Release Day Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

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

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

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

 
NOW AVAILABLE!

REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Hooking Up
Series: Shacking Up, #2
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.


Hooking Up was everything I had hoped it would be. It was a story of heartbreak, but also one of healing. Helena Hunting’s writing was fabulous! Despite Amie going through such an emotional ordeal, the book was super funny. And the setting! The Bora Bora backdrop couldn’t have been anymore beautiful.

Amie was such a great character. She literally kicked ass. I loved that she was strong mentally and physically. Her reaction to Armstrong’s cheating was perfect. The ups and downs she went through couldn’t have been more perfect — especially with Lex to help her heal.

Lex was pretty amazing himself. He may have been a little mischievous in the past, but he was a stand up guy in the present. The way he supported Amie during the downfall of her short marriage was so nice.

As for Armstrong — I loved to hate that guy. He was the perfect jerk. I hated him from the moment I met him up until the very end. I’m happy he got what he deserved.

I absolutely loved this book! Romance lovers definitely should read it! Hooking Up is a standalone novel, but I really recommend reading Shacking Up first. Shacking Up is Bane and Ruby’s story, and you’ll see a lot of them in Hooking Up because Bane is Lex’s brother and Ruby is Amie’s best friend. Plus, Amie, Lex, and Armstrong are all introduced in Shacking Up. Reading both of these books in order will make the experience all that more fun. Both Shacking Up and Hooking Up are amazingly entertaining and hilarious romantic reads. I can’t recommend them enough!

Review: The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn

THE OTHER BROTHER by Meghan Quinn is finally here! Check out the excerpt and teasers!

THE OTHER BROTHER
NA Romantic Comedy
Model: David Harris
PREORDER HERE:
SYNOPSIS:
I got the call. The dreaded call every child fears. My dad wasn’t well, and the man who had always been my everything needed me.
There was only one thing to do; pack up and head back to my hometown. I had finally made my dream life in the city with the great job and loving boyfriend. But was there really a choice not to go?
I found a wonderful job, a quaint house to rent, my boyfriend was working on joining me in Binghamton, and my favorite pizza place was only miles away. Life was good.
Until I met my neighbor.
It’s been three years since I’d seen Aaron Walters, and my God is he all kinds of sexy gorgeous. Figures. He was supposed to be my forever, the man I grew old with, but he had different plans. How can a man who ripped my heart apart still trip me up? How can he make me still want him now more than ever?
I’m tempted, I’m drawn toward him, I’m completely and utterly unaware that I’m dating his biological brother.
Now two men own my heart. The question is, which brother will I choose?
REVIEW:
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an unbiased review.

When I first read the title and synopsis of The Other Brother I was a little leery. I am not a big fan of love triangles, and one that included brothers seemed like a big no-no. Then, I reminded myself that Meghan Quinn was the author. If she could make falling in love with a best friend’s ex okay, I was positive she could put the right spin on a brother love triangle.

I loved The Other Brother. There might have been a couple of moments where the Aaron-Amelia-Trey connection made me cringe, but for the most part it wasn’t an issue. The Other Brother was definitely Aaron and Amelia’s second chance at love. They had an undeniable connection and chemistry. I loved how they began and even ended up loving how they found their way back to each other. There story was so sweet.

There was so much to learn about Aaron (Smalls to My Best Friend’s Ex and Twisted Twosome fans). I knew he was a Little Debbie lover, great friend, and all around guy. I had no idea the depths of his past. He had been through so much in his lifetime. The way his family life shaped his relationship with Amelia was heartbreaking. I felt for Aaron and rooted for him to win her back the entire time.

I loved Amelia! I wasn’t sure I would with the whole dating the other brother thing, but she was a stand up person. She was there when her family needed her, and made some really good decisions throughout the book. Amelia was true to her heart and her relationships.

Of course, one of my favorite things about this book was getting to see the gang again. Racer and Tucker brought some amazing humor to the story. I can’t get enough of their friendship. I hope I get to see them again in future books.

As you can tell, there were so many amazing things about The Other Brother. Don’t let the love triangle scare you off. This book is so worth reading!

EXCERPT:

Why? Why does he have to magically appear in my life? Moving back to Binghamton, I thought about the possibility of maybe running into him, but I thought it unlikely, something that would never really happen.

Boy, was I wrong.

What a sick joke life is playing on me.

Aaron Walters, the boy who broke me into pieces is my neighbor.

I can’t fathom the impact I feel already.

Seeing him in hip-hugging jeans and a tight, plain shirt did a number on me. It kept me up all night as memories of what we used to have flooded my mind.

His voice.

His stature.

The way he used to kiss my neck.

The way I felt so protected in his arms.

Too bad his arms couldn’t protect me from his devastating, heart-breaking self.

And hell, he looked good. Too good.

He’s always been tall with handsome features and a chiseled jaw, but now he’s bulked up to the point that I could see his abs flexing under his shirt, the same shirt that stretched over his biceps.

But it wasn’t his muscles or handsome features that once again made my heart ache, it was those eyes. So bright, so blue, so kind, but still so sad. It reminded me of the first day I met him, of the day he stole my heart from every other man on the market.

Broken, unsure, yet yearning for love. It was all there, and like experiencing a moment of déjà vu, I was transported back into a time when I felt invisible, like I could conquer anything with him at my side.

Once again, I was wrong.

About the Author:
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!
 Find me on Goodreads:
 Visit my website: http://authormeghanquinn.com/

Review: Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G.

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I should’ve never agreed to this arrangement…

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

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

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

I only made it to one minute…

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

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


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

Review: Dr. Neuro by Max Monroe

Dr. Neuro
Series: St. Luke’s Docuseries, #3
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I’m Dr. Nick Raines.
Brain surgeon and notorious over-thinker, I take the analytical approach with everything, until I can determine the best, carefully calculated plan of action. It’s no shock the producers of the popular reality series The Doctor Is In have decided to call me Dr. Neurotic.

Besides my more than full-time job as Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m a single dad and my number one priority is my daughter.

But life had plans to add another priority to my list.
Charlotte Hollis. Outspoken, impulsive, and beautiful, she’s everything I didn’t know I was craving.

She makes me wonder What if?
,
What if I don’t have to be alone for the rest of my life to give my little girl the father she deserves?

It’s a battle—my battle: Head vs. Heart.


I have to be completely up front and honest here for a minute. Dr. Neuro most likely would have been a five-star read for me had I not read Scoring the Billionaire first. If you haven’t read either book you’re probably wondering why. The star of Dr. Neuro, Nick Raines, was not portrayed very nicely (for good reasons) in Scoring the Billionaire. That had an effect on how I viewed him going into Dr. Neuro. He completely redeemed himself in this book, but I still had the ghosts of his past in my head the entire time.

So, yeah, I was surprised to find that I liked Nick. He may have made some poor decisions in the past, but he was a changed person. Everything he did in life, he now did for his daughter Lexi. Their relationship was sweet, and I loved reading about the two of them. Despite having a great job and Lexi in his life, Nick was still missing something. That something was Charlotte.

Charlotte was a hoot. She knew what she wanted and went for it. I loved that she had no problem putting herself out there. Charlotte had just what Nick needed. She brought spontaneity and fun to his life. I adored their relationship, including all the ups and downs. I especially liked the clever way Max Monroe created the climax.

Another thing that surprised me about this book was how little the docuseries was in it. There were mentions here and there, but it wasn’t as prominent as it was in the first couple of books in the series. I didn’t miss it, but I thought there would be more.

Overall, Dr. Neuro was a great romance read. It brought back some characters I’ve loved from past novels and introduced me to some fun new ones. Dr. Neuro was also filled with the humor I’ve come to expect from Max Monroe. I would highly recommend it and the rest of this series to readers who like rom-coms.

Review: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Bountiful
Series: True North, #4
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from Nina Bocci PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.


Oh my goodness! If you’re a fan of Sarina Bowen, you’re in for a treat. Bountiful is amazing! It has everything I have loved from past True North novels. There’s Sarina Bowen’s outstanding writing, the beautiful Vermont setting, the Shipleys and their farm, and the Mountain Goat bar just to name a few. Most importantly, there’s Zara.

I’ve been waiting for Zara’s story since I met her in Bittersweet. I finally get the tough bartender’s story, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect one! Sarina Bowen gave us something so cool. Not only was Bountiful True North novel, but it was a crossover with her Brooklyn Bruisers series!

If you’re like me, you might not have remembered Dave Beringer all that much from the Brooklyn Bruisers books. You’re going to love him!!! He’s got that hot hockey player thing going for him, plus a whole lot more. Sarina Bowen couldn’t have come up with a better match for a woman like Zara who is determined to make it on her own.

The whole book was just so sweet. I loved the accidental pregnancy and the way it shaped Zara and Dave’s lives. Their moments with their daughter, Nicole, made me so happy. I couldn’t get enough of Bountiful. I’m sorry I’m finished with it because I really want more of it! Guess I’ll just be sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next True North or Brooklyn Bruisers novel. Can I get a Benito book? Or one about Bess and Castro?

Review: Always You by Denise Grover Swank

Always You
Series: Bachelor Brotherhood, #3
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Matt Osborne had always planned to get married and have a family. But at thirty-four, he’s no closer to his goal, so he’s decided to embrace his role as the remaining member of the Bachelor Brotherhood. He’s only loved one woman-his college sweetheart-but she never shared his dream of a family, preferring to focus on her career and maybe get married someday. With neither budged on their decisions, they agreed it was best to part ways. Now nearly twelve years later, Matt is stunned when Anna shows up at his nephew’s soccer practice-with her five-year-old son in tow.

Single mother Anna Field has returned home to care for her widowed and ill father. She never thought she’d run into Matt during the six months she’s there, but now he’s the coach of her son’s soccer team. She’d move Toby to a different team, but his new best friend happens to be Matt’s nephew, Ethan. As Anna and Matt spend more time together, the realize that their attraction-and love-are still there, just waiting for a spark to reignite. And once it’s lit, Matt has no plans to let her go again.


Always You was just too cute! Matt and Anna were college sweethearts. When graduation time came, Matt was ready to settle down with Anna. Anna, unfortunately, had a job opportunity in London. Both were devastated by their break up. Flash forward twelve years, and Matt’s a single “dad” and soccer coach to his nephew. When Anna’s son ends up being Matt’s nephew’s new best friend and on their soccer team, Matt and Anna has to deal with seeing each other again after all those years.

Matt Osborne was the star of this book. He was such a stand up guy, and an all around great human being. I appreciated the lengths he would go to in order to make life easier for his nephew. I also appreciated the way he dealt with Anna’s son. I think I enjoyed his character so much because his parenting skills reminded me of my husband’s.

Anna was a great character, too. She was a single mom who had been through some rough times, but made the best out of everything. I loved how she loved her son. She and Matt had a lot in common when it came to parenting. They also brightened up each other’s days.

My favorite part of this book had to be the Chuck E. Cheese scene. Chuck E. Cheese is out of my parenting nightmares. I just can’t handle it. Always You didn’t make me want to go there (The characters didn’t even want to go there), but it did bring me to laugh my head off. Just that scene would have made reading this book worth it if I hadn’t liked it.

The one thing I would have changed about Always You if I wrote it was how quickly Matt and Anna were back together. It seemed very rushed to me. I would have liked more time for them to figure out where they stood as a couple together and on their own.

Always You was a great ending to the Bachelor Brotherhood series. This second chance romance had sparks flying everywhere.