Review: Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Shacking Up
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.


I’ve been wanting to read one of Helena Hunting’s books for a while now. I was excited to find Shacking Up on NetGalley. It sounded like a lot of fun, and it totally was. I loved the witty, sexy banter and all of the hilarious moments between the characters.

Ruby and Bancroft’s relationship started off in a really fun way. It was a slow burn relationship that started with a mistaken kiss and morphed into to pet-sitting. Pet-sitting turned to phone flirtation, and then to full on love. The transitions felt quick, but were spaced out over weeks and then months. The time gaps made what could have felt like insta-love feel real in progression.The first person dual point of views added so much to the reading experience.

When I first opened the book and started reading, I had an “oh no” minute. I wasn’t sure I was going to like Ruby. She had a little bit of a snarky entitlement thing going on. The further I got into that first chapter, the more I realized she wasn’t a rich princess. Ruby was a young woman struggling to prove her father wrong and make it on her own. I loved her tenacity and willingness to make the best out of her situation. I also loved her snarky, but caring personality. She was an incredibly fun character.

So was Bancroft. He had it going for him in every way possible. He had a hot body, a new lucrative career, and a great personality. Bancroft might not have been in the financial mess Ruby was, but he was still trying to find his place in life.

Both Ruby and Bancroft were trying to navigate the changes in their lives, while trying to figure out what their attraction to each other meant. I loved the evolution of their relationship and their characters. The heat between them was palpable. The build up to their crossing the sexual line made the moment it happened so much more intense and sensual. It was off the charts hot.

My only teeny tiny question about this book was Amalie. I felt like her story was left as a lose end. Like there should have been more to it. Ruby commented so much on her best friend’s relationship, that I wanted to know more. I’m guessing that’s another book, though!

Shacking Up is the perfect book for readers who like their dialog, characters and romance super sexy. I loved every minute of this book and can’t wait to read the rest of Hunting’s books.

Review: Confessions of a Puck Bunny by Cindi Madsen

Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny
Series: Taking Shots, #4
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publication Date: May 8, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.


I couldn’t resist reading Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny. The title and the idea of a former puck bunny confessing her sins really appealed to me. Plus, the book was from an author and series I enjoy, so I knew it was going to be a lot of fun.

Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny stars Lindsay and Ryder. Lindsay is a former puck bunny who fell in love and got burned. Since then, she’s done everything she can to stay away from hockey and its players. That worked well until she needs help passing math class. The only tutor she can understand just happens to be the hottest guy on the ice. Ryder would do anything to get a chance with Lindsay including giving up some of his precious time to tutor Lindsay in math. He’s hoping that spending time with him with show Lindsay that he’s not just another heartless hockey player.

Out of all the Cindi Madsen books I’ve read, Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is my favorite. I loved the first person dual points of view, and the direction the story took. All of the little confessions sprinkled through the story were cute and fun.

Ryder, or “Ox” as some people call him, was a sweetheart. He knew what he wanted (Lindsay) and went for it. I loved how he didn’t let anything or anyone stand in his way. The way he treated Lindsay was really special.

Lindsay had so much inner strength. She wanted to change her life and did everything she needed to make that happen. I couldn’t blame Lindsay for wanting to stay away from hockey players, but I’m so happy Ryder weaseled his way into her heart. They were perfect for each other. I loved their romance.

I also loved seeing my old friends from the previous Hot Shots books. Catching up with them was fun, and I loved what they added to Lindsay and Ryder’s story. And I can’t leave out the hockey. There were some very fun hockey scenes in this book!

Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny was everything I hoped it would be based on its title. It was a great college hockey romance that fans of sports romances will love. I did.

Review: The Pieces of Us by Jennifer Loring

The Pieces of Us
Series: The Firebird Trilogy, #3
Author: Jennifer Loring
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note:
 I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Aleksandr Volynsky thinks he’s experienced the worst life can throw at him, until the most devastating loss leaves him questioning everything…

One year later, Alex and his daughter, Anya, are still picking up the pieces. In the process, he realizes how far apart their mutual grief has driven them and how lonely he has become—especially when the Buffalo Gladiators’ beautiful anthemist, Hannah Kent, finally introduces herself.

Anya Volynsky is a high-school senior with plans—her father’s plans—to become the first woman on a professional hockey team’s starting roster…

But Anya is toying with the idea of staying in Buffalo and caring for her father rather than accept a scholarship to play hockey at Boston College. Her decision becomes even more difficult when she meets her school’s new athletic trainer, Lucas Donovan. Their experience with similar losses draws them together, and soon their friendship blossoms into a forbidden love that neither of them expected.

With lives torn apart by sorrow, Alex and Anya try to restore their bond, but it’s not that easy…

Alex’s attraction to Hannah keeps growing stronger, and he needs to decide if he’s ready to overcome his pain—but also if he’s willing to do it without Anya’s approval. Anya, on the other hand, is headed for trouble, and while Alex tries to do the right thing in order to protect her, all he manages to do is push her further away.

Can Alex and Anya find the courage to pick up the broken pieces of their lives, or will the heartache of the past ruin their chances at finding happiness again?


I’m a big fan of hockey romances. I’ve read so many of them, and yet, Jennifer Loring’s still stand out. The Firebird Trilogy isn’t filled with bubbly, sexy sports romances. It’s filled with deeper situations and an all-consuming love between the main characters.Alex and Stephany drown in each other, and I can’t help but drown in them, too.

The Pieces of Us is different from the first two books in the series. Alex has lost Stephany for good this time, and he’s not sure how to go on without her. He must learn to heal from the pain and be the father he needs to be to seventeen year-old Anya. Anya isn’t having an easy time either. She’s finally fallen in love, but it’s the forbidden type. She knows it’s wrong to love him, but she’s always been told to follow her heart.

Alex and Anya’s journey was emotional. Alex had so much pain he was dealing with. He couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel until he met Hannah. Navigating a new romance was really hard for him, and I felt like Jennifer Loring did an amazing job of capturing what it would be like for someone as devoted as Alex was to Stephany to move on. There were also so many great father-daughter moments between Alex and Anya.

I hate saying this, but I wasn’t a big fan of Anya’s relationship with her athletic trainer. The Student-teacher relationship trope is not one I’m a fan of. Anya’s relationship with Lucas was not quite a student-teacher relationship, but close enough. If it was in college, it wouldn’t have bugged me as much, but she was a seventeen year-old high school student. I didn’t like the line Anya and Lucas crossed. Anya was still so emotionally young. Her actions and thoughts proved it. I didn’t think her relationship with Lucas, who was five years older, was a good thing. I’m happy things worked out for her in the end, but it still wasn’t my favorite storyline.

The Pieces of Us was a story of healing and learning to live life again after a devastating loss. It was a story of finding love again and making mistakes along the way. It was beautifully written, and the perfect conclusion to an amazing trilogy. I highly recommend The Firebird Trilogy to hockey romance fans who like a darker love story filled with heart.

Blog Tour Review: Maybe Never by Sadie Allen

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Welcome to the blog tour for Maybe Never by Sadie Allen! I am so excited to share this sexy contemporary romance with you! Be sure to check it out and follow the blog tour!

Maybe Never Cover

Title: Maybe Never
Author: Sadie Allen
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

 About Maybe Never:

One golden boy…

Judd Jackson had it all—star football player with a college scholarship, perfect family, tons of friends, and a beautiful girlfriend. He was the most popular guy in town … until a family secret burned it all to the ground. Now, he’s the object of scorn and ridicule, and the only thing he has left is his scholarship and counting down the days until he can leave town.

One goal-oriented girl…

Sunny Blackfox was alone in the world, but she had big plans and big dreams to keep her occupied. She didn’t have time for anyone in her life. That was, until she came to the rescue of the boy she always had a thing for.

They have everything going against them, but maybe, if they are lucky, they will make it out of town after graduation together … or maybe never.

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My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Some books scream new adult the moment you pick them up. They just have a certain new adult feel to them. They’re a little bit dark, a little bit angst-y and the characters are struggling through their world. Maybe Never was one of those books.

Maybe Never is set in a small town where anyone different from the social norm is considered a pariah. Judd Jackson learned that you didn’t even have to be the one different to be excluded. The people at his high school he once thought were his friends are now the enemy, waiting to pounce on his ever move. Sunny Blackfox has never been on the right side of the tracks. Her social status has never bothered her. All Sunny cares about is making it through high school so she can move on to better things.

When Sunny and Judd are partnered up in class, they realize they have more in common than they thought. There’s a spark between them that might just make surviving until the end of high school better — that is if those against them don’t ruin things first.

Maybe Never is one of those books that pulls you in with the story of the characters’ hardships.There was so much drama in this book. It didn’t feel overdone, though. The drama popped up at all the right times, and I enjoyed reading about what was happening through both Sunny and Judd’s eyes.

I loved the characters in this story. Sunny was trying to survive an abusive parent and the loss of her beloved grandmother. She wanted to leave her trailer park home life behind and make something of herself. My favorite thing about Sunny was her strength and grit. She didn’t really care what others thought. She knew who she was inside and that was all that mattered. Judd wasn’t as secure with himself. He was dealing with his dad leaving his family and all that entailed. Judd didn’t quite have the same type of strength Sunny did. He was able to avoid, but not confront his problems. I loved how he was with Sunny. I’m sorry for everything he went through, but it lead him to a beautiful person. Their romance was adorable.

As much as I hated some of the secondary characters, they were a great part of the story. The twins were horribly perfect. I wouldn’t have wanted to live in the same town as them. It made me happy that there were supportive characters like Sally around to hep Sunny and Judd out.

Overall, I really enjoyed Maybe Never. I thought it fit the new adult genre well and had characters it was easy to fall in love with.

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About Sadie:

Sadie Allen lives in Texas with her family and her dog Penny. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, catching up on her favorite shows, or chasing her family around the house.

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Review: The Storm by R.J. Prescott

The Storm
Series: The Hurricane, #3
Author: R.J. Prescott
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Marie Kelly is a survivor who doesn’t know when to quit. Against all odds, she’s living a life she never dreamed she could have. It was enough… until a stubborn boxer makes her want more.

Irish charmer Kieran Doherty has been a fighter at Driscoll’s Gym for most of his life. He’s been content to let his best friend take the spotlight, now it’s his turn to make a name for himself in the world of heavy weight champions. Falling in love is the one thing he vowed never to do, but meeting Marie changed everything.

It’s easy to imagine a happy-ever-after when the sun is shining. But when the storm comes, and all hope seems lost, they both learn that if you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to fight for it.

The Storm is a full length boxing romance with a happily ever after, no cliffhanger and no cheating. Mature content means that it is intended for readers aged 18+


I cannot believe that I did not know The Storm was going to be released last week! I am so ashamed of myself! I absolutely loved The Hurricane series by R.J. Prescott, and I’ve been waiting for her to release the next book. I needed to get to know more of the Driscoll boys better. I am so happy the boys are back in The Storm! It’s been too long since I’ve been graced with their presence.

The Storm features Con’s (“The Hurricane”) best friend, Kieran. Kieran gets his chance at a boxing title and love in this book. Unfortunately for Kieran, his sights are set on Marie. Marie isn’t exactly eager to jump into a relationship with the hot boxer. Her past dictates her future, and Marie knows love isn’t in the cards for her. Kieran isn’t one to give up easily, though. He’s determined to make Marie change her mind.

R.J. Prescott included a little bit of everything in The Storm. It could have easily been overly angst filled, but she included just the right amount of wit to make this love story fun. There was also actual boxing in the story. I know a lot of romance novels are labeled sports romances without any mention of the actual sport being played. The Storm gave a look at what it’s like to be in the ring, or watching the one you love in it.

I loved, loved, loved being back in the world of Driscoll’s. I was immediately pulled back into the camaraderie and friendships of the boxers. I also adored seeing all of my favorite characters again. I was so happy that this was Kieran’s story. He’s always been one of my favorite characters of the series, and I was so excited for him to fall for someone as sweet as Marie. Kieran was everything I hoped he would be. He was a big, alpha male with a super sweet side. Marie was sweet, but wasn’t one to be taken advantage of. There was a lot of strength in her tiny frame.

Kieran and Marie were perfect together. Their personalities perfectly balanced each other. They had a connection that was so primal and intense. As sweet as their love for each was, their story was a complicated one filled with health issues, crazy exes and many surprises. Kieran and Marie had a lot to overcome, and their journey to happily ever after was so worth it.

Obviously, I absolutely adored The Storm. I had so much fun reading it that I didn’t even put it down. My only regret about reading it in one sitting is that now I have to wait for the next book. I really, really want Tommy’s story!

My reviews for the rest of The Hurricane series:

The Hurricane (The Hurricane, #1)
The Aftermath (The Hurricane, #2)

Review: Holding by Mignon Mykel

Holding
Series: Playmaker Duet, #2; Prescott Family, #5
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Mignon Mykel
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sometimes holding on, impedes moving on.

First comes love, then comes marriage…
But before the ceremony could start, Porter’s world was knocked off it’s axis.
He fought for years to break down Asher’s walls, to see past her ghosts…but some ghosts may be too hard to fight.

Asher knew better than to believe she could keep her past in the past,
Keep the filth of who she was, from touching the Prescott family.
But as badly as she wants to keep Porter away
…she needs his family more.

What you see is what you get…
And even the most astute eyes can’t see the biggest ghost.

But sometimes holding on is the only choice you have.

Note: This is book two in a duet. Book one, Altercation, MUST be read prior to Holding.


Before I begin my review, I’m going to give you a little bit of background on the Playmaker Duet. It’s a duet, but it really contains four books. The first two books are prequel novellas. Trouble Maker is the first novella that introduces us to Porter. Asher’s novella is Breakaway. Both novellas provide information on Porter and Asher’s pasts and set up their introduction. The first book in the series, Altercation, is the beginning of their love story. Holding is second book and the conclusion of Asher and Porter’s romance. If you’re interested in reading the duet, you really need to read the first two novellas. The duet is also part of a larger series called Prescott Family. You don’t have to read the books in that series to read the duet, but they’re great books as well. Now, onto my review.

After finishing the first book in the Playmaker Duet I could not wait to read Holding. The cliffhanger at the end of Altercation shook me. I was on edge wondering what was next for Porter and Asher. I knew it was going to be a rough ride towards happily ever after for them, but I had no idea how much this book would break me.

Holding was absolutely heartbreaking. No character was left untouched. I felt horrible for both Asher and Porter. Their world was rocked in ways that destroyed them. I could empathize with both of them. Asher was struggling to accept what happened. Porter was trying to hold on to the life they had before. Their struggle felt so real and raw. I hated their moments of pain, but they made for a beautiful story of healing. And that’s what Holding was. It was a story of overcoming the past, accepting what was, and moving on. It was a story of letting go and trusting in love.

I loved every moment of Holding and all of the other books in the Playmaker DuetI highly recommend reading them all. Mignon Mykel has quickly become one of the authors I’m waiting on new releases from. I love her writing style and the characters she creates. Her books make me feel so many things. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for the next Prescott family member.

You can find my reviews for the rest of the Playmaker Duet here:

Troublemaker (Playmaker Duet, #0.5; Prescott Family, #2)
Breakaway (Playmaker Duet, #0.6; Prescott Family, #3)
Altercation (Playmaker Duet, #1; Prescott Family, #4)

Review: Altercation by Mignon Mykel

Altercation
Series: Playmaker Duet, #1
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sometimes it’s the fight that proves your worth.

Porter Prescott spent years fighting to be his own person.
His goal of playing for a hockey club not associated with the Prescott name finally comes true.
But just as he’s leaving for the next chapter in his life, he meets her.

Asher Spence spent a lifetime learning she was worthless and unwanted.
She learned that sometimes the only person you can count on is yourself, and even then, you can fail.

What starts out as picture perfect can only come crumbling down.
No one listened to her pleas before,
Why should they listen to them now that she’s found a place to finally call home?

But sometimes, it’s the fight that takes you out of the game.

Note: This is book 1 of 2 in the Porter and Asher story. This does end with a cliffhanger that will be resolved in book 2, Holding.


I’ve been waiting to read Altercation ever since I finished its prequels, Troublemaker and Breakaway. (Click on the titles of the prequels for my reviews.) Getting to know Porter and Asher’s pasts was both heartbreaking and addicting. Their stories made me hunger for a happy ending for them both. I couldn’t wait to find out how Mignon Mykel was going to navigate their struggles and make them wind up together.

Altercation begins where the prequels end with Porter and Asher meeting. There’s an instant attraction between them, especially for Porter. He immediately picks up on the fact that Asher is more complicated than she’s letting on. That (along with the fact that he’s moving to another state for his hockey career) should deter the nineteen year old’s interested in her, but it instead makes him want to know more about Asher.

Asher is just as attracted to Porter, but she knows nothing will come of her attraction. She’s found a temporary family within Porter’s and she’s not willing to give up her newfound happiness and safety. Nor does Asher think she’ll be able to have the relationship with Porter he would expect. Despite her reservations, it doesn’t take long for Porter to convince Asher to give him a chance.

With each book I read from Mignon Mykel, I fall further and further in love with her writing and the love stories she crafts. Her first person dual points of view was amazing in Altercation. Porter and Asher had two very distinctive voices and their histories melded so well together. I also loved getting to see a little bit more of the large Prescott family — I hope I get books about each sibling!

Porter surprised me a lot in this book. I knew he was a great guy, but I wasn’t expecting the patience he had for a young man. He truly cared about Asher’s well-being and it made me love him even more. Porter created a slow burn romance with Asher and controlled himself better than any book boyfriend I’ve ever read. He was almost a saint.

Asher was the more complicated of the characters. Her story broke my heart, but I loved that it was Porter who helped her restore faith in life and love. Their relationship was adorable. I loved how Mignon Mykel made it span not just weeks or months, but years. It was the perfect progression for Asher and Porter’s love story.

Altercation was just as good as I was expecting it to be. Watching Porter and Asher falling in love was so sweet and satisfying. I loved the twists and turns to their story. I was shocked by the cliffhanger at the end, even though I knew it was coming. I can’t wait to find out what’s next for Porter and Asher in Holding.