Review: Jock Rule (Sara Ney)

Jock Rule
Series: Jock Hard, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Publisher: Three Legacies, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Kip Carmichael is no pretty boy.

He’s a rough. Dirty. Giant. Hair so unruly, and a beard so thick, his friends on the team call him Sasquatch.

The first time Sasquatch lays eyes on Theodora “Teddy” Johnson across the keg at a party one night on Jock Row, she’d been relegated to the sidelines by her jock hungry “friends.”

Week-after-week, he watches beautiful but bashful Teddy getting overshadowed, and overlooked. Sasquatch finally broad shoulders his way through the crowd, offering to be her hairy godmother. But the minute their eyes meet? He’s a goner.

Teaching her the RULES for winning a jock will be the easy part. Not falling in love with her is going to be a losing game.


I am so happy the Jock Hard series is back! I loved the first book, Jock Row, and I couldn’t wait to read Jock Rule. The reason I was so excited? I love how this series is low drama and hilarious. Sara Ney has created a new adult sports romance series that is purely fun. So, my feelings about Jock Rule

It was exactly what I was expecting! Sara Ney infused a great romance with her trademark humor. I adored the characters and reading their perspectives. They were both easy to relate to. Teddy was insecure, but a good person. Kip didn’t really care what people thought and he was real and honest. Teddy and Kip’s relationship was a fun one to read about because they felt like two people I could meet in real life. I loved how they went from almost enemies to friends to more. Teddy and Kip’s “friendship” started out really bumpy, and had all these great funny moments. Once things migrated pat friendship, things got more serious and sweet. Their chemistry was off the charts. I loved how their relationship could be all of those things and more.

I liked how friendships were explored in this book. College age really is a time where we discover what types of friendships we want and who we want them with. Sara Ney did a great job showcasing this with Kip and Teddy.  Both characters kind of dealt with it in different ways, and I liked that.

The only thing I wanted Jock Rule to do was dig a little deeper. Kip and Teddy had some great talks about some important situations, but it felt like it didn’t go past surface level some times. Kip never really explained to Teddy the reason he did some things. I liked that Teddy accepted Kip for who he was now, but I just thought there was more to it than was discussed. I would have like to have seen that.

Overall, Jock Rule was an entertaining read with fabulous characters. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was sad to see end it, and I’m already anticipating the next book in the series!

GOODREADS

About the Author:

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

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

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Series Review: Beautiful Hearts Duet (Emma Scott)

When the Beautiful Hearts Duet released this past summer I wanted to read it, but I was hesitant. I know the power of Emma Scott’s writing, and I was scared to feel what her words would invoke. I also knew it had a love triangle of sorts, and I hate those. In the end, I gave in and read the duet because I knew it would be good and all of the reviews were coming in with high praise.

Bring Down the Stars ★ ★ ★ ½

I have to start out by saying that the acknowledgements and dedications at the beginning of this book had me in tears. That didn’t bode well for my emotions. I have to be honest and say I didn’t love this book. It made me mad because of the love triangle built on lies. I was so frustrated with Weston, Connor, and Autumn while reading it. Weston made me mad because of his dedication to Connor. Connor made me mad because of his attitude about just about everything and his poor decisions. Autumn I wasn’t really mad at. I was more irritated because I wondered how she could really be so blind…but then aren’t we all when we’re falling in love?

Overall, the writing was beautiful. The poems in this book…WOW. The emotions brought on by this book…WOW. The ending…DANG. There’s no way I could take a break between books 1 and 2.

Long Live the Beautiful Hearts ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I don’t even know that I have the words to tell you how much I loved this book. This one starts off emotional and strong. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I ended up loving the direction Emma Scott took this story. I grew to really love Autumn, Weston, and Connor. How everything worked out wasn’t always easy, but it was perfect. The easy moments were almost too easy, but I didn’t mind that because I felt everything come full circle. Bravo, Emma Scott. You did your readers, yourself, and your precious daughter right.

Review: 4th & Girl (Max Monroe)

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tapping the Billionaire comes a hilarious and sexy standalone about fate, chance, and one heck of an epically awkward meet-cute.

4th & Girl
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

4th & Goal: A term used when the offensive team is on its final down and the goal line is the line to reach.

4th & Girl: A story where time is almost up, and the girl of his dreams is just barely out of reach.

Leo Landry, first round draft pick and the New York Mavericks newest starting cornerback, uses grit, concentration, and sheer determination to make his difference on the field.

But the mysterious girl of his dreams might be enough to break his cocky confidence.

Will Leo prevail with a last-minute 4th & Girl?


4th & Girl is the fourth book in the Mavericks Tackle Love series. This time new recruit Leo Landry gets the chance to fall in love with the woman of his dreams. He meets her in the most hilarious of ways, but doesn’t get her name. He’s forced to search for her, and she comes back into his life in yet another funny way.

Oh my goodness! Max Monroe has done it again! 4th & Girl is a romantic comedy gem. The laughs started from the very beginning and by the end I lost count how many times I laughed out loud. There were also some highly emotional and touching moments added into all of the fun. That is exactly what I expect when I pick up a book by this author duo.

Leo Landry was a little bit of a surprise to me. I was expecting him to be all confident and cocky due to being a college football star and now a professional player, but he was actually very well-rounded. I loved his humility and how he valued his family. He took his relationships and job seriously. Leo was one of those special romance characters that everyone is sure to be claiming as their next book boyfriend.

Gemma was also a great character. She felt like a real person because she was so easy to relate to. Gemma was trying to figure out life and what she wanted out of it. We have all been there at some point in our lives.

I adored Leo and Gemma’s romance. The fun of it was just so refreshing. I didn’t feel like I was reading just another sports romance. 4th and Girl was unique and quirky. I loved that. It also had some great emotional moments of truth between Leo and Gemma that were touching and added just enough deeper substance to their story.

Okay. There are some amazing secondary characters I can’t leave out of this review. Abby, Gemma’s best friend, was hilarious. I seriously need to know more about her. I am hoping Max Monroe will give her a book of her own even though the Mavericks Tackle Love series is ending. She’s just too funny of a character to never see again.

4th & Girl was such a joy to read. This review doesn’t even do it justice. It was so entertaining! Time flew by when I was reading it. Leo and Gemma’s romance was delightfully charming. From the way they met to the very end, I couldn’t get enough of them together. I was so sad to see this book and series end. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what Max Monroe have up their sleeves next.

Note: 4th & Girl can be read as a standalone novel, but I don’t know why you would want to miss out on the hilariously witty writing in those first three books. This book and the entire series is so much fun to read. You really don’t want to miss out on any of it.

4th & Girl, an all-new standalone romantic comedy in the Mavericks Tackle Love series from Max Monroe, is available now!

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Download your copy today!

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About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

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Mini Reviews: The Wrong Game & Game On

The Wrong Game
Author: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two season tickets.
One genius idea.
Zero interest in a relationship.

The plan is simple: a brand new, hot, preferably funny, definitely single male will fill one of those seats for every Bears game at Soldier Field. And I’ll fill the other.

I can’t think of a better way to use the season passes I’d bought for my ex-husband. I am a woman of plans, and this one’s foolproof.

Until Zach Bowen offers to be my practice round.

He’s infuriating. Presumptuous and overbearing. And absolutely, undeniably gorgeous. Any woman with a heartbeat would be attracted to him, and mine picks up speed every time he speaks.

But as I said, I’m a woman of plans — and I’m not backing down on this one.

One night. One game. And then, his time’s up.

He can try to change the rules, but here’s the truth: he can’t win if he’s playing the wrong game.

My thoughts:

You know how some books are just a delight to read? That’s how The Wrong Game was for me. It was a well written, adorable story about two people finding love after heartbreak. I laughed hard, but I also teared up at times. The characters were so fantastic! I loved Gemma’s insecurities and fear of love. I adored Zach and his softer side. I loved them together. I couldn’t get over how perfect their story was. Oh! I also have to add that I thought the way the sport of football was worked into this one was unique and so, so good! The Wrong Game had everything I love in a contemporary romance.


Game On
Series: Aces Hockey, #8
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance, Ficiton
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Cam Brickley and his pro hockey teammates bet on everything: who can win five faceoffs in a row, who can do forty pushups in less than a minute, who can eat a ghost pepper without puking. But when his buddies bet him he can’t date the same woman—like, say, the hot blonde over at the bar—for two months and not fall in love, he’ll take that bet all day. Then he’ll laugh all the way to the hockey arena, where they’ll be washing his jock straps for the rest of the season, because Cam’s never giving up his bachelor lifestyle.

Olivia Lockwood, heiress to the Lockwood Industries fortune, is used to people using her for her money and family connections. When Cam Brickley hits on her in a club, Olivia’s first instinct is to brush him off. But he couldn’t be using her for her money, since he has more than enough of his own. Cam’s gorgeous and built, and it would be no hardship to go out with him . . . besides, he’d be the perfect spokesperson for the children’s charity she works with. Maybe it’s time for her to start using people.

Cam and Olivia are both in it for something. What they don’t know yet is that they’re playing for keeps.

My thoughts:

Game On secured its way into my heart from almost the very beginning with the puking. Yes, you read that right. The puking. It was so close to an experience my now husband while dating that my heart was instantly won. As Cam and Olivia continued to date, I was even more sold. They might not have planned on falling for each other, but they were perfect together.

The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the big ending between Cam and Olivia. It felt too rushed,  but I understand why it was done the way it was since this is the last book in the series.

Overall, this book was such a fun sports romance to read. It was so smart and witty. I really love where Kelly Jamieson has taken this series, and I am sad it’s over.

Review: Pucked Love by Helena Hunting

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Pucked Love
Series: Pucked, #6
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Inks & Cupcakes, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I’ve let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.


Gosh, this review is harder to write than I thought it would be. I have all these things I want to say, but I’m afraid I’ll give something away. You’ll have to excuse me if this review ends up being a little vague.

Earlier this year, I FINALLY binge read the Pucked series. I can’t say that it was exactly love at first book (all those MC and beavers about killed me), but I was entertained enough to keep reading. Each book got better and better as the series went on. I found myself loving all the characters, their friendships, and their romances. Throughout the entire series, while everyone else was falling in love, there was one couple that intrigued me: Charlene and Darren. They had this secretive relationship that was only hinted at. I have been dying to know more about them! I was so happy to finally get the chance to know their inner thoughts, feelings, and what the heck they have been up to all this time!

I am a big fan of what Helena Hunting did with this book. She was subtle in ways I wasn’t expecting, but appreciated. Charlene and Darren’s sexual relationship could have taken over the story and defined them, but it didn’t. The emotionally intimate parts shined in a beautiful way. So did all the crazy, cooky moments you would expect in a Pucked novel.

I loved getting to know Charlene as someone other than Violet’s crazy best friend. She had a past that shocked the heck out of me in the crazy way only the Pucked series could do. (I’m still not sure if I liked that part or not.) I also got to know Darren. This pleased me even more than getting to know Charlene. Darren was more than I expected in a very good way. I adored his character and the way he treated Charlene and their relationship.

Pucked Love was a great conclusion to the Pucked series. I couldn’t imagine another ending to not only Charlene and Darren’s relationship, but those of their friends. It was great to be back with the gang again.

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Pucked Love, the final sexy and emotional standalone in the NYT bestselling Pucked Series from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is available NOW!

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Download your copy today!

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About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

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Review: I Bet You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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I Bet You
Series: The Hook-Up, #2
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: October 25, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills returns with an all-new swoon-fest of a novel about what happens when you look beyond labels and take a chance on love.

Sexy Athlete: I bet you…
Penelope Graham: Burn in hell, quarterback.

The text is random but Penelope figures out exactly who “Sexy Athlete” is. And why she shouldn’t take his wager.

Ryker Voss.
Football star.
Walks on water and God’s gift to women.
Just ask him.

His bet? He promises Penelope he’ll win her the heart of the guy she’s been crushing on. His plan—good old-fashioned jealousy. Once her crush sees her kissing Ryker, he’ll realize what he’s missing. Sounds legit, right? The only question is…why is Ryker being so nice to her?

Penelope Graham.
Virgin.
Lover of sparkly vampires and calculus.
His mortal enemy.

Penelope knows she shouldn’t trust a jock, but what’s a girl to do when she needs a date to Homecoming? And Ryker’s keeping a secret, another bet, one that could destroy Penelope’s heart forever.

Will the quarterback score the good girl or will his secrets mean everyone loses this game of love?

*Author’s Note: This is a standalone sports romance with an HEA.

**You do not have to have read I Dare You, although you should if you love jocks and nerdy heroines.


I Bet You was a fun new adult sports romance. The main character, Penelope, was a little quirky and a whole lot sassy. She had a thing against football players and knew that she wanted a smart, nerdier type of guy in her life. That was all blown to pieces when Ryker Voss inserts himself into her life and offers to help Penelope get the guy.

Ryker was the college’s well-loved quarterback. Despite being a cocky jock, he was actually a nice guy. Penelope wasn’t the type of girl he normally went for, but the more time he spent with her the more he wished it wasn’t someone else she was pining for.

I really liked both Ryker and Penelope. My issue with I Bet You wasn’t their romance, but a bet that was going on in the background. It was predictable and made it hard for me to read the book at times. I knew what was going to happen and I hated it. BUT I ended up really liking how it was all handled and explained at the end.

One of the great things about this book were the supporting characters. I loved Penelope and Ryker’s friends. Charisma, Margo, and Blaze were so much fun! I also liked the bad guy in this book. He was just the right amount of scummy. LOL. Oh, and I really liked everything that went down with Penelope’s family situation. That was a great story line.

Despite the moments I spent worried about what was going to happen, I enjoyed reading I Bet You. It was a light, fun new adult romance.

IBY-AN

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Love football heroes and nerdy heroines?

Start the series of standalones today with I DARE YOU.

Download your copy now or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Add to Goodreads

About the Author

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

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

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

Join her Unicorn Girls FB group for special excerpts, prizes, and snarky fun!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/

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Review: Big Stick by Kelly Jamieson

Big Stick
Series: Aces Hockey, #7
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


Big Stick is the seventh book in Kelly Jamieson’s Aces Hockey series. This time it’s Nick’s time to shine. When Nick and Jodie meet at his buddy Hallsy’s party, neither is particularly impressed with each other. Jodie’s too talkative for Nick, and Nick’s too grumpy for Jodie. When Hallsy asks Nick to help Jodie out by letting her and her daughter stay in his coach house, he isn’t exactly ecstatic about his new neighbors. Slowly, as he gets to know Jodie and Zyana, his feelings start to change.

It was so great to be back in the Aces Hockey world. Kelly Jamieson’s writing is always impressive. I’m not one for third person point of view, but somehow she writes it so that I don’t even notice it! I love how she makes what could be a light and fluffy romance a little deeper and more emotional. Her characters in Big Stick were special ones.

I adored Nick’s character. He was a grouchy grump and it came across cute in this story — especially with Jodie’s daughter Zyana. He thought he was mean and nasty, but he was actually a gentle giant. I liked how both Jodie and Zyana brought that out in Nick. Nick had his issues, but in general he was a great guy.

What made this book cool in my eyes was Jodie. She was a smart, independent woman who went after what she wanted. She owned a successful business and was a single mother. Jodie had her family with Zyana (I’m still not sure how to pronounce that one!) and was content. She didn’t need a man in her life, but she wouldn’t mind finding a partner in life. I liked her attitude about romance and her relationship with Nick. It was refreshing.

I can’t leave out Zyana. Zyana was a doll in only way young children can be. She was sassy, smart, and a total nightmare at times. I loved the part she played in Jodie and Nick’s romance. It was so sweet! I did have a couple of questions about her abilities, though. I think it was mentioned that she was 2 years old at one point. She seemed older than that to me. I would have guessed 3 or maybe even 4 years old. Maybe I’m just forgetting how toddlers act or maybe Zyana was ahead of the curve. I don’t know. I just remember being a little shocked at how young she was.

If you’re a fan of hockey romances and have yet to read one of Kelly Jamieson’s, you’re missing out. She’s a fantastic writer who creates strong characters with a lot of heart. Her stories are easy to fall in love with. Big Stick was one those.

Review: The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks by Max Monroe

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The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks
Series: Jerks, #1
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I’m Luciana Wright.

Everyone calls me Lucky, but when it comes to love, I’m anything but.

I have a long history of dating the wrong men.
You know the ones I’m talking about.

The beautiful, charming guys who are quite literally too good to be true.

The ones who are impulsive in love and prefer short flings over long-term relationships.

I’m talking about the jerks.

The guys who taste so good, but are so very bad.

After going through the most ridiculous breakup in the history of breakups, I thought I’d learned my lesson. I officially put myself into jerk rehab and committed to changing my ways.

But, let’s be real here, love is never that easy.

Especially when an arrogant, charming, he-devil of a sexy alpha man gets involved.

Aussie accent.
Tanned skin.
Muscular, surfer bod.
Gorgeous brown eyes.

And the kind of sexy smile that brings women to their knees.
Oh, did I mention that he’s also my best friend’s brother?
Yeah. This story, my story, it’s a real doozy you guys.

The day I stopped falling for jerks, I met Oliver Arsen—the biggest jerk of all.


The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks was classic Max Monroe. It was a romantic comedy with a new twist in the way it was told. The entire story was doled out to the reader in podcast format by Lucky. This form of delivery was incredibly cool. Even though I was reading it, I felt like I was listening to it. That probably sounds weird, but it was awesome.

Lucky was an easy character to relate to. Her thoughts and behavior reminded me of my own navigation through the ups and downs of relationships. I loved how she realized that she had a broken picker set to jerk mode, but realized it and made an effort to change her ways. I also just really liked her character in general. She was slightly uptight, but also fun. I liked how the podcast gave life to her mannerisms. It was just fun to experience a character this way.

Ollie…Well, I loved what I got to know of him. Ollie was that cool guy that everyone loves, but there was more to him than his cocky confidence. He had a sweet side that was..well, sweet. Ollie seemed like a guy who knew what he wanted and went after it. I loved the way he pursued Lucky. It was a lot of fun.

There were a lot of other fun things about this book, too. The setting was amazing and inspiring. I loved both Lucky and Ollie’s jobs. The combination of them was cool. I liked how they fit both their personalities and their relationship.

While The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks was an entertaining read, it was also filled with emotion — especially toward the end. I was surprised by it. I guess I wasn’t really expecting it. I should have been because this is the first part in a duet. I wasn’t, though. It hit me harder than I expected. I was left needing to know how Lucky and Ollie’s relationship plays out rather than just wanting to know. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book! I’m looking forward to answers and getting Ollie’s perspective.

I adored The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks. Max Monroe books are my reading happy place. I know other Max Monroe addicts will love this book as much as I did.

Everyone calls me Lucky, but when it comes to love, I’m anything but.

The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks, the first in the fun and flirty Jerk Duet from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe is available NOW!

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Excerpt:

The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks podcast

Episode 1: “Is this thing on?”

Hi, everyone.

I’d like to welcome you to episode one of my very first podcast.

[quiet, hesitant laugh]

I’m a little nervous, so please bear with me as I try to figure out how to podcast.

See, I’m more a writer of words than a podcaster of words, but what I’m about to tell you is honestly too damn big to fit into one of my columns.

Way too big.

It’s a real doozy, guys, but I have to get it out.

And I’m hoping, once I finish recording this—since my boss says I might start feeling symptomatic of, say, poisoning, if I ruin this new venture—I’ll actually be able to upload it to Scoop’s website. Apparently, I’m told, podcasting is the wave of the future, and if we—meaning Scoop—don’t get our foot in the door first, we—meaning I—might as well find another room. Room meaning office.

I’m pretty sure she’ll fire me, okay?

Still, I figure pouring my guts out to a bunch of strangers has to be at least close to therapeutic, so consider my fingers and toes crossed that my technical inability doesn’t mean it’s for nothing.

[mumble from producer]

Oh, good. I’m told the uploading portion of this podcast will be taken care of by someone else. Smart move, guys.

[laughs again]

Okay, so where do I even begin?

[long, audible sigh]

Well, I guess my love life would be a good start, huh?

I mean, it’s the whole reason I’m here, ready to pour my heart out to you.

The past.

The present.

The future, as I’ve sworn and promised it to myself.

They’re all kind of a hot mess, but it’s really the chaos I’ve gotten myself into this time that made me decide to take action.

Think of a woman trying to stand up in a hammock during an earthquake, and then throw in a writhing pit of cobras dancing below it for good measure. Add in the task of juggling several oddly shaped objects and a horrible lack of hand-eye coordination, and you might have some idea of what I look like while trying to navigate lust, like, and love.

Relationships, dating, finding love…God, you guys, it is so hard.

I envy those people who manage to find the love of their lives on a first date or—even more mind-blowing—a chance encounter a la love-at-first-sight that blossoms into a long-term courtship.

Like, how in the hell does that even happen?

It feels like some trippy, magical unicorn kind of stuff or, worse yet, an evil consecration for those with a special, dark gift. And I’m not exactly comfortable exploring how many pagan gods I’d have to promise ill-willed deeds to in order to experience the easy road to love.

Heck, even the hard road.

As long as it didn’t end in disaster, I’d be ahead of where I am now—where I always seem to be.

See, I’ve been a serial dater, a constant cultivator of bad relationships, for as long as I can remember.

Even my kindergarten boyfriend, Kenny, is a prime example of what I’ve come to know as normal.

He was a swoony little guy, even at the ripe age of nearly six, and I was a naïve five-year-old, hungry for pure love. We were happy for about a day and a half, but when another skirt-wielder, Amber Carter, ran by, the apparent love of his life—Kenny’s description of me—wasn’t the only twinkle in his mossy green eyes anymore. One push off the monkey bars, and my first official relationship promptly ended in what would be one of many breakups for me.

Think of all the very worst guys to date—the players, the weirdos, the clingy momma’s boys, and the jerks…good God, picture the jerks.

Do you have those men in your head?

Well, I, Luciana “Lucky” Wright, have dated them all.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. I’ve been there, done that, written the book, and filmed the Lifetime movie.

And all those good-for-nothing men left me with were weeks filled with Netflix binges fueled by ice cream and the same question rolling through my mind—Where are all the good men?

You know, the men who are actually worthy of us. The men who know what they want and have good intentions to boot. The ones who know how to truly love a woman, one woman, for the rest of their lives.

Are they underground somewhere? In one of those highly discriminatory bunkers from the movie Deep Impact, perhaps? Do I actually have to discover the meaning of life to get the password?

I honestly don’t know. But I believe, in order for you to truly understand my frustration, I need to show you the final straw in my never-ending cycle of dating jerks. The moment that made me say “Sayonara, Jerks!” and write them off for good.

It’s going to feel like some serious Romeo and Juliet kind of stuff, but I can tell you, a Shakespearean love story it is not.

Keep listening. You’ll see.

About Max Monroe

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

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Series Review: The Sweetest Thing by Sierra Hill

A while back I reviewed two of the books from Sierra Hill’s The Sweetest Thing series. I really enjoyed those two books, and I knew I wanted to go back and read the rest of the series. Last week I finally had time to make that happen.

Sweetness (#1) ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweetness is the story of a privileged college basketball player who falls in love with a girl whose life isn’t so easy. Ainsley has Cade changing his womanizing ways, but his past may come back to ruin their relationship. This book was a classic NA sports romance. I loved the ASU setting (I went there!), and the characters. It was a sweet romance with just the right amount of angst.

Sweet Girl (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Sweet Girl was my favorite book in this series. Cade’s younger sister Kylah falls for his teammate Van. Things start out with a forbidden crush for Kylah as Van has a long distance girlfriend. When Van is betrayed, Kylah has the opportunity to go for her man. It was just super cute and sweet. It reminded me of first love and all of the things that come with it. I adored both Kylah and Van. (Oh, and Van lived in the same dorm I did in college! Talk about a blast from the past seeing its name in print.)

Sweet Summer Love (#3) ★ ★ ★ ½

This was the first book I read by Sierra Hill back in 2017. It’s about Cade’s roommate/teammate Carver. Carver is quite the ladies man. When he graduates from college and is drafted by the NBA, it returns him to his hometown of Seattle (Hey! I live here! Another reason to love this series!) where he’s reunited with Logan, the girl who broke his heart. I really enjoyed reading this book, but I had some issues with it. You can read my full review here.

Sweet Disaster (#4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Remember Kylah from Sweet Girl? Sweet Disaster is her wild twin sister Kady’s book. Kady takes an impromptu trip to Europe where she ends up stuck in Italy with no funds. She reaches out to Cade who hooks her up with Gavin who is playing basketball there. The two end up traveling together and falling in love. This book was sweet in a different way than Kylah’s book. It was about two people finally finding their person that they fit with. It was also sexier than the other books in the series.

Sweet Little Lies (#5) ★ ★ ★ ½

I read Sweet Little Lies back at the beginning of 2018. It is Ainsley’s best friend Mica and Cady’s roommate Lance’s story. Mica and Lance had insane chemistry. Their love story wasn’t as easy as ones in the prior books. Sierra Hill touched on deeper issues like interracial dating and addiction. I really loved the romance aspect of the story, but I wanted it to go deeper than it did on the addiction front. You can find my full review for this book here.

Thoughts on the entire The Sweetest Thing series:

Despite the ups and downs of the ratings of these books, I loved this series. It was classic NA college sports romance. Sierra Hill is a great writer. She includes just the right amount of angst in her love stories without going overboard. I especially loved this series because it’s set at my alma mater, ASU. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good new adult romance.

Series Review: Jackson Boys by Jen Frederick

Before I start my reviews for the Jackson Boys series, I need to give you a little background information in case you’re unfamiliar with Jen Frederick’s novels. The Jackson Boys series is a spin-off of the Woodlands series. Nathan and Nick are the offspring of Noah and Grace. Charlotte is the daughter of Bo and AnnMarie. You don’t have to read the Woodlands series prior to reading this book. The older characters show up, but their stories aren’t really revealed in this new series.

The Charlotte Chronicles
Series: Jackson Boys, #1
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 8, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Charlotte Randolph was only fifteen when she fell in love with her best friend’s gorgeous older brother—but she wasn’t foolish enough to hope he could ever love her back. Nate Jackson always viewed her as a pesky kid…until the day she got sick. The one bright spot during her illness? He realized she was all grown up. But just when she allows herself to believe that dreams can come true, Nate disappears from her life, taking her heart with him.

Nate knows he lost more than his best friend when he deserted Charlotte to enlist in the Navy. He thought he was doing the right thing, sparing the girl he loves from the shame and humiliation of his actions. Nine years later, it’s time to right his wrongs. He returns home determined to win back his first love…only to find that Charlotte’s moved on without him.

But if there’s one thing that being a Navy SEAL has taught Nate? Never give up, even when all hope seems lost. And Nate’s never going to give up on Charlotte. Ever.

My Review:

The Charlotte Chronicles is one of those books where I feel like my rating for it doesn’t quite jibe with how much I enjoyed reading it. I loved Charlotte and Nate. Their story was emotional from the start. The writing was great, but the actual story didn’t flow as well as I wanted it to.

My frustration with The Charlotte Chronicles was how the story was set up. The only way I can think to describe it is that it felt like three books in one. It starts out when Nate and Charlotte are seventeen and fifteen. The story surrounding Charlotte’s illness is sad, but also sweet because of Nate. They have such a pure love for each other. It really made me fall in love with both of their characters.

While Charlotte’s fighting her illness, Nate takes off and joins the Navy. This begins what feels like a new book. It’s a bunch of letters from Charlotte to Nate while he’s serving. She writes him for YEARS with no response. Her letters are sweet, desperate, and heartbreaking. I am so angry with Nate throughout this section of the book because I have no clue what he’s thinking and I can’t believe he would abandon someone he loves so much during the hardest time in her life.

Time then fast forwards again. The story changes format again. It’s been nine years since Nate and Charlotte last communicated with each other. (I guess they had a few run ins during that time, so I don’t get why they didn’t talk then?) We’re back to both Nate and Charlotte’s perspectives, and they’re older so they almost feel like different people. Nate finally gets to explain himself. He basically ignored her for a VERY STUPID reason for NINE YEARS. I struggled with the length of time the characters were apart and the flow of the story. I think if it had been shorter this separation and reunion would have been more believable to me. I just couldn’t get over the fact that they both held on for almost a decade. Nate was so lucky Charlotte hadn’t moved on.

I think my issues with The Charlotte Chronicles wouldn’t have been issues if it wasn’t for that nine-year separation. I would have found it more understandable/believable had it been three or even five years. I did like everything else that happened in the story, so that’s why I feel so conflicted. It’s still a book I would recommend. I’m excited to read Nick’s book and get to know him more.

Be Mine
Series: Jackson Boys, #2
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: October 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

At twenty years old, Lainey Wilson has made enough mistakes for a lifetime. She’s gotten herself knocked up by a cruel, uncaring man, lost her home, and found herself outside of a ramshackle bar with a crying baby and a broken purse.

When Nick Jackson, the Mustangs’ new rookie quarterback, swoops in like her savior, all she wants to do is fall into his arms. There’s just one problem… she’s sworn off football players and men for good.

He’s charming, eager, and sexy as hell, but Nick’s not the man for her. No matter what her body says.

Besides, she’s got bigger problems to fix such as how she’s going to feed her child, where she’s going to lay her head, and how to stay hidden from her ex. There’s no room for flirtation, a hand on the small of her back, or even the way he makes her daughter smile.

Nick Jackson isn’t in her plan now or ever.

Right?

My review:

Having read Be Mine immediately following The Charlotte Chronicles had me a little confused. Be Mine is Nate’s brother Nick’s and Charlotte’s friend Lainie’s story. In The Charlotte Chronicles, Lainey and Nick seem to have a frenemies thing going on. They were standoffish with each other, and Nick butted into Lainey’s life in weird ways. It made me expect an enemy to lovers story. That wasn’t what I got at all in this book.

Nick and Lainey actually had a very different start to their friendship/relationship than I was expecting. Nick and Lainey’s friendship actually came before Charlotte and Lainey’s. I didn’t find the animosity between Nick and Lainey that I thought I would. When it did pop up, I didn’t understand it. It was all on Lainey’s part, and didn’t make sense. Nick was nothing but a sweetheart to her when I thought he would have been a jerk at times. It threw me off — especially when the timelines for The Charlotte Chronicles and Be Mine overlapped. I don’t want to go into too much and ruin anything for anyone. If I hadn’t just read The Charlotte Chronicles the little changes might not have been so noticeable.

Despite all the questions that arose from reading the books back to back, I did really love reading Be Mine. It was an entertaining love story. Nick and Lainey were a cute couple with interesting obstacles to overcome. I liked the twists involving Lainey’s baby daddy. I loved Nick and Cassidy’s relationship. It also had a very sweet epilogue. Be Mine probably would have been a 5 star read for me if I hadn’t had so many little questions about the possible discrepancies between it and the first book.