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.

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: Play Dates by Maggie Wells

Play Dates
Author: Maggie Wells
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For single parents, life is often more diapers and daycare dilemmas than dating. But for three dads going solo, a little flirting can lead to a whole lot more than a fling . . .

Colm Cleary lost his wife just moments after his son Aiden’s birth, and it’s been just the two of them ever since. Dating is his very last priority—until he spots gorgeous Monica Rayburn on the playground with her little girl. Suddenly finding a woman sympathetic to the demands of single parenthood seems like a great idea—especially if they agree to a no-pressure, no-strings date . . .

Dazzled by the hot “Saturdaddy” who asks her out, Monica doesn’t get around to mentioning that little Emma is her niece. She’s in commodities, not children. A gambler to the bone, she’s going to take a chance on an adult evening with Colm—and worry about the details later. But when their casual connection deepens into something more solid, the truth will have to come out—and both Colm and Monica will have to throw caution to the wind to hold on to a future together . . .


Play Dates is a book I liked but didn’t love. It started out really cute. I loved the way Monica met Colm. The kids were stinking cute. The friendship between the Saturdaddies was awesome. I even loved the mistaken identity thing at first. Then, Monica’s lies of omission started to grate on me. I was in Monica’s sister Melody’s camp. Why not just tell the truth. It was all so dumb, and it made me not like Monica at all.

I think my biggest problem with the book, though, was the fact that everything felt like it was on the surface. Things didn’t really get very deep between Monica and Colm. I didn’t understand how quickly they fell in love because neither of them really knew it each other. It was more of a sex thing. I wanted to know more about them and their pasts.

Play Dates had the potential to be a five star read. It was an entertaining read and the writing was good. I just needed a little more from it.

Review: Every Little Kiss by Marina Adair

Every Little Kiss
Series: Sequoia Lake, #2
Author: Marina Adair
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received this book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

There’s nothing that single mom Liv Preston won’t do if it means making her six-year-old son smile again. After a heartbreaking two years, her little family is due for some fun in the sun. She just didn’t expect to find it in the big, rugged, Search and Rescue hero next door—who shows her just how exciting, and sexy, life’s adventures can be.

As head of Reno’s K-9 search division, Ford Jamison knows what it takes to make life-and-death decisions on the fly. He doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t do regrets, and has never doubted his instincts—until he makes a promise that turns his world upside down. Desperate for redemption, he returns to Sequoia Lake, only to find himself face-to-face with his past…and the one woman he can’t have. Not when his secret would destroy her—and everything she holds dear.

For Liv, finding love once was a gift. Finding it twice seems impossible, until the moment Ford’s lips meet hers. Love doesn’t always come easy, but when it’s right, it’s worth fighting for…


Prior to winning Every Little Kiss, I hadn’t heard of Marina Adair before. I was excited to get to try out a new author. Every Little Kiss was a pleasant surprise.

In Every Little Kiss, Liv has been slowly moving on from her husband’s unexpected death. It’s been hard, especially with the way her son has dealt with the trauma. Liv’s finally reached the place where she thinks she’s ready to move on. She couldn’t pick a better man to do that with than Ford. He’s fun and flirty, but most of all he’s amazing with her son.

K-9 Search and Rescue pro Ford came to Sequoia Lake to work on his certification and a free himself of a secret he’s been keeping for the past two years. It’s time the recipient of that secret knows what he’s been doing. The problem is, Ford wasn’t planning on falling for her. Telling Liv his secret just got much more complicated.

Adair’s writing has the qualities I love in contemporary romance authors. The pace was quick and the romance was slow burn perfection. I could see the relationship develop in a believable time frame. Liv and Ford’s characters felt unique and easy to fall in love with. The setting and supporting cast were a big and fun part of the story. I would love to read more about them.

There were only a couple of things that kept me from giving Every Little Kiss 5 stars. One, the plot was completely predictable. There weren’t really any surprises I didn’t see coming. Two, the big problem in the story didn’t take place until almost 90% in. That didn’t give much time for the characters to deal with it and make amends. It made the conclusion feel rushed and Ford forgiven almost instantaneously. I do have to say that I did like the grand gesture in the end. It was really fun.

Overall, I truly enjoyed reading Every Little Kiss. Ford, Liv, and Paxton will make a great family that I hope to see more of in books to come. I am looking forward to reading more of this series, and I really hope Ford’s boss is the next one to find someone special!

Review: Checkmate: This is Dangerous by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Dangerous
Series: Logan & Kayla, #1
Author: Kennedy Fox
Publication Date: July 6, 2017
Publisher: Kennedy Fox Books LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Logan Knight is a real life knight in shining armor. 
A detective godsend in a sleek black suit has me thinking less than secretive thoughts. Brooding and mysterious, he’s the kind of guy every girl instantly notices. Between his seductive smirk and charming good looks, it’s no wonder I can’t help the way he makes me feel whenever I’m near him. 
Too bad he’s unavailable—or so he says.

He thinks I’m a do-gooder who shouldn’t get involved with a guy like him. His past is messy and relationships just add to that. He insists the timing is all wrong and he’s devoted to his career, but I don’t buy that excuse for a second. I see the way his body tenses and his jaw ticks every time another guy is around me. He just won’t admit it, but I’m more determined than ever to show him what he’s missing.

I’m a devoted animal rescuer and I’ll risk everything to save them, but when a dramatic turn of events puts both our lives at risk, I’m positive Logan will write me off for good. But when he asks for my help with a personal crisis, I know it’s my last chance to finally show him I can handle anything he throws my way—messy past and all.

He might think he has me all figured out, but I’ll prove him wrong no matter what he thinks. This game of push and pull has me running in circles. One wrong move and we could both lose.

Checkmate, Knight.


This past week, I binge read the Checkmate series. The series is set up uniquely with each couple getting two books. At the end of the first books for each couple there’s a shocking cliffhanger that immediately had me reaching for the next book. Each book also included first person dual point of view for the male and female main characters of the story. Sometimes the chapters overlapped in time to show what each character was feeling during an event. I loved the way it was all set up. I’ve now read Travis and Viola’s duet, Drew and Courtney’s duet and now this first book in Logan and Kayla’s duet.

This review is obviously for Logan and Kayla’s first book, and I have to say it was SO. FREAKING. CUTE. I adored it. It’s my favorite in the series so far. It’s definitely because of Kayla. Her love for animals and finding them permanent homes made my heart swell. She was such a good person and persevered through so much in her lifetime. I loved how she made her friends her family, and didn’t give up on Logan.

I loved finally getting Logan’s back story. He was so secretive throughout the rest of the series. I wanted to know what was going on with him. Logan had more to overcome than expected. When he finally put his trust in Kayla it was nothing short of spectacular. They were the perfect team.

Once again, the cliffhanger ending shocked me. I truly wasn’t expecting the surprise I got. I can’t believe what happened! There’s a little bit of mystery to this story and I have a couple of guesses. The next book in this series cannot come soon enough! I need to know what happens next NOW!