Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Stay
Series: WAGS, #2
Authors: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.


Stay was my #1 anticipated release for 2017. I could not wait to get my hands on this book. Heck, I can never wait to get my hands on any of their books. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy are my dream team of contemporary romance writing. Their books bring me such joy. I’ve fallen in love with all of their characters, especially those in the Him and WAGS world. I couldn’t wait to get to know Matt Eriksson better and find out what it would take to win his heart.

In Stay, Matt’s still trying to move on from his divorce. He knows it was for the best, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. One thing that has made it easier is Fetch and the virtual assistant from the company who has fulfilled all his needs. Matt can’t stop thinking about her and their computer chats. He would do just about anything to meet her, including give her tickets to his next hockey game.

Luckily for Matt, Hailey Taylor Emery is a huge hockey fan. Specifically, she’s a Matt Erikkson fan. She’s known deep down that her favorite client is Matt, but now that it’s confirmed, Hailey’s not sure what to do. How can she handle Matt’s advances when she can barely utter a word around him?

Once again, Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have won the game with Stay. I absolutely loved this book! Their writing shined. Matt and HaiIey were amazing characters. I loved the witty banter between them and the rest of the characters. The incredibly funny and sometimes awkward situations they created made laugh constantly.

Matt Eriksson may have been a god in the rink, but he was even more so in life. I can’t get over what a stand up guy he was. He was perfect, but he was pretty dang close. Matt was a guy who put his family first. That, combined with his dominant personality, was super sexy. He had me fanning myself more than I would like to admit.

I adored Hailey Taylor Emery. She was one cool chick. She was smart, determined and real. I loved that Matt terrified her a bit. Hailey’s reaction to Matt was exactly what I think I would be like if I met my celebrity crush. I’m sure I would be a bundle of nerves, too! Another thing I loved about Hailey was her personality. She could hold her own and a relationship wasn’t the only thing she had going for her.

Matt and Hailey’s relationship was full of ups and down, and I loved every minute spent with them. My only complaint about Stay would be that I needed another 500 pages of it. I could have gone on reading about Matt and Hailey forever. Their story was that much fun. I guess I’ll just have to hope there is another WAGS book coming in the near future. I want another book. I need another book. Please, please let them write an O’Conner book! Or a spin-off about Mr. Dick would be fun, too. Heck, I would even read a book about Puddles and Rufus falling in love if these two wrote it! Just give me more books from my dream team!

Review: Fallen Crest University by Tijan

Fallen Crest University
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5
Author: Tijan
Narrators:  Graham Halstead, Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags. With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over. Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target-not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows that he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target. Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?


If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews recently, you’ve probably noticed I’m majorly bingeing on the Fallen Crest University series. Tijan has created a series so addicting and drama filled that I can’t put it down. I wouldn’t say the books are perfect, but they weave a tale so complex and fascinating that perfection doesn’t really matter.

Fallen Crest University is the next stage in the fearsome foursome’s life. No longer are Sam and Logan stuck in Fallen Crest while Mason and Nate are at college. All four of them are now at the same college. It’s a blessing and a curse for Mason. He loves have his family back at his side, but he worries about their safety. If his battle with Park Sebastian was simmering last year, this year it’s boiling. Mason wants to protect Sam and Logan, but they have other ideas. Both of them are willing to do anything to protect Mason from Park.

I absolutely loved having the family back together in this book! The Fallen Crest world just didn’t feel right with them separated by distance. Sam, Mason, Logan, and Nate feed off of each other and that makes for so many fun moments. I also liked the place Sam and Mason were in. There were still secrets, but Sam seemed to be back to holding her own. Her mental state was so much better in this book.

One of my favorite things about this book was that Logan got his own point a view for a couple of chapters! It was just as awesome as when Mason’s point of view showed up in book 3. I’ve always loved his cocky demeanor, but it was even more fun hearing it from his point of view. Logan rocked! I’m so excited to read his novella soon!

Now for my least favorite things about this book. I hate to say it, but Fallen Crest University is the weakest book in the series so far. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it — I totally did. I mean, I listened to it non-stop. It’s just that it was missing some of the things I’ve loved about the series in the past. It was also really over the top in the drama department. That’s saying a lot because this series is nothing but drama.

This book was missing so many things for me. I wanted more of some of the old characters. I wish at least one horrible person from one of Sam’s high schools had shown up at her college. I also wish Heather had gone to school with her. She visited for a second, but I still missed her presence in this book. Speaking of Heather, I really wanted to know more about her hook up with Logan. They had such chemistry, and I’m sad I only got to hear a tiny bit about it. Another thing I missed was Sam’s running addiction. I know that’s crazy because it has annoyed me in the past books, but I thought there would be more involving her track scholarship. And, finally, I missed the Mason-Sam sexy times. They were alluded to, but in the previous books I got more details. I was surprised that they weren’t more prevalent now that it’s a college romance instead of a high school one? I would say maybe they cooled off after being together so long, but that wasn’t it.

As for the over the top drama, I had a hard time buying into one major twist at the end. It helped with Park’s demise, but was too out there for me. I still don’t know what to make of it.

Overall, Fallen Crest University was another addicting read. I loved seeing Mason and Sam in a new phase in their lives. I’m excited for what’s to come in the rest of the series. I’m sad that I won’t be able to listen to the rest of the series because I have fallen in love with the narrators, but I don’t think they’re out in Audible yet. I’ll have to make do with reading them. 😉

Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

I Knew You Were Trouble
Series: Oxford, #4
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.


I Knew You Were Trouble is an excellent example of why Lauren Layne is a queen of contemporary romance. Each book she writes gets better and better. I didn’t think another Oxford novel could top Lincoln Mathis and Someone Like You, but I was wrong. I Knew You Were Trouble was just as amazing, if not even better than Someone Like You.

It doesn’t matter who the characters are, or what the situation holds for them, Layne makes me fall in love with their story. I Knew You Were Trouble showcased this by taking a smart and beautiful but somewhat cold woman and making me empathize with her. I didn’t love how cold Taylor could be, but I got it. She had a tough life, and what she thought she wanted wasn’t always what was best for her. I loved how having her nemesis move in and taunt her in ways she didn’t want changed her. It was fun to see her character progress through so many emotions throughout the book.

As for Taylor’s enemy, Nick was way hotter and cooler than I remember him from Someone Like You. He had his own issues, but I loved how he helped Taylor come to terms with hers. They way he pushed her was frustratingly hot. I couldn’t get over their witty banter. It made the story fly by. Nick and Taylor’s chemistry was undeniable, and those steamy sex scenes proved it.

My favorite part of I Knew You Were Trouble had to be the climax. I saw it coming, but didn’t expect it to play out the way it did. It was so creatively set up. I really loved how it ended up resolving.

I loved everything about I Knew You Were Trouble. It was another great office romance. It held my attention from the beginning and never let go. I read it in one sitting, and couldn’t have put it down if I wanted to. I’m really hoping this book will not be the end of the Oxford series. I would love another book or two in this series!

Review: The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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The Last Guy
Authors: Ilsa Madden-Mills, Tia Louise
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Publisher: Ilsa-Louise Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…
Sex in the on-set kitchen…
Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge…ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.
When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her that he’s the last guy for her…


When I heard Ilsa Madden-Mills was coming out with a new book, I was super excited. She’s one of my go-to authors. When I realized she was writing with Tia Louise for this release, I was even more excited because I haven’t had the chance to read her books before. There was every reason to be excited, too, because The Last Guy was one of the most entertaining office romances I’ve read in a long time.

Madden-Mills and Louise are a match made in writing heaven. I would never have known that The Last Guy was written by two authors if it hadn’t been on the front cover. The authors’ writing melded so well together. Their story was funny and fresh. I couldn’t get enough of it.

I loved the characters in this book! Rebecca was so down to earth. I could easily imagine myself in her shoes. Everything crazy that happened to her would totally happen to me in real life. Her struggles were very easy to relate to. Cade was that superstar hottie we’re always surprised is into a regular, normal woman. Their relationship was off the charts hot. The sex was some of the hottest I’ve read in a while. I’m not talking super kinky or anything, I’m just talking fanning yourself hot. The chemistry between Cade and Rebecca was so awesome.

I can’t leave out the supporting characters. Chas could have easily stolen the show in this book. She was over the top fabulous and I loved every scene she stole. Cade’s brother was also another amazing character. He added another dimension to Cade, and helped emphasize what a great guy Cade was.

If you’re looking for the perfect summer romance read, look no further. The Last Guy is the book you need. It’s light, funny and will warm you up if the nights get cold. Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise are a reader’s author match made in heaven. I truly hope they write more books together.


“The best and only way to kick off summer, devouring The Last Guy and then doing it all over again because it’s just that good.”

— #1New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken

 

THE LAST GUY is the first white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise. It features Fireball-fueled hookups, Doritos Locos Tacos, attack monkeys, toddlers in tiaras, and one fabulous drag queen. Prepare for frantic clicking (or page flipping!) and smoking-hot sexytimes all the way to the out-of-this-world happily-ever-after.

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Read THE LAST GUY today:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2rbKuU8
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/n7ViYL

PAPERBACK

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2roeV8U

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About the Authors:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and the “Queen of Hot Romance” Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap.

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Connect with Tia:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiaLouise/
Twitter: @AuthorTLouise
Stay up to date with Tia Louise by signing up for her newsletter: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews
https://authortialouise.com/dirtyplayers/

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Connect with Ilsa:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorilsamaddenmills/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilsamaddenmills
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2k6L96J
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jjRzlD
Website: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/

Review: My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

My Roommate’s Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.


Julianna Keyes is an author I’ve come to love this year. I became a fan of her writing after reading her Burnham College series. I was very excited to get to read her new release, My Roommate’s Girl. From the title, I could tell this was going to be one of those books that was going to have some uncomfortable moments, but I had faith that Keyes could make me fall in love with her story.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with My Roommate’s Girl. It wasn’t the dreaded love triangle that kept me from it. It was the main character, Aiden Shaw. His cocky, tough guy talk didn’t endear him to me. He seemed really scuzzy and I didn’t like his tactics. I think my biggest problem was that his motives weren’t good. Everything was based on his lust. It wasn’t until he and Aster truly started to form a friendship that I could see the good in Aiden, and appreciate him. There was more to him than I thought, and it took until half way through the book to understand that. I wish it would have happened earlier.

Aster wasn’t what I expected at all. I was pleasantly surprised by her when her point of view finally showed up. She was more than the princess Aiden described her to be. I loved her back story and how it affected her feelings for Aiden.

Aster and Aiden had a very unique connection. Their similarities tied them together in a special way. It enhanced their already sizzling chemistry. The more they discovered about each other, the more I liked the story. I wish more time had been spent within their relationship. There was so much build up to it. I only got to experience their relationship for what felt like a minute before a conflict started to ruin things. I wasn’t a fan of the conflict, so that time in the book frustrated me. It did lead a super cute ending, though.

I probably would have given My Roommate’s Girl a higher rating if I had immediately connected with the characters. I liked them, but I never really got the chance to love them. The book was still a lot of fun to read and it was incredibly fast-paced. If you’re looking for a college romance that isn’t centered around sports or normal college students, I would recommend My Roommate’s Girl. It’s different from any college romance I’ve read.

Review: Fallen Fourth Down by Tijan

Fallen Fourth Down
Series: Fallen Crest High, #4
Author: Tijan
Narrators:  Saskia Maarleveld, Graham Halstead
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

My mother tried to destroy me. She doesn’t exist to me anymore and my father, the one who raised me and the biological one, are both works in progress. The only two people that I can trust are Mason and Logan, and they’re the two people who I could lose. It won’t happen. I won’t let it. No matter the truth, no matter who loves me, I won’t let anything or anyone come between us.
They’re my world. They’re my life.
They’re my family.


Surprise! (Not really.) I’m back with another Fallen Crest High audiobook review! I’m flying through these books. I can’t help it. The story has me so committed. I need to hurry up and finish all of the books so I can get back to real life!

Fallen Fourth Down was a weird transition book. Sam’s in Fallen Crest and Mason’s three hours away at college.The distance hasn’t lessened their love for each other, but it’s made it easier to keep things from each other. Sam’s trying hide the fact that she knows Logan’s in love with her. Avoiding the awkward conversations has made her tension and she hates keeping things from both of her boys. Mason’s keeping things to himself to avoid feeding Sam’s fears. They’re together, but living separate lives. When someone from Sam’s past ends up in Fallen Crest, things get even tougher.

Like I said, this was a weird transition book. Mason and Sam are apart most of the book, so I didn’t get to feast on their interactions. I missed them together. I love the intensity of their relationship. I guess it did make their times together that much more explosive, but I wanted more of the fearsome twosome and threesome.

Instead of basking in Sam and Mason’s relationship, I was stuck living through Sam’s fear of Logan’s love for her. There was so much uncomfortable tension between Sam and Logan. I worried a lot about how that was all going to play out. Sam was also dealing with a guy from her past who had a renewed crush on her. I really liked this part of the story. It was kind of sweet, and felt like it helped me get to know Sam before the Kades a little better. I liked the guy. That was probably because I knew he didn’t stand a chance next to the Mason Kade.

As for Mason, he was in a whole new world. His being at the bottom of the totem pole was cool. He had to prove himself for once, and I liked that. He was still Mason Kade, so he wasn’t an underling for long but it was fun to see him not in charge. I loved meeting all of Mason’s new football buddies and the camaraderie they shared. I even loved meeting Mason’s new nemesis, Park. I can tell their rivalry is going to amp up the drama of Mason and Sam’s college experience.

A couple of things surprised me in Fallen Fourth Down. One surprise was Nate. The Kade brothers’ relationship with him changed a bit, and I wasn’t expecting that. It made me a little sad, but I liked how it all ended up resolving itself. The second surprise was Marissa. I wasn’t quite expecting her to be as crazy as she was. I ended up hating her after this book.

Overall, I enjoyed Fallen Fourth Down. It did a good job answering some questions I had about both Sam and Mason’s pasts. It also finally cleared up Logan’s feelings about Sam. At times, it felt like a filler novella since Sam and Mason were apart, but it ended up doing a great job setting up things for Fallen Crest University.

Review: Until Tomorrow by Nancy Naigle

Until Tomorrow
Series: Boot Creek, #2
Author: Nancy Naigle
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an e-book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

After yet another heartbreak, Flynn Crane is pretty much done with dating. She’s not even sure she can keep her grandparents’ struggling bed-and-breakfast afloat. But just as she’s about to give up on both her business and her dream of settling down in Boot Creek, Ford Morton walks back into her life.

Even from thousands of miles away, Ford never forgot the spark that ignited when he first met Flynn. Now a monthlong artists’ residency near Boot Creek gives him the perfect opportunity to find out just how intense the fire between them can get.

Neither of them expected just how that little spark would turn into heated passion. With Ford’s return to Alaska looming near, Flynn is torn between her life in Boot Creek and a chance to move to the wilderness for love. Can Ford and Flynn find a way to share tomorrow together—before they both lose their hearts in Boot Creek?


A while back, I read Every Yesterday (Boot Creek, #2). It was my first book by Nancy Naigle, and while I liked her writing, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I was excited to get a chance to read another book in this series.

In Until Tomorrow, Flynn is done with dating men who use her. She’s going to take a break from men and work on getting her bed and breakfast back up and running. Flynn’s able to do just that until Ford comes strolling back into town. Flynn met Ford at her best friend Angie’s wedding, and sparks flew between the two of them. Flynn never imagined anything could ever happen between them since Ford lives in Alaska. The more time Flynn spends with Ford, the more she wants more with him. But is Flynn willing to give up her bed and breakfast dreams to move to Alaska?

Until Tomorrow was a fun read. It’s exactly the kind of adult contemporary romance I like. It was fast-paced, cute, and the characters’ chemistry was strong. I immediately felt connected to Flynn and Ford. Their story was definitely instant lust and a little bit instant love, but it was also had a slow burn feel. I liked that Flynn and Ford’s relationship was built on what started between them in the previous novel. It made their romance easier to rationalize. (Not that you would have to read the previous novel to read this one. It can be read as a standalone.)

I’m glad I gave the author a second chance. Until Tomorrow had everything I thought Every Yesterday was missing. Romance readers who enjoy a traditional contemporary romance will love this book. There’s a lot of relationship build up and just a little bit of sexiness to enjoy.