Mini Reviews: Scoring Wilder, Do Over & Burn for Me

Today, I have three short book reviews for you. Two are books I read after reading reviews from other bloggers. I was reminded I wanted to read Scoring Wilder by reading Corina‘s review. I found out about Do Over from Nick and Nereyda‘s review. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies! One is a book my book club is read.


Scoring Wilder
Author: R.S. Grey
Publication Date: June 15, 2014
Publisher: R.S. Grey
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He’s a professional soccer player, America’s favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits . Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley’s already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”


Around the time of the last Olympic summer games, I read R.S. Grey’s The Sumer Games series. I really enjoyed Settling the Score, and wanted to know more about some of the characters mentioned in that book — they were part of Scoring Wilder. I had completely forgot they were part of this book until I read Corina’s review.

Despite being a little uncomfortable about the coach/player situation in this book at first, I really enjoyed Scoring Wilder. I loved Kinsley. She was just so cool and confident. I also loved Liam, and how he put Kinsley first. Their romance was so cute! Another thing I loved were all the aspects of training for a college soccer team that were included. Scoring Wilder was a fun book to read, and fans of NA sports romances are sure to enjoy it.



Do Over
Author: Serena Bell
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Toe-curling? Check. Sheet-twisting? Check. But is that enough for a second chance?

Jack: I’m pretty much as tough as they come. But when a woman comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. Scratch that—when Maddie Adams comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. That’s how we ended up making our incredible son five years ago, and that’s why I practically beg her to move in with me when she’s in a tight spot. Of course, the last time I got the chance to be the hero, I let her down, but I’m not making the same mistake twice. This time, I’m going to be the man she deserves—and then I’m going to lay every ounce of sexy on her until she lets me back into her heart.

Maddie: Jack Parker is hot, and he knows it. What he’s not is a family man, something this single mom had to learn the hard way. Still, moving into his place until I get back on my feet makes all kinds of sense. He’s an old friend. He’s, ahem, the father of my child. And let’s face it, now that I’ve just been colossally dumped, we’ve got nowhere else to go. The truth is, I never could resist Jack. Living under the same roof puts dirty thoughts in my head. And when my brilliant plan backfires, my whole body is begging for a do-over. . . .


Do Over is the first book I’ve read by Serena Bell, but it won’t be my last. I adored this book. It was a second chance romance between childhood best friends — who already had a 5-year-old son together. Both harbor secret feelings for each other but are worried the other doesn’t feel the same. I loved how their son helped bring them even closer together. It was so cute and pretty funny. I smiled many times while reading it. I am so happy I spent time with Maddie and Jack. This is definitely a book contemporary romance readers will love.



Burn for Me
Series: Hidden Legacy, #1
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: DNF 20%

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


Burn for Me was a book chosen by my book group to read for the month. Since fantasy/paranormal romance isn’t really my thing, I decided to listen to the audio version. Sometimes, that makes it easier for me to get into a book in a genre that’s not my favorite.

All that being said, listening to Burn for Me didn’t work out for me. There were just too many things at play. One, I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I think part of this has to do with the narration of the story. Some of the characters sounded ancient when they weren’t past their 40’s. Two, there was a lot of world building to build the foundation of the magical story. That’s probably normal, but I wanted to get to the romance part of the book. The MCs were just meeting at 20%. Three, not only was it fantasy/paranormal based, there was a romantic suspense element to it. Those sub genres combined were an even worse fit for me.

When I found out I wasn’t going to be able to attend my book group, I decided to go ahead and let go of listening to this book. I’ve read several positive reviews, so I’m sure it’s a good book. I admit I might not have given it enough time, but with so many other books I need/want to read it just wasn’t worth going any further on for me.

Release Day Review: The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

The Smallest Part
Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Amy Harmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“In the end, only three things matter. How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” 
– Unknown

It was a big lie. The biggest lie she’d ever told. It reverberated through her head as she said it, ringing eerily, and the girl behind her eyes—the girl who knew the truth—screamed, and her scream echoed along with the lie.
“Are you in love with Noah, Mercedes?” Cora asked. “I mean . . . I know you love him. You’ve been friends forever. We all have. But are you in love with him?”
If it had been anyone else—anyone—Mercedes would have stuck out her chest, folded her skinny arms, and let her feelings be known. She would have claimed him. But it was Cora. Brave, beautiful, broken Cora, and Cora loved Noah too.
So Mercedes lied.
And with that lie, she lost him. With that lie, she sealed her fate.
She was the best friend, the bridesmaid, the godmother, the glue. She was there for the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs, the biggest moments and the smallest parts. And she was there when it all came crashing down.
This is the tale of the girl who didn’t get the guy.


Before I begin, I want to give some advice. If you haven’t read The Law of Moses, I highly recommend reading that book prior to reading The Smallest Part. Noah, one of the main characters, is from that series. It’s not necessarily a have-to situation, but there are scenes and situations that cross over. I felt like those scenes had a greater impact on me while reading The Smallest Part than if I hadn’t read The Law of Moses first. You can still enjoy the book if you haven’t, though. It can be read as a standalone. Now, to get down to business…

The Smallest Part was a very beautiful book. The writing was exactly what I have come to expect from Amy Harmon. There’s a little bit of mystery, a whole lot of love, tons of emotions, and a bunch of inspirational sentences that will be some of my favorite book quotes from here on out. I loved every moment I spent with The Smallest Part — even those that hurt.

The Smallest Part was pieced together in the best way with bits of the past and the present. I felt like I truly got a complete image of what the relationships between Noah and Cora and Mercedes, Noah and Cora, Noah and Mercedes, and Mercedes and Cora were. These friendships felt very real and the dynamics of those relationships are ones I know are out in the real world. Their friendship and love for each other were such an integral part of this story. They were beautiful even when they shouldn’t have been.

Going into The Smallest Part, I already knew I loved Noah Andelin. I knew his story was sad. I knew he was an amazing guy and doctor. What I didn’t realize was that is story could get sadder and that I was going to love him even more after this book. Sometimes he made me angry, but his heart was so good.

Prior to this book, I knew about Cora, but I didn’t know her. I was surprised and, honestly, shocked by her and Noah’s love story. It wasn’t what I had imagined for them. I especially wasn’t expecting the aftermath of it all. I didn’t expect to feel the way about Cora that I did. I don’t want to give away too much in this review because Amy Harmon’s books are always the best going in blind, but Cora might just be her most complex character yet.

As for Mercedes, the girl who didn’t get the guy, I loved her. While I didn’t always like her choices, she was an example of real love and friendship. I loved how she made peace with the choices in her life and tried to do best by herself and others. I also loved that she got a second chance at getting the guy because Noah and Mercedes belonged together.

And that’s it. That’s all I’m going to say other than The Smallest Part is not a book you want to miss.

Review: Getting Hotter by Elle Kennedy

Getting Hotter
Series: Out of Uniform
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: January 29, 2018 (re-release)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Military
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A good bad boy is hard to find…

Seth Masterson has been lusting over Miranda Breslin since the moment he saw her on a Vegas stage. Now that he’s been asked to watch out for her as she opens a dance studio in San Diego, he’s all over it, figuring it’s his chance to get her in his bed. Except the stubborn single mom seems determined to deny their sizzling sexual chemistry. In typical SEAL fashion, Seth makes it his personal mission to prove her wrong.

Miranda got over her attraction to bad boys about the time one of them knocked her up at the age of eighteen. Seth’s mocking gray eyes and military-buff bod, though, are pure and utter temptation. And when a flooded apartment forces her and her twins to move in with him, she can no longer resist the urge to set off some serious fireworks between the sheets.

But any involvement with Seth will be strictly physical—and temporary. So when Seth decides permanent is what he wants, Miranda must steel her defenses before she does something incredibly foolish…like fall in love.


I’ve been a fan of Elle Kennedy’s new adult romances for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever read one of her contemporary romances. Getting Hotter was the first for me, and I really enjoyed it.

Unlike Kennedy’s new adult books that are written in first person, Getting Hotter was written in third person. Third person is not my favorite way for a book to be written in, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like that. I honestly didn’t really even notice it. Kennedy’s writing is so well done, that it felt like I was reading in first person. I was able to connect quickly with her characters and fall almost immediately in love with them.

Miranda was one tough chick. She was a single mom to twins she’s birthed when she was eighteen. Miranda had to work hard to support herself and her family. She worked two jobs and wasn’t willing to waste her time on someone who wasn’t worth it. I loved how she valued herself.

Seth was also tough, but in a different way. He was a Navy SEAL, so he had the whole badass strength going on for him, but he was tough mentally. Seth was able to wall a part of himself off. That wasn’t a great thing, but I loved seeing Miranda break down his defenses. They were a great match. I loved them together, and their chemistry was palpable.

One of the components to Seth and Miranda’s relationship was the fact that she was a single mother. That wasn’t Seth’s favorite thing. It was hard reading his interactions with the twins at first. Those two six year-olds were hard not to fall in love with. They were so dang cute, and one of my favorite things about this story. I loved how Seth slowly started to fall for them as hard as he fell for their mother.

My only disappointment in Getting Hotter was Dylan’s part in it. Dylan was Seth’s roommate who also had a side story of his own going on in the book. I wasn’t disappointed in the side story. It was exactly the opposite. I wanted more of it, and I was left hanging. His story had barely began when Getting Hotter ended. I was bummed by that. At least I know it means there is more to come for him in a future release. 😉

Getting Hotter was a fun, steamy contemporary romance. I loved the characters and their story. I’m looking forward to going back and reading more of this series.

Review: Something So Right by Natasha Madison

Something So Right
Series: Something So, #1
Author: Natasha Madison
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The moment everything changed didn’t happen in that cliché rockets-red-glare kind of way, it happened in the form of a waking nightmare. I caught my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the father of my children, balls deep in a sordid affair.

That was when I gave up on men and love.

I didn’t count on the NHL’s golden boy, the beautiful, arrogant Cooper Stone turning my life and my hockey rink upside down.

My kids are why I wake up in the morning.

Hockey is what Cooper breathes for.

We’re from different worlds and places in our lives but when our hearts collided something so wrong and different turned into something so right.


I started the Something So series in the middle. I read books two and three, Something So Perfect and Something So Irresistible, first. I loved both of them and how they were connected by family and hockey. Something So Perfect was about the oldest son Matthew. Something So Irresistible was about his younger sister Allison. Knowing that I loved both of these books, I had to go back and read their mom and stepfather’s story. I needed to know how Parker and Cooper’s story began.

Parker and Cooper’s relationship started off with fireworks. I thought it was going to be an enemies to lovers story, but the enemy part didn’t last long. They went from hating each other to into each other in a moment. That wasn’t hard to believe because they had instantaneous chemistry. Parker and Cooper got each other physically and emotionally almost immediately. They had such a special connection.

Parker was a great role model for women who have loved and divorced. She did everything she could to make her kids’ lives the best they could be in a divided household. Parker put their feelings first when dealing with her ex. I thought that was very gracious of her. I loved how strong she was mentally and emotionally. She didn’t need a man, but Parker found a great one.

My biggest surprise in this book was Cooper. After seeing what a family man he was in the first two books, I wasn’t expecting the dominating personality he had. I loved the gruffness he had. His sentences and the way he spoke was really cool. Not that he still wasn’t that amazing family man. He was from the get-go. Cooper’s interactions with Parker’s kids not only stole her heart but mine as well. He made this romance in this story.

Obviously, I loved this book. A man falling for a single mom and her kids is pretty priceless. Add in Natasha Madison’s amazing writing and humor and it couldn’t have been anything but a home run. Or maybe I should say goal since this is a hockey book…

If you’re a fan of sports romances, you really must read Natasha Madison’s Something So series. You won’t regret it!

Review: Worth the Wait by Lori Foster

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ready or not…love will find a way

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: After the Game by Abbi Glines

After the Game
Series: The Field Party, #3
Author: Abbi Glines
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?


In the last Field Party novel, Under the Lights, I felt bad for Brady. He was on the losing end of a love triangle. I was excited to learn After the Game was going to be his story and chance at love. What made me even more excited was that Brady’s love interest was going to be Riley. I liked what I learned of her in book two, and was excited to get to know her character better.

After the Game wasn’t simply a love story. It was a story about growing up. For Brady, that meant dealing with the harsh realities that some things in life might not be what they seem. The things Brady had to deal with were a slap in the face to a boy who had lived a charmed life. For Riley, After the Game was a story of redemption and moving on. She had been falsely accused of lying and lost all of her friends in that moment. Now, she was getting a chance at not only friendship, but love.

I loved that Riley and Brady first found friendship. They rekindled their relationship just when they both needed it. They were a support system for each other that no one else could have been. I loved that Brady wasn’t put off by Riley’s teenage motherhood. In fact, it was just the opposite. Riley’s determination and dedication to her daughter impressed him. That was very mature for a high school senior. I also loved that Riley was willing to forgive Brady and those who had thought poorly of her. The peace she offered Brady in his time of need was special. I loved that all of this lead to a romantic relationship between the two of them.

After the Game was a great addition to The Field Party series. Brady and Riley’s story was one I really enjoyed reading. I hope there are more books to come in the series.

Review: Scandalous by L.J. Shen

Scandalous
Series: Sinners of Saint, #3
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: September 21, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.


Trent Rexroth was pretty damn scandalous. That’s for sure.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Trent when I began reading Scandalous, but it wasn’t quite what I got. I must not have remembered him quite correctly from binge reading the Sinners of Saint series earlier this year. Or maybe that whole The Mute thing is what got me. Trent was way more crass than I was prepared for. He wasn’t a nice guy, and he didn’t care. The only one who got the nice side was his daughter, Luna. Trent did what he needed to do to get what he wanted.

Edie was one of those things Trent wanted. He tried to avoid this want because she was only eighteen to his thirty-three, but Edie didn’t make things easy for him. She was more mature than most young adults her age, and a darker view of the world and love. Trent and Edie had a love-hate relationship. Most of it felt like hate, but the love slowly built.

I really liked this story, but I didn’t fall completely in love with it. L.J. Shen’s writing was amazing, but I didn’t always feel Edie and Trent’s connection. It felt more like a sex than love thing, but that’s the way I think it was supposed to feel. Neither of these two were in it for love at first. Love was just something that ended up happening to them. I would have preferred for the love to dominate the story, but this is a Sinners of Saint book. Overall, Scandalous was a great dark love story.