really good read.

Release Day Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

 
Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon
AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
Love Unexpectedly
Lauren Layne
Releasing Nov 7, 2017
Loveswept

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met
her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before
Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old
boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart
rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble
is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend,
Mark.
Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not
looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there
for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be
something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension
between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the
corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants
has been right in front of her all along.

 
NOW AVAILABLE!

REVIEW

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

An Ex for Christmas is the story of Kelly, a woman who believes in fate, horoscopes, and asking her Magic 8 Ball to help her make decisions. When a psychic tells Kelly she’s going to be reunited with her true love this Christmas, Kelly takes upon herself to track down all of her ex-boyfriends to figure out which one might the guy for her.

As Kelly reconnects with her exes, none of them create the spark she expects. The only sparks Kelly’s feeling are with her best friend, Mark. But Mark’s never been interested in Kelly in that way…or has he?

If you want a book that is going to put you in the holiday spirit, look no further. Lauren Layne has got you covered with An Ex for Christmas. This holiday gem was filled with entertaining characters, wonderfully romantic moments, and so much Christmas cheer I almost couldn’t stand it.

Kelly was a hoot. This woman took her psychic revelations seriously. She counted on that Magic 8 Ball more than anyone ever should. That’s what made her so perfect, though. Kelly was so influenced by possibilities that she couldn’t see the realities in front of her. I felt bad for poor Mark. He was a great guy, and he loved that girl so much. I knew if Mark could just get Kelly’s head out of the clouds for a moment, she would realize the person she was looking for was right in front of her.

One of my favorite thing about An Ex for Christmas was how seriously Kelly took celebrating the holidays. She put so much energy into creating a merry Christmas. It didn’t matter if it was decorating or dressing up, she was always distributing joy around town.

This book was just so much fun. I really, truly believe that the Hallmark Channel needs to make An Ex for Christmas into a holiday movie. It has everything a viewer could want out of a Christmas love story.

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

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