Blog Tour Review: The Varlet and the Voyeur by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is available NOW!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Josey Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Josey homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Josey will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’ Josey is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2l89gDn

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheVarlet

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Start the Series of standalones with The Hooker and the Hermit!

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Review:

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

I wasn’t sure what to expect by the title of this book. First, I had no idea what a varlet was. Second, a voyeur? That sounded way more erotic than this series normally is. All this made me a little hesitant and a whole lot curious to read this book.

Thankfully, The Varlet and the Voyeur was not a departure from the rest of the series. It was just as fun, witty, and hilarious. I was also surprised by how enlightening it was. L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid took the voyeurism topic to a different place. Will’s whole reason behind his kink was actually respectful and thoughtful. I didn’t see that coming. I also didn’t know how much I would learn from Josey on an array of subjects. It was all so cool.

Before I get away from how well written this book was, I need to praise the authors’ writing. This collaboration was one where it was easy to tell who wrote what. Normally, that might not be a good thing. In this book, it was a great thing. It made Will and Josey’s voices stand out. Their points of view felt like two different individuals.

Will was a stoic man. He seemed to take everything in stride, and he was willing to accept his faults and mistakes. His whole back story fascinated me, and I enjoyed the way he learned to think differently about himself thanks to Josey.

Josey was a ball of fire. She was hilarious. Her strange ramblings were so endearing. I didn’t fault the people closest to her for being on the edge of annoyance with her. I probably would be, too. What I loved about her strangeness was that it made her unique and somehow perfect for Will.

Will and Josey were simply adorable together. I won’t say more because the way they ended up together was so fun to read. All you need to know was that their chemistry was off the charts. Every interaction they had was a priceless experience.

Obviously, I loved The Varlet and the Voyeur. Whether you’re a fan of the Rugby series or new to it, you’re in for a fun ride. This is a romantic comedy you won’t want to miss.

Excerpt:

*Will*

When I saw how spotless the shared living space was, I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me and peeked my head into her bathroom, Rocky dancing around my feet as I entered the space. The counters were covered in woman-products, but the marble surface and sink were free of water spots, and the glass of the shower had been wiped clean.

I glanced at Rocky. He glanced at me. Bemused, I chuckled to myself, about to turn back to the door, and that’s when I spotted it.

A dildo.

A big, Pyrex dildo.

With ridges.

In the shower.

I froze, blinked, and I stared at it, my brain sluggish. Oddly, I had to remind myself to breathe. Likely because I was . . .

I was—

I was shocked.

I shook myself, tearing my eyes from it and rubbing my chest where an odd kind of pang was spreading mild warmth up my neck.

But why was I shocked?

Why should I be surprised?

Despite my never seeing her that way, Josey was a woman and women have needs.

Don’t they?

I hadn’t grown up around women—any women. My mother died when she had my youngest brother. My grandmother died before I was born. I had no sisters. We lived on a farm, way out in BFN Oklahoma.

Girls—women—and their bodies were sacred lands of the unknown to us Moore boys.

Unbidden—completely unbidden—an image of Josey flashed through my mind’s eye. Her full lips parted, her big eyes closed, causing her thick black lashes to catch droplets of water before they dripped over her sharp cheekbones. Her head would be lolled back as shower spray melted bubbles of slippery soap, sliding down her bare skin as they dissolved. Her legs would be parted, and maybe one hand would be braced against the wall of the shower while the other moved in a steady rhythm.

Holding that huge, glass dildo.

I swallowed a sudden rush of salvia and, unable to help myself, I leaned closer to the sex toy, examining it and comparing its size against my own.

I was bigger.

But not by much.

And for some reason, this realization made me instantly hard.

Crap.

Of course I knew Josey was a woman, but until this moment, I’d never really thought of her that way. Not even the tampon-mountain drove the point home. Up until this point, she was someone I liked as a person, someone who made me laugh, who was smart and compassionate, someone around whom I felt completely comfortable. A good—no, a great companion.

She was still all of those things, except—

Except now I’ve pictured her naked.

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

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

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter:http://lhcoswayauthor.com/newsletter/

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Blog Tour REVIEW: The Right Stud by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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The Right Stud, an all-new steamy standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise is LIVE!

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Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise are back with an all-new romantic comedy filled with Southern sass and steamy scenes that will have you laughing out loud and fanning yourself. Pour the sweet tea and get ready…

“The best way to get over your sh**ty ex-fiancé is to get under a shiny new stud…”

As soon as Mr. Tall, Blond, and Handsome walks into that bar, I know he’s the hook-up I need to get over stupid Cheater Kyle.

A few stolen kisses in a dark hallway, and I’m pretty sure we’re headed for a home run—until he disappears without a trace.

Whatever. Men are all snakes in the grass, and I don’t need a new one anyway.

I resolve to forget about his perfect lips (and chest of steel) and instead focus on turning my Granny’s old beach house into a profitable B&B.

What I don’t expect is for him to show up the next day in my kitchen!

You see, my sexy mystery man is none other than Jax Roland, the drop-dead gorgeous home improvement star of The Right Stud, and he’s got an offer I can’t refuse.

With a suitcase in one hand and a hammer in the other, he wants to move in and renovate my old house while he films his new show.

But my roommate has secrets, and they threaten to rip our blossoming friendship—and possible love—apart.

When push comes to shove, is Jax really The Right Studor is he just another nail in the coffin of love?

Review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

In The Right Stud, Jax and Ashton almost hook up at a bar without realizing they are soon going to work together. Once Jax shows up at Ashton’s beach house, she decides it’s best to keep their relationship platonic. Jax doesn’t agree. He wants nothing more than to act on his attraction to Ashton. Soon, Ashton is willing giving in to their attraction. Remodeling while hooking up seems easy until a secret Jax is keeping threatens to wrench them apart.

The Right Stud in one word? Hilarious. I couldn’t believe how much I laughed while reading this one. Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise crammed The Right Stud with as many crazy fun moments as possible. The Right Stud was such a good time.

Jax and Ashton’s romance was predictably cute. I loved the way they met and then ended up working together. Despite the short timeline of the story, their instant chemistry made their quick fall into love fairly believable. I enjoyed how their relationship unfolded and the drama they had to fight through.

Here’s the thing, though. Jax and Ashton were out shined by some amazing side characters. Mrs. C. was Ashton’s grandmother’s friend and her boarder. The old widow was HILARIOUS. Her nuggets of wisdom and comments about her late husband killed me. She made me laugh so hard. So did her parrot. The words that parrot knew…Oh my goodness! His timing was amazing. Then, there was Jean Claude van Ram. The name alone was enough to make me giggle every time I read it. These characters stole the show. I loved Jax and Ashton, but I would have read this book if it was just about all of these guys. Seriously. Super funny. I couldn’t get enough.

If you’re looking for a humorous romance, The Right Stud would be an excellent choice. It’s fun, fast-paced, and is guaranteed to make you laugh.

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Excerpt

Ashton

I disentangle myself from Jax’s strong arms and land on the floor with a plop. I freeze, hoping I didn’t wake him, and I’m reassured when I hear a soft snore.

Thank God. I don’t think I can face him right now. I completely made a fool of myself. It was the wine. It was the Marvin Gaye. It was…

Hell, it was just him. No man has the right to look that fucking good when he’s washing skunk spray off his body in the ocean!

I snatch up my clothes and throw them on with haphazard care. With one last, regretful look at his physically perfect form on full display, I open the door and slide out, closing it with a soft snick.

I’ve just made it downstairs in the dark, hoping to grab a glass of water, when I run smack into Mrs. C leaving the kitchen.

“Oh!” I stammer, stepping back.

“You got the big D didn’t you?” Her face is covered in some kind of green mask that smells faintly of cucumbers. Rufus, her parrot, studies me with beady eyes from his perch on her shoulder.

“What’s a D?”

“Don’t play coy with me. I may be sixty but I know a satisfied woman when I see one. I had that same look every time Mr. C took me to pound town.” She sighs. “He had the biggest cock you know. I used to tease him that he could have been a porn star…”

I blink. Pound town?

I clear my throat. “You’ve been watching too much HBO, Mrs. C. Jax and I are in a working relationship, and I would never jeopardize that.”

Her eyebrow arches. “Whatever you have to tell yourself. But your dress is on inside out.”

“Fuck!” Rufus calls out and I scowl at both of them.

She hushes him, still looking at me. “And don’t think I didn’t hear all the moaning and grunting. It was loud. I kinda liked it to be honest. It’s been a long time since anyone got a good seeing-to in this old house.”

Pushing the hair away from my face, I exhale, feeling embarrassed. “It’s one in the morning. Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“I came in here to grind up some cucumbers for my mask. But I can tell you’re not in the mood to talk, so I’ll go to my room and wash it off.” With an offended sniff, she turns to go.

“Wait.”

She pivots back around. “Yes?”

I rub the back of my neck, which is sticky from being pressed against sweaty male-flesh for the past few hours of glorious bliss… which reminds me that I don’t ever recall Kyle giving me two orgasms in one night.

Focus, Ashton. “If we did have sex, and that’s a big if—”

“You did. I heard you cry out…Oh God, I’m coming.” Her face is deadpan.

“Did I make a mistake? I mean, he’s here to work, and he’s a man, which makes him an asshole.” I give her a pleading look, and I know I must be desperate to be seeking dating advice from Mrs. C.

Her lips purse as she gives it a think, beady eyes carefully studying me from beneath the layers of the lime green mask. “Honey, he’s the goat savior and the skunk hero. He deserves a good fuck. Just call it a one-off and let it go.”

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Add to GoodReads

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About the Authors

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author 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/

Release Blitz Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely

PART-TIME LOVER promises full-time satisfaction…

What do you get when you mix a charming British hero, a temporary marriage of convenience, and a smart & sassy heroine? PART-TIME LOVER, the brand new, standalone rom-com from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely! Get your copy of PART-TIME LOVER now!

✮✮✮PART-TIME LOVER is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression. When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations.

Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***

Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.

But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…
As long as no one gets hurt…
As long as no one falls in love…

But our ending was one I never saw coming.

ORDER YOUR COPIES HERE!

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✦ iBooks ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-iTunes
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✦ B&N ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Nook
✦ Google Play ➜
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✦ Amazon PB ➜
http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-PB

REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Earlier this year, I read Lauren Blakely’s Wanderlust. I was smitten with the characters and the Paris setting.  In that book, I got to meet Christian and Elise. They were just a vibrant as the main characters in that story, and I couldn’t wait to get to read their story.

I adored Part-Time Lover. It was a very fun take on a fake marriage turned real. I loved that Christian and Elise bonded in a non-romantic but sexy way. There was more than just physical attraction to their story,  and that made it all the more sweeter.

If I had to pick a favorite thing about Part-Time Lover, it would need Christian. He had a great sense of humor. I also loved his sense of family and loyalty. He was the perfect person for a woman like Elise who had given up on love.

Part-Time Lover was a quick, romantic read that left me smiling. The Paris (and Denmark) setting combined with amazing characters made this a fun summer read. I highly recommend it.


✦The audiobook is narrated by Shane East and Grace Grant! ✦
✦ Audio ➜ http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Audible OR http://blkly.pub/PT-Lover-Audio


EXCERPT:

~Elise~

A year ago

The boat slides under another bridge then motors through a more residential area, passing homes on the water and private docks every few feet. My eyes hungrily eat up the view. My current hometown of Paris is my love, but I could get used to weekends in Copenhagen. It’s a delightful mix of old and new, like a Swiss alpine town mated with a futuristic sky-rise city.

As I gaze at the sun-soaked homes, I imagine lazy afternoons drinking strong coffee on the deck, reading delicious tales under the rays. That seems like a recipe for happiness for the rest of my days.

I want to feel that way. Happy. It’s been so damn elusive lately, and for a fleeting moment, it feels as if I grasp it again, so I’m no longer teetering on the edge of grief and shame.

But that’s why I’m here, to move past that terrible duet.

I try valiantly to simply enjoy everything in front of me: the buildings, the water, the view.

As we round the bend in the canal, I blink at the view.

Holy hell, the unexpected view.

Nearby is a private dock.

On that dock is a man.

He’s performing a downward-facing dog, and his rear is facing us.

What a spectacular ass.

It’s not covered in sweatpants or basketball shorts.

It’s au naturel, as finely sculpted as the statue of David.

He’s a dog all right.

I sit up.

I practically stand. I lean on the edge of the boat, agog. I won’t even pretend I’m not looking. I’m ogling.

The Japanese friends whisper and point. The couple shifts closer to get a better look. The college girls titter and laugh.

We slide along on the calm water, and now we’re fifty feet away from a sight way better than the Little Mermaid statue, more magnificent than the royal palace.

He bends forward, pressing his palms into the wood, lifting his legs, and flipping them upside down.

Full. Frontal. Birthday suit.

He’s a tall drink of a man, and I’m so very thirsty.

“Look,” I whisper to Veronica, though of course she’s already engaged in the fine art of gawking. “Did you know the Mad Naked Handstander of Copenhagen was on the tour?”

She sighs contentedly. “I am so glad you forced me to go to the buffet.” She parks her chin in her hands, watching the tall upside-down creature.

“My favorite part of the buffet is dessert,” I say, as my eyes gobble him up.

This man wears nudity well, even in this unusual position.

“I enjoyed the rubies and emeralds in Rosenborg Castle, but I like these crown jewels even better,” I say.

And hey, perhaps I’m perving, but I’m an equal-opportunity spectator at this private dock show. I don’t merely peer at the centerpiece of his physique, resting majestically against the grooves of his abs. My eyes take a most happy stroll up and down his carved body, from the planes of his stomach, to his strong thighs, to his arms ripped with muscles. His face is hard to read at 180 degrees, but I see the shape of his cheekbones, carved by angels.

Then, he moves. He walks on his hands. Back and forth.

Like he’s performing.

Showing off his most unique skill set.

I chuckle louder.

Then louder still when he holds himself up on one hand only, waving to us.

“What a show-off,” Veronica says.

Lars clears his throat. “And sometimes, we see the unexpected sights of Copenhagen.”

I do what any curious onlooker might do. I grab my phone and snap.

Snap.

Snap.

The man stands, takes a bow, and waves.

My chest heats up. The temperature in me flirts with mercury levels. He’s a stunner. My God, he’s like Skarsgård, from this distance.

And because I believe in speaking my mind, I cup my hand over my mouth and shout, “Bravo. All of it.”

He doffs an imaginary top hat and takes a bow. “My pleasure.” His voice books across the water, his accent a British one.

Sparks unexpectedly race down my chest. That accent is delicious. “Oh no. The pleasure is truly all mine.”

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!

“Characters that are as bold and carefree as they are vulnerable and introspective, banter that’s rife with wit, humor, and innuendo, and a teasing, agonizingly slow-building romance make Part-Time Lover a gripping love story. From start to finish, Part-Time Lover will have you laughing and swooning and falling in love with love.” -Yvette, Nose Stuck in a Book

“Jam-packed with Blakely’s keen attention to detail, her fabulous sense of humor and a sexy, sweet, consuming romance, Part-Time Lover was a heart-fluttering, full of hope joy to read.” -Red Cheeks Reads

“…a beautiful, compelling, alluring story of opening up your heart again to love and all the possibilities of it.” –Bookish Aurora

✮✮✮Get full-time satisfaction with this PART-TIME LOVER giveaway! ✮✮✮

Let’s celebrate the release of Christian and Elise’s romance
with a Kate Spade Tote ($200 value) and $50 Gift Card to Sephora for your own Scentsual Fragrance!

https://laurenblakely.com/part-time-lover-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 95 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In June she’ll release PART-TIME LOVER, 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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Blog Tour Review: I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting


I Flipping Love You
Series: Shacking Up, #3
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

SUMMARY:

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL. HE’S A FIXER UPPER…

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes I Flipping Love You, a love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready.

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in the Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?

REVIEW:

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

When I first started reading I Flipping Love You, I didn’t realize it was the third book in the Shacking Up series. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was connected to a series I adored. All of these books can be read separately as standalones, but they’re even more fun read together.

I Flipping Love You was a very entertaining read. Rian and Pierce don’t start out on the right foot with each other, and it leads to hilarious banter. There’s obvious attraction and chemistry that builds as the story goes on. Rian and Pierce’s physical relationship is easy, while their emotional one is not. Pierce is all in, but Rian holds back. I loved how Pierce continually pushed Rian’s comfort levels (in a good way). He won her over quickly and yet slowly. I liked the pace at which their relationship bloomed. It was incredibly fun to read.

I do have to admit I got a little annoyed with Rian at the climax of the story. I was frustrated that I didn’t understand her motives completely. I thought she was being stupid, and dramatic for silly reasons. It wasn’t until Rian came clean with Pierce that I got it, but I still didn’t necessarily like how Rian had handled it.

That little frustration didn’t ruin the book, though. I guess it made for a pretty big ah-ha moment for me. Overall, I loved reading I Flipping Love You. I constantly found myself with a huge grin on my face while reading it. It’s definitely a book I will recommend to someone looking for a great beach read this upcoming summer.

“Fun, sexy, and full of heart…Helena Hunting has done it again!”—USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow (on Shacking Up)

BUY NOW:

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Powells

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author Website
Facebook
Twitter – @HelenaHunting
Instagram – @HelenaHunting

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.

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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/
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Lauren Layne Library: http://laurenlaynelibrary.com/

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

Review: One Baby Daddy by Meghan Quinn

“What are you doing now that your team is out of the running for the Stanley Cup?”

Forget.

I need to forget. I need an escape.

Only one person isn’t falling for my reputation as the NHL’s Golden Boy; she captured my attention the minute she called me out for snooping through my best friend’s house. She didn’t want to hear my reason–she only wanted to playfully give me a hard time.

Adalyn is bold, sassy–and the perfect escape.

She’s everywhere. In town and in my dreams, and suddenly I need to spend every waking moment with her.

And I do, making this summer the best off-season I’ve ever had.

But in the midst of getting lost in Adalyn, what I don’t expect is to get her pregnant.

And what I definitely don’t expect is having to fight for her affection.

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Hayden is a special character. He’s the one that pops up as a supporting character in a book but manages to high jack the reader’s attention. When I met him in Three Bling Dates, I wanted him to be the winner. I just loved him so much. He was a confident professional hockey player, but he was also a really good guy. His character stood out. I wanted his book, and I was sad that I had to wait to for it. I needed to know everything about the woman who stole his heart.

I had a feeling Hayden’s lady was going to be someone from a previous book. When I realized it was Adalyn from My Best Friend’s Ex, I was so excited! I loved her from that book. She’s so smart and sassy — and Racer’s best buddy. I had forgotten that Hayden was also Racer’s friend, so this all made them falling for each other that much sweeter. (I’ll take as many Racer cameos as I can get!) Her back story was fun. It’s what I pictured going into this book knowing her character from before.

Hayden and Adalyn’s love story was super swoon worthy. Adalyn made Hayden work for her affection, and I loved every minute of it. Their relationship wasn’t perfect or easy thanks to a trade and an unplanned pregnancy (not spoilers if you’ve read the first book and this blurb), but the hard parts of this story made the easy parts even sweeter. Oh, and I can’t leave out how funny parts of this book were. It’s Meghan Quinn, you guys. There’s always laughs with her writing.

I mentioned Racer above, but that’s not the only character making an appearance in this book. Emma, Tucker, and Smalls make appearances. So does Emma and Adalyn’s nursing school friend Lance. Oh, and Calder and Rachel from Back in the Game. It’s a smorgasbord of old friends.

I couldn’t get enough of One Baby Daddy. It was almost everything I wanted Hayden and Adalyn’s story to be. (My only want was it to be longer so I could have more time with my new favorite couple and their baby.) I love it when series collide, and this book did that in the best way possible! Now, if I could just get books for Hayden’s twin brothers…That’s not too much to ask, is it?

“Would you mind zipping up the back of my dress?” She walks toward me, her flowery scent floating in my direction, spiking my yearning into overdrive.

“Uh, yeah . . . sure.”

She turns around, and looks over her shoulder. The back of her dress is completely open, the zipper undone to just above the curve of her beautifully round ass.

Shit, all that smooth, tan skin, covered by nothing but the velvety fabric of the dress. Is she wearing underwear? She’s not wearing a bra and I see no panty line.

Clearing my throat, I ask, “Are you wearing underwear, Adalyn?”

From over her shoulder, she smiles shyly. “Yes, it’s small though.”

Of course it is. Why wouldn’t it be?

Not being able to stop myself, I take a second to float my fingertips up her spine. From the initial touch, her back arches and a small gasp releases from her lips, but before I can think about stopping, she melts into my touch. Stepping closer, I place my hand on the back of her hip, my thumb pressing into her ass while the other hand explores the bare expanse of her back. Her head falls to my shoulder. Her lips part, and when I snake to the front of her dress, her breath hitches.

Eyes closed, I take in ragged breaths, my fingers inching closer and closer to her front, my cock painfully hard.

It’s been so goddamn long—and being with Adalyn has only spurred on my need—but I want to make sure we’re in a good place before we commit to anything. I want to make sure she’s ready emotionally because the minute I bury myself deep inside her, I know there will be no turning back. She will be mine forever.

But maybe for now, I can just have a little touch . . .

My cock pressed against her butt, she expertly grinds her backside into me, her hands moving to my neck, pulling my head down to hers. I kiss the side of her neck, using the hand that’s gripping her hips to guide her with her grinding in just the right place.

Fuck, that feels good.

I grunt, the sound vibrating over her sleek neck. My hand on her stomach, she arches wanting more of my touch, silently asking me to move north.

And I fucking comply. Inch by slow inch, I guide my hand to just below her breasts. When I halt my pursuit, a displeased groan escapes her.

“Hayden, please.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to find the willpower. Her fingernails dig into my scalp, spurring me on as she turns her head and finds my lips.

She kisses me.

Hot.

Wet.

Needy.

Her lips gliding across mine, her tongue diving into my mouth, her moans are vocal and sexy. Her delicious ass, pressing, grinding, undulating against my rock-hard cock makes me want to do so much more, makes me want to taste so much more.

Moving my hand higher, my fingertips graze the bottom of her breast. Soft. Round. Smooth. I caress her right below her nipple, never touching, just teasing . . . tempting.

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Release Blitz Review: Pick Six by Max Monroe

Pick Six
Series: Mavericks Tackle Love, #2
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Synopsis:

Sean Phillips is a sexy as sin enigma.
Cocky. Promiscuous.
The New York Mavericks star wide receiver.

His quick moves and sure hands extend way past the lines of the football field—and into the bedroom.

Sure of himself and sure of his life, Sean’s convinced he can handle anything. But when beautiful, pint-sized Six Malone delivers a challenge he’s never faced before, his certainty starts to waver.

**

Six Malone is a force to be reckoned with.
Feisty. Hilarious.
The popular YouCam vlogger Pick Six.

The chance to work with the Mavericks on an eight-episode vlog series is the opportunity of a lifetime, and Six knows it.
But after an interesting first encounter turns into a head-to-head battle with cocky football star Sean Phillips, her attention shifts—to keeping herself from falling in love.

Too bad spending time with the team is part of the job, and Sean has a flawless track record…of getting what he wants.

**

Pick Six: A term used when a quarterback throws an interception and a defensive player returns it for a touchdown, resulting in six points.

Pick(ing) Six: When a man-wh*ring baller meets his match.

Disclaimer: Early readers report uncontrollable laughter, choking, snorting, and multiple spit-takes while reading Pick Six. Use caution while reading in public, avoid throat-sized foods, and give any companions an umbrella.

REVIEW:

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

Oh my. Max Monroe. You’ve done it again. Just when I think you two couldn’t get any funnier, you come out with a new book.

Pick Six was a hilarious read. I laughed so hard I cried. No joke. Six was so mischievous and crafty when it came to Sean. Normally, that probably wouldn’t be a good thing to say about a character, but in this case it was. Six knew how to put Sean in his manwhoring place, and it was freakin’ awesome. If Six was a real person, I would have to idolize her. She was strong, smart, independent, and didn’t take crap from anyone. The thoughts that went through her head were utterly entertaining. As Cat would say, I had a little bit of a girl crush on her.

Sean…Well, Sean was a cocky idiot. I say that in a loving way. He was definitely part of the Phillips family. He was unfiltered in a way only that family can be. (I was so happy to find Cassie and Thatch had cameos! The Britney Spears conversation made me so happy!) Sean also had a bit of a sweet side I didn’t see coming. It was fun to watch the womanizing football player fall for someone who could take him down a notch.

Six and Sean’s romance was a delightfully humorous read. I didn’t want Pick Six to end. I had so much fun hanging with the Mavericks again. I’m just happy to know there are more books to come in this series. How many people are on a football team? That’s how many of these Marvericks books I need from Max Monroe. Get writing, ladies!

PURCHASE NOW!

Amazon US➜ bit.ly/PickSix_an
Amazon UK➜ bit.ly/PickSix_auk
Amazon AU➜ bit.ly/PickSix_aau
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iBooks➜ apple.co/2DfV8TT
Kobo➜ http://bit.ly/2nkBTxT
Nook➜ bit.ly/PickSix_Nook
GP➜ http://bit.ly/2BAnoe7
Paperback➜ bit.ly/PickSix_anpaper

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY: https://goo.gl/CJaoxQ

PICK SIX SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: https://goo.gl/msdftq

Review: Jock Row by Sara Ney

 

Scarlett is always the sensible one: The sober driver. The planner. The one holding your hair back while you’re worshiping the porcelain gods.

Week-after-week, she visits Jock Row with her friends—the universities hottest party scene and breeding ground for student athletes. And if keeping her friends out of trouble, and guys out of their pants, was a sport, she’d be the star athlete.

Being a well known jock-blocker gets her noticed for all the wrong reasons; just like that, she’s banned from Jock Row. NO GUY WANTS A GIRL AROUND WHO KEEPS THEIR JOCK FRIENDS FROM GETTING LAID.

“Rowdy” Wade is the hot shot short-stop for the university’s baseball team—and the unlucky bastard who drew the short straw: keep little Miss Goody Two-Shoes out of the Baseball House.

But week-after-week Scarlett returns, determined to get inside.

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REVIEW:

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

Oh my goodness! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I adored Jock Row! I was expecting it to have a similar vibe as the How to Date a Douchebag series. It was in the way of hot, cocky college athletes and smart women, but it was also different. Jock Row was more of a sweet, almost slow burn romance. Scarlett and Rowdy took their time getting to know each other, and the result was utterly swoon worthy.

Scarlett was this smart, feisty girl. She wasn’t into landing a sports star. She was all about keeping her friends safe. Rowdy may have been helping his teammates — no matter how stupid he thought they were being– but he wasn’t into girls who wanted nothing but his status and possible pay check. He was a good guy with ambitions beyond hooking up. Both were good, strong characters who knew what they wanted in life.

That’s why Rowdy and Scarlett were so perfect for each other. Neither of them were actively looking for someone else. They were confident in their own skin. They had already figured themselves out, and that made it even more exciting to experience them figuring each other out. I loved how they got to know each other. I also loved how there wasn’t much drama to their relationship. That made this an incredibly fun read.  Scarlett and Rowdy were so stinkin’ cute together. Seriously. They made me smile so dang much!

Another thing I adored about this book were the side characters. All of the baseball players I met were exactly what I expected (Rowdy excluded). They brought the feel I loved from the How to Date a Douchebag series. My favorite side characters, though, were Rowdy’s parents. His mom was especially cool. I could have read more of her interactions with Rowdy and Scarlett.

Jock Row was everything I didn’t know I wanted and needed in a college sports romance. It was sweet, a little sexy, and amusing. I couldn’t get enough of Scarlett and Rowdy. This is my new favorite Sara Ney book. I’m so sad I’m done reading it, but I am so excited to see what’s to come in the Jock Hard series.

EXCERPT:

Jesus Christ, she has a dimple in her damn cheek.

I’m a sucker for those.

She shoots me a tentative smile, ass parked on the stoop, back propped against the wooden siding of the house.

It’s obvious that she’s blushing by the way she ducks her head, glancing down at the floor, the soft glow from the two busted lamps illuminate the crown of her head.

The porch lights are busted and rusty, needing their bulbs changed, one flickering—the other just about to burn out. It makes the entire place look like a goddamn Halloween fun-house, casting a weird glow on the girl’s smooth, pale skin.

And her pretty dimple.

Stop staring at it, dipshit.

I cast my glance at her outfit, doing my best to analyze her under the dim lights; she must have been sweaty inside the house; I got a good look at her before convincing her to follow me, but still study her as if seeing her for the first time.

Both of her boots are tucked under her legs, and she sits, cross-legged on the ground. Blows out a frustrated puff of air that translates into a billowing stream of steam.

“So.” She wraps her puffed sleeved arms around her knees, hugging them tight. Shivers. “Now what?”

Her prim ponytail is jaunty, bobbing when she tilts her head to gaze over at me.

“Now I babysit you.”

“Lovely. We can bond.”

I position my large body against the railing, giving it a gentle shake to make sure it’s sturdy before supporting all my weight on it. It’s solid and secure and is going to get real uncomfortable real fucking fast if I have to stand here all night.

The girl raises her brows at me. They appear black in this light; full and arched expertly. “Have you babysat anyone before?”

“No one I managed to keep alive,” I joke. “A few cousins my parents forced me to watch a few times; never would feed them but would occasionally throw out a dog bone so they wouldn’t get hungry.”

She smiles, dimple denting the smooth right side of her face. “Is that what you have planned for me?”

I raise my empty hands. “I’m fresh out of Scooby snacks. Guess we’ll both have to starve.”

“Sorry you have to sit out here.”

“Really?” I sound hopeful. “No one is forcing you to sit out here.”

Her light laugh is quiet. “Fine. I guess I’m not that sorry.” She bites down on her lower lip. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying your discomfort—just a little bit.”

“Gee, thanks.”

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Review: I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills brings you a brand-new heartfelt, sexy contemporary romance with I DARE YOU is LIVE!

Bad Ass Athlete: I dare you to…
Delaney Shaw: Who is this?

The late night text is random, but “Bad Ass Athlete” sure seems to know who she is…

Delaney Shaw.
Good girl.
Lover of fluffy kitties and Star Wars.
Curious.

His dare? Spend one night in his bed—a night he promises will be unforgettable—and she can solve the mystery of who he is.

She knows she shouldn’t, but what else is she going to do with her boring Valentine’s Day?

One sexy hook-up later, her mind is blown and the secret’s out.

Maverick Monroe.
Bad boy.
The most talented football player in the country.
Just ask him.

Too bad for him Delaney’s sworn off dating athletes forever after her last heartbreak.

But Maverick wants more than one night and refuses to give up on winning Delaney’s heart. She isn’t one to be fazed by a set of broad shoulders.

After the semester ends, will the bad boy land the nerd girl or will the secrets they keep from each other separate them forever?

Review

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

Ilsa Madden-Mills pleasantly surprised me with this one! I was expecting one of her angsty, emotion filled NA books. What I got was more of a romantic comedy. Both styles of story suite her writing.

I Dare You was a fun read. Delaney was that awesome “nerdy” girl everyone loves. She had no clue how cool she actually was, and I liked that. That little bit of insecurity made her character feel more real. Maverick was the cocky, but almost secretly super nice guy. I loved the way he pursued Daleney. He wasn’t too over the top or alpha. I also adored his relationship with his sister. How much he cared about her was not only admirable but cute.

Daleney and Maverick’s relationship was filled with ups and down. I loved that because it felt like when two people are truly trying to figure out who they are together. There were doubts and insecurities, but there was the excitement of new love. One of my favorite things about I Dare You were the text exchanges between Delaney and her badass athlete. They set the pace for this flirty story. It was all so fun and cute.

Fun and cute. I keep using those two words because that’s exactly what I Dare You was. I enjoyed reading it, and I’m very excited to see where this series goes. I have a feeling Jensen’s roommate’s story is going to be just as entertaining as his character was.

Excerpt

Prologue
Freshman year

Delaney

Welcome to Magnolia, Mississippi, where locusts are as big as your hand and iced tea comes with a double helping of sugar.

It’s also home to the best damn annual bonfire party at prestigious Waylon University, which is currently happening right now in the middle of a cotton field.

But…

I shouldn’t even be at this party.

It’s mostly for Greeks and jocks and popular people, yet here I am, a mere freshman, hanging out with my bubbly redheaded roommate, Skye.

“See?” she says as we take in the bonfire. “Isn’t this better than watching cat videos on a Saturday night? What do you want to do first?”

I sigh, feeling nervous. Ever since I moved here from North Carolina, I’ve been pushing myself to try new things. Might as well put a crazy college party on that list. “Let’s get a drink.”

She claps and excitedly replies, “Done. Alcohol at two o’clock.” We weave through the crowd, headed in that direction, and eventually we reach the bar, which is really just a long collapsible table someone set up. On top are various bottles of alcohol, and I grab the Fireball to pour shots. I’ve just tossed mine back and set down my cup when a prickling sensation washes over me, giving me goose bumps.

My gaze moves across the crowd, stopping on a tall guy with dark blond hair, broad shoulders, and a cocky smile. Aha. He’s been staring at me, and now that he’s caught, he raises his glass as a half-grin crosses his face.

I blush wildly as I adjust my black cat-eye glasses. I’m not used to such blatant male attention.

Skye—who’s followed the trajectory of my gaze—spits out part of her drink. “Oh my God, do you know who that is?”

“Obviously I should,” I say dryly.

Her mouth flops open. “You really need to get out more.”

My eyes drift back to him but keep moving as if I’m not staring. “So who is Mr. Hottie McParty Pants?”

“If you don’t know him, you don’t deserve to know. But, he’s H-O-T—like Chris Hemsworth hot. I dare you to flirt with him.” She wiggles her eyebrows at me, knowing full well that for some reason, I can’t resist a dare. Normally rather reserved, a dare gives me permission to be someone I’m not.

So does Fireball. I sling back another shot.

“I’ll bring you a donut every day for a week if you flirt with him,” she adds, watching me.

My ears perk up. “The ones with edible glitter?”

She nods, and I toss a quick glance back to him. Our eyes collide again, and a zing of connection fires between us. He has a strong, handsome face and a stance that has masculine written all over it. A smile tips up his full sensuous lips, and—

Two brunettes—twins, no less—approach him, one on either side, and wrap their arms around his waist. He smiles down at them. Oh. Well then.

I turn back to Skye and frown. “Player. Not interested.”

She waves her hands in my face. “He likes you—I saw it on his face.”

I snort. “Probably gas pains. Your dare is not accepted.”

We hear our names being called from the other side of the party and turn to take in the helmet-haired Martha approaching us, which is taking some time due to the fact that she’s wearing stilettos and a slinky halter dress. She carefully picks her way through the crowd, nudging people out of her way—sometimes rudely—as she focuses on us. Great.

“Incoming mean girl,” I mutter under my breath.

Like us, Martha Burrows is a freshman and lives on our floor. Rather full of herself, she announced within a week of meeting us that she’d no longer answer to anything but Muffin, a nickname she’d given herself.

She eyes us both, a look of superiority on her pretty face. “I didn’t know you two were invited to this little shindig. Obviously, I know all the right people, so I’m always invited.” Her gaze zeroes in on my outfit and she rears back. “What on earth are you wearing, Nerd Girl?”

“Clothes.” I stiffen at her name for me as I tug on my fitted Star Wars shirt and the pleated red miniskirt I made from a man’s shirt. My long pale blonde hair is up in curled pigtails, and I went a bit heavy-handed with the shimmery eye shadow and red lipstick. It’s not your typical look for WU—which is anything monogrammed—but I’m learning to ignore the raised eyebrows.

Skye, the peacemaker among us three, clears her throat and nods her head at the guy who’s been staring. “Delaney has an admirer, but she doesn’t know who he is.”

Martha-Muffin follows Skye’s gaze, eyeballing the mystery man over my shoulder. She gives me an exasperated look. “That’s Maverick Monroe, you idiot. He’s the biggest football star in Mississippi and the freshman recruit of the year. Word is, though, girls like you aren’t his type—not at all.” Her hand flicks a stiff honey-colored curl over her shoulder.

My teeth grind together. “Martha, if you think I care what you think about me and whether or not a quasi-famous football player is interested in me, then you are confused.”

Her lips tighten. “It’s Muffin now, and why do you have to use such big words? What does quasi even mean?” is her cutting reply.

Skye’s eyes get as big as saucers, and I assume it’s because Martha-Muffin and I are about to finally have it out. I can’t stand her, and she can’t stand me. We just…clash.

But that isn’t what has Skye in such a titter.

She points over my shoulder, and I get it.

It’s the person standing behind me, the one I can’t see. I feel a nervous sneeze coming on and—thank God—I somehow push it down.

A husky voice reaches my ears. “Quasi means seemingly or supposedly. What she means is I’m probably not a famous football player but rather one that’s been highly touted but is without merit.”

Oh, shit. The voice is rich and smooth with just enough southern drawl to make a girl swoon. He also sounds halfway intelligent.

I turn around slowly. Mr. Tall, Blond, and Football is right in front of me wearing a cocky smile.

How in the hell did he get over here so fast?

You know that moment when everything stops and the next breath you take is the first one of the rest of your life? That’s what it feels like as Maverick Monroe stares at me with his piercing blue eyes.

I glance down and take in the sculpted chest and hard biceps.

I look back up and see a chiseled jawline that’s defined and lined with a slight scruff. I see the thin pink scar that slices through his left eyebrow, and it does nothing to detract from his appeal.

He’s perfection.

He’s air.

Which I desperately need right now, because I can’t breathe.

He smirks, as if reading my mind, and I scramble to pull myself together. Someone calls his name—it’s a girl’s voice, probably one of those twins—but he doesn’t budge.

His eyes rove over my skirt, glasses, and lips. “The question is…do you even know what makes a good football player?”

“Nice hands?”

His lips twitch. “Hardly.”

“A tight end?” I smirk, feeling sassy…which is weird. I don’t know who I am right now, but it’s like my mouth has a life of its own, saying things I normally wouldn’t.

Martha-Muffin chokes on her drink at my remark and Skye watches me with glee, clearly excited that I have the attention of someone who is apparently very important at Waylon.

I put my hand on my hip. “The question is…why do I need to know?”

“You don’t. All you need to know is I’m the best.”

I suck in a little breath at his arrogance.

A guy walks past us and claps him on the shoulder. “Badass game last week, Mav. Rock on.”

“Thanks, man.” Maverick acknowledges the compliment and lifts his chin, his eyes never straying from mine.

“What position do you play?” I ask. “Quarterback?”

He smirks. “Middle linebacker—defense.”

“Sounds fancy.”

He laughs.

Skye, who’s been eavesdropping unabashedly, sighs with a dreamy expression on her face. “His stats are the best in the country.” She clears her throat. “I-I only know that because my brother is a huge fan, I swear.”

“Hi, Maverick,” Martha-Muffin says as she edges closer to him, nudging me out of the way with her sharp shoulders. “Remember me?”

He focuses on her. “No.”

She glowers. “I was in your dorm room with your roommate last week. You said hello to me.”

He shrugs. “A lot of girls come through. I can’t remember them all.”

Oh. My. God. He is arrogant, but I like how he just shut her down.

Martha-Muffin’s face reddens and she mutters something under her breath, flips around, and flounces off. Good riddance.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Skye is drifting away too, giving me a thumbs-up.

Whatever. I am not going to flirt with this guy…am I?

He’s definitely got something about him, something that makes my body buzz. I tilt my chin up, taking in how tall he is. He has to be at least six-four.

His gaze drifts over my face. “You know there’s a legend here at Waylon about our famous bonfire party?”

“Oh?”

He smiles, a flash of white on his handsome face. “Legend says the first person you kiss at the party is the one you’ll never forget. It might be years later, and still their face is the one you dream about.”

“Sounds like hocus-pocus.”

He lifts that mesmerizing left eyebrow. “I like to believe in legends—after all, I am one.”

I smirk. “Probably a game made up by some frat-boy-slash-jock wanting to kiss all the girls.”

He pauses for a moment as if thinking, and then he steps in closer, so close that I can see the varying shades of blue around his pupils. “May I?”

My heart does somersaults.

“May you what?” I ask, my voice low, but I know what he wants. My body is already leaning toward him, wanting it too.

“This.” He kisses me, an almost imperceptible touch as he brushes his full lips against mine. The contact of our mouths is electric, sparks of fire skating along my skin.

As if from a distance, I hear someone calling his name. It’s a female, and she’s pissed.

It’s one of the twins probably.

And I’m jealous.

But, I don’t look. We pull away, and I stare at him as he stares right back. A stillness settles over the party, although I don’t think anything’s actually changed. The music is still playing. People are still talking. Beers are being passed around.

Yet…

We’re connected.

Two stars in the black velvet sky.

Two ships passing in the night.

Oh, fuck, stop the nonsense, I tell myself.

“What was that?” I ask, my voice breathless.

“That’s your first kiss of the bonfire. Now you’ll never forget me.”

And then, before I can think of a reply, he’s gone.

I watch him go back to the twins, frustration coiling inside of me as I exhale.

It would be two years before I kissed him again.

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About the Author


Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap. She’s best known for her angsty, heartfelt new adult college romances.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice; Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s also addicted to frothy coffee beverages, Vampire Dairies, and any kind of book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females.

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Review: Rumor Has It by Jessica Lemmon

Rumor Has It
Series: Real Love, #4
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Barrett: As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .

Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.


So far, my experience with Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series has been that each book is better than the next. That experience continued with Rumor Has It. It’s my new favorite book in the series. Rumor Has It was exactly what I was hoping for. It was upbeat and fun. There was a great enemies to lover vibe from the very beginning and some very entertaining banter. I adored that Rumor Has It had the How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days romantic comedy vibe.

The characters in this book were so much fun. Catarina was the type of woman I like to read about. She knew what she wanted in life. She was career driven, but had a romantic side to her. I loved that she didn’t put up with Barrett’s crap, but also that she could see beyond it.

Barrett was kind of a mess. He was all swagger and cocky confidence, but there were some surprising self-confidence issues hiding behind it. I didn’t adore his attitude, but I did like some of the things it created. His nickname for Catarina made me laugh — most because of how it fit within the story and their experiences. I also liked how he treated her beyond their initial meeting. He was a surprisingly cool guy, with one exception.

That exception? Well, it’s the only thing I didn’t like about Rumor Has It. Barrett’s verbal indiscretion was offensive in so many ways. Honestly, it didn’t surprise me that Jessica Lemmon went there. What surprised me was that she did and then didn’t really make Barrett learn from his mistake. I didn’t feel like he was truly sorry. He apologized which would make it seem like he was, but some of his later comments contradicted that. I don’t know. It bugged me. Oh, and I also wanted something better for Mattie. I didn’t get a resolution for that, but maybe that’s just because Mattie was only used to show Barrett’s softer side.

Other than that, I loved this book. Catarina and Barrett’s relationship was amusing and so enjoyable to read. I loved how they interacted with each other. I loved how they reacted to each other. Everything about it was so entertaining — especially the scene with More Than Words. Rumor Has It would be a great book to take to the beach or wherever you’re relaxing this summer.