Blog Tour Review: Something So Perfect by Natasha Madison

 

Matthew

Drafted first round pick when I was seventeen, playing first line at eighteen, branded NHL’s bad boy at nineteen. At twenty-three I was cut from the team and living back home with my parents. A knock on the door brought an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. All I had to do was prove I learned from my mistakes, so no way would I fall for a chick with a pouty mouth even if I wanted to spend all day devouring it.

Karrie

When my father gave me a job, I had no idea it would be to babysit some washed up NHL player. He wanted me to be his chaperone, his overpaid babysitter. I thought it was a joke. Then I met him, Matthew Grant. I wasn’t prepared for this particular bad boy. He’s not only hot but he’s arrogant and kinda sweet in a ‘you make me crazy’ kind of way.
Basically now that he’s finished screwing up his life, he’s decided to turn mine upside down.


She’s the first thing I’ve ever wanted more than hockey.

He’s the guy I know I should stay away from.

But what if this thing that started out so wrong turns into something so perfect?

Review

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

I’m fairly new to Natasha Madison’s books. I read her last novel, Tempt the Boss, and I fell in love with her writing style. When the opportunity to read and review Something So Perfect popped up, I jumped on the offer. I was excited to read more from her. She didn’t let me down. Something So Perfect was another fun read.

Matthew and Karrie’s professional relationship was doomed from the start. Neither of them wanted to be connected to each other. Matthew may have been willing to have a baby-sitter to save his hockey career, but he didn’t think he really needed one. Karrie wanted to be taken seriously, and a job baby-sitting a has been wasn’t what she had in mind. All their resentment of the situation goes out the door when Karrie and Matthew meet. There’s an instant attraction between them that could ruin both their careers. Karrie’s more than Matthew’s baby-sitter, she’s also his boss’ daughter.

Karrie was a somewhat innocent character. She was a confident woman with drive. I loved that about her. She just hadn’t met the man she wanted to rock her world yet. Enter Matthew. He was the bad boy all the ladies wanted to tame. Deep down, Matthew wasn’t the bad boy he was made out to be. He had been young and made lots of mistakes, but he was older and wiser now. Matthew respected his family and Karrie. She made him want more and he wasn’t going to let anything ruin their relationship. He had some great moments of sweetness.

Karrie and Matthew lit this book up! There was so much electricity between them. The love-hate relationship they had going on made for some of the hottest chemistry between characters I’ve read in a while. The witty banter that flew between the two of them was so much fun to read!

I loved Something So Perfect. I enjoyed the characters’ relationship and their path to love. It was a new spin on the hockey romance theme that I know other hockey romance fans will love. I highly recommend reading it.

“Okay,” Robert starts, “we have your contract here. It’s a one-year contract for two point one million, as per your agent.” He smiles at me because I don’t have an agent. I have Cooper. “We also have the stipulation clause. I know last time you weren’t happy with some of them, but it’s the only way we can both win.” He opens the folder in front of him. “You will be living in a brownstone in Brooklyn.” The page flips over while he continues to read. “Your chaperone will live with you.” He looks up, waiting to see if I’ll say something, and I almost say fuck off. “It’s a three-story brownstone. You each have your own floor to do as you please.”

I nod at him. It isn’t as bad as I thought and maybe me and my roommate will be each other’s wing man. “Your chaperone will be at your side each time you go out. Especially, game day and traveling. Of course you will each have your own room when traveling, but it will be connecting.”
“I hope this guy is up for Netflix and working out.” I smile at them, my hand itchy to sign the papers before I call it all off.
Doug gets up, going to the phone on the table, pressing a couple of buttons. “Can you come to the conference room, please?” He hangs up right after.

“If you mess up even once, your contract is null and void,” Doug says, sitting down just as the door opens and I turn my head to stare at the person who just walked in.

“You?” I stand up, looking back at the other people at the table. The chick from the gym walks in, this time wearing black tight pants and a white button-down shirt, rolled up at the wrists. “Is this a joke?”

“I can assure you I had the same reaction when I was asked,” she says sternly. “I don’t want this any more than you do, but it is what it is.”

“She tried to pick me up yesterday.” I put my hands on my hips, telling the table.

“Are you insane?” she huffs out, her voice rising. “You and your anatomy landed on me.” She looks at Doug. “Right in my back.”

I roll my eyes at her.

“Karrie,” Doug says, looking at her.

“What?” She shrugs at him. “He couldn’t even contain himself, and he thinks I tried to pick him up.” She looks at me. “You wish.”

I pfft out. “Please, one word and you would have come home with me.” I look at the men in front of me. “You guys can’t be serious.” I then look back at Karrie. “Besides, how old is she? Twelve?”

“Pervert. I would have pulled the fire alarm and kicked you in the nuts.” She crosses her arms over her chest, making her tits strain against the buttons. “Either way you would have ended up in the same place. Alone. With bruised nuts.”

Robert slaps the table. “That’s enough, you two.” He looks at both of us. “Now, you two have a lot of catching up to do. I will forward you both the travel schedule.” He stands up, grabbing the papers, and slapping me on the shoulder. “Good to have you.”

Coach Dan gets up also, smirking at me while I stand here speechless that they allow a girl to chaperone me. Not just any girl, the hottest fucking girl I’ve ever set eyes on. I had to take care of myself three times since I stumbled on her.

“You two try not to kill each other.” Dan looks at Karrie. “Be good, sweetheart.” And he kisses her cheek.

“Really?” I throw my hands in the air. “Does no one think this is a ridiculous idea?” I look around the room and the only one left is Doug, who gets up.

“I think it’s the best thing to ever happen to you.” He walks over to squeeze my shoulder. “But if you make my little girl cry”—he leans in, whispering—“they won’t find your body.”

My mouth opens and closes, and then opens again, not a sound coming out.
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When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
Author Links

Review: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

Irresistible You
Series: Chicago Rebels, #1
Author: Kate Meader
Publication Date: August 14, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem, a chip on his shoulder, and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…


You probably know by now that I’m a sucker for a hockey romance. Hockey players are the hottest romance heroes. They ooze self-confidence and have some extremely sexy bodies. Plus, they usually have some super sweet emotions hiding deep down. Since I love them so much, I’m always excited to find a new series to swoon over. I’ve definitely found one of those in the Chicago Rebels.

Irresistible You is a hockey romance featuring a female team owner and her reluctant star player. When Harper Chase inherits her father’s professional hockey team, she should be happy. It’s been her dream forever. Instead she’s frustrated and overwhelmed. The team should have been Harper’s free and clear. Instead she’s stuck sharing ownership with her two estranged half-sisters and fighting to accomplish an almost unheard of task her father set up in order to keep her team. Harper’s not going down without a fight, and she’s acquired the player she knows will lead her team to victory.

Remy DuPre has one last season in him. It’s finally his turn to win the Stanley Cup and he’s not letting being traded to Chicago ruin his plans. He’ll put in his time with his new team if it means being traded to a better team later.

Remy and Harper start as adversaries, but soon find themselves enjoying their bickering. There’s an attraction beneath their feud, and when they act on their desires everything changes. What they both thought they wanted may not really be what they need.

Irresistible You started out a little slow for me. There was so much background to cover behind the characters’ initial feelings that I didn’t immediately connect with them. It took me a few chapters to begin to like both Harper and Remy. Once I learned the history behind their intentions, I fell in love with their story. I loved them both — Harper with her determination and insecurities and Remy with his cocky exterior and sweet interior. They were so cute together. Well, cute and super sexy. Those two had chemistry!

The history behind Harper’s family, her father’s will and her relationship with her sisters really intrigued me. I wanted to know more about it all. I felt like this book only brushed the surface. I know there’s at least two more books to come, so I’m sure I’ll get the story.

Irresistible You had a little bit of everything going for it. The writing was great, the characters were interesting, and the sexy times were super sexy. I have a feeling the series is going to get better and better as it goes on. I’m excited to read what’s next. If you like hockey romances, this is one I would recommend.

Review: For Forester by J. Nathan

For Forester
Series: For You, #2
Author: J. Nathan
Publication Date: July 19, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Trace
I’m Alabama’s star wide receiver. I’ve got mad skills on and off the field, and it’s no secret I’m heading into the draft after the upcoming season. But I’m home for the summer to make some cash before my senior year. Being back under my parents’ roof isn’t the ideal situation, but the moment I see Marin, the star of my adolescent fantasies, I know it’s about to get interesting. She may not have noticed me back then, but I’ve got a feeling it’s just a matter of time before she lets me turn those fantasies into reality.

Marin
The last time I saw Trace Forester he was just a kid tearing up the neighborhood on his skateboard. That was when I was foolish enough to think I had the perfect husband and the perfect life. But now my life is in shambles and Trace is back, all grown up, hot as hell, and exuding major confidence. It would be so easy to fall for his good looks and undeniable charm. So easy to let him into my life. Too bad I learned the hard way that nothing worth having ever comes easy.


For Forester is the first book I’ve read by J. Nathan. I was impressed with her writing. I easily connected with her characters and believed in their relationship. That was amazing because I never expected to find a nineteen year old guy falling in love with an almost thirty year old single mother believable. I expected the attraction, but didn’t expect the love.

Trace was a special young man. I loved the way he loved Marin and her son. He was at the height of his college football career with everything going for him. Trace had a multitude of women at his beck and call, but he only wanted Marin. His loyalty to Marin and her son was exceptional considering the distance between their locations.

What Marin went through was tough. Not only did she have to deal with the fallout from the demise of her marriage, but the attention of dating a much younger man. She was constantly being judged while trying to do what was best for her son and herself. I loved how strong of a person she was. Her relationship with Trace only made her stronger and gave her a new outlook. That was so cool.

Trace and Marin’s relationships was filled with so many ups and downs. Everything they went through together and apart made me love them together more. I was totally invested in their relationship. I loved the little family they made.

Reading For Forester has made me a fan of J. Nathan. It’s also made me want to go back and read the first book in the For You series. I would love to know more about those characters! Finlay and Caden seemed like such special characters.

If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s outside the normal college sports romance, I highly recommend For Forester. I loved the older woman, younger man dynamic.

Review: When I Need You by Lorelei James

When I Need You
Series: Need You, #4
Author: Lorelei James
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Rules are tossed aside when a pro football player join forces with a spitfire cheerleading coach in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s brand-new romance…

Heir to Lund Enterprises and ladies’ man Jensen “The Rocket” Lund has three conditions when it comes to dating:
1) No single mothers
2) No cheerleaders
3) No medical personnel
So it makes no sense that he’s wildly attracted to Rowan Michaels, who breaks all three.

Rowan Michaels didn’t pass the rigorous requirements to become an athletic trainer and Vikings cheerleader in the hopes of landing a pro athlete: been there, done that, and she has a young son as proof that football players and fidelity don’t go hand in hand. When Rowan learns her new neighbor is Jensen Lund, the smoking-hot tight end who takes being neighborly to a whole new level, she’s grateful for the team’s strict “no fraternization” policy because the sexy man defines temptation.

But Jensen is intent on rushing straight to the goal line to prove to Rowan he’s much more than just a player…on and off the field.


A month or two ago I read my first book by Lorelei James. It was the first book in the Need You series, What You Need. I enjoyed that book and getting to meet the Lund family. Even though that was Brady’s book, I found myself wondering about his youngest brother, Jensen. I have to admit it’s because Jensen was a football player, and I’m a big sports romance fan. When I saw Jensen’s book was up on NetGalley, I had to request it. I’m so, so happy I did.

I really enjoy Lorelei James’ writing. Sometimes, contemporary romances can feel a bit dated. The characters act more mature than their age and aren’t very easy to relate to. Lorelei James’ books don’t feel that way. The writing feels fresh and new. Rather than use third person narration, she tells her stories in first person dual point of view. It makes her characters vibrant and easy to connect with.

When I Need You was a cool sports romance because it involved two athletes. Jensen was a professional football player and Rowan a professional cheerleader. This book told their love story, but also spotlighted the harsh reality of how cheerleading is viewed in the professional football world. I loved how that was woven into the story and affected the couple.

I loved Rowan. She was a single mother who strove to give her son the best while doing what she loved. If I loved Rowan, I don’t even know how to tell you how I felt about Jensen. That guy was incredible. He made this book. He was a gorgeous sports star with a huge heart. The way he was with both Rowan and her son made me swoon so hard. I couldn’t get over how he dealt with the challenges of dating a single mother. Jensen was all in with them, and it made me so dang happy!

All of the characters in When I Need You shined. It didn’t matter how big or small their part was in the story. They made me want to go back and read books two and three, and also hope there will be more book in this series. This is one of those series I wouldn’t mind if it went on forever because each book can be read as a standalone and doesn’t focus too much on past characters.

When I Need You went above and beyond my expectations for it. I knew I would enjoy it, but I didn’t know how much I would adore it. If you have a soft spot for a sexy sports star falling for a single mother and her son, this is a book you won’t want to miss. It’s such a sexy, sweet story.

Review: Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

Hello Forever
Series: Pay it Forward, #2
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: July 14, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance,  LGBT+
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

A SINGLE BASKETBALL GAME CHANGES EVERYTHING…

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.

Hello Forever is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers. Readers of Goodbye Paradise will get to check in on Caleb and Josh and their clan.


Hello Forever is a second chance love story. It’s the story of two men who fell in love as teenagers, but were forced apart by the expectations of others. Neither Axel or Cax thought they would ever see each other again. Then, Axel spots Cax on a televised college basketball game. Seeing his first love again inspires Axel to accept a position at the very same school. Axel hopes he’ll run into Cax again, and that they will be able to rekindle what they almost had.

Their reunion isn’t exactly what Axel had hoped. The same demons that drove Axel and Cax apart are still at play in Cax’s life. As much as Cax wants what Axel is offering, he may not be able to accept it. Some things in Cax’s life are more important than his love for Axel.

After reading Goodbye Paradise, I had very high expectations for Hello Forever. I loved that first Pay it Forward book so much, and I wanted to have a similar experience with this book. Hello Forever was a great book, but not quite as amazing as Goodbye Paradise. I can’t put my finger on exactly why that was. The only thing I can think of was that it took me a little longer than usual to connect with the characters. A lot of the beginning was Axel setting up his history with Cax. It wasn’t until Cax and Axel were back in the same room that I felt engaged with the story.

I don’t want you to think I didn’t love Cax and Axel’s story. I did.Their second chance at love was sweet, sexy, and had just the right amount of drama. Cax having to decide if his personal happiness was more important than his devotion to his family was a really great story line. It was a tough choice for him, but I loved the way it all played out. It was fun to read. I especially loved the ending!

It was exciting to be back in Josh and Caleb’s world. I loved seeing them again and how they worked into Cax and Axel’s story. I also liked the other new characters I met. I’m hoping some of them (Jason) will get their own stories in the future.

Overall, Hello Forever was a great M/M romance. It’s one I would recommend if you’re a fan of M/M romances, Sarina Bowen or new adult romances in general.

Review: 27: Dropping the Gloves by Mignon Mykel

27: Dropping the Gloves
Series: Enforcers of San Diego, #1
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: July 5, 2017
Publisher: Mignon Mykel
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Hockey defenseman, Jordan Byrd, has made some mistakes. Not fighting harder to be in his daughter’s life was one, but the other was thinking that life would be somehow better without his best friend in it. However, as badly as he’d like Marlo back in his life, the last five years showed him a side of her he never imagined possible.

At twenty-two, Marlo Byrd unexpectedly finds herself divorced and raising an infant on her own. Jordan had been her everything—her family and her protector—until one day he decided he wanted out. No calls. No letters. Nothing. She managed to find solace in the team that was once his…until five years later, when Jordan’s traded back.

Back in the Enforcers locker room, Jordan is quickly put in his place—he may have a spot on the team, but his ex has a spot in the “family.”

Everyone has an opinion on what happened between Jordan and Marlo.

Did Jordan leave Marlo, and never look back, wearing the ‘deadbeat dad’ label?
Or did Marlo hold back on Jordan, wanting to hurt him the way he hurt her?

Gloves will be dropped.
Fights will commence.
But who will come out the victor?


Hockey romances are my favorite sports romances. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but the guys in these books make me swoon hardcore. One of my newer favorite hockey romance authors is Mignon Mykel. I enjoy her writing style and the characters she brings to life. I love her Prescott Family series, so I was excited to read 27: Dropping the Gloves, the first book in her new Enforcers of San Diego series.

27: Dropping the Gloves was a harder read for me. It started out in a devastating way and immediately broke my heart. From the prologue, I felt sad for both Jordan and Marlo. In one way, I felt like Jordan might have done the right thing at first. In another, I thought he was an idiot. Then, I got Marlo’s perspective, and things got even more emotional. These two went through some major stuff together and apart. I was so happy they were getting another chance to be together.

While I loved this second chance romance, but I did have some things I wanted from 27: Dropping the Gloves that I didn’t get. It all comes down to the length of this book. I wanted it to be longer. It was only 140 pages long, so more of a novella in length. That didn’t give enough time for Jordan’s grovelling in my opinion. Marlo was quicker to accept Jordan back than I liked. The guy needed to grovel longer and harder. That was really my only complaint about this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this first look at the Enforcers of San Diego series. I loved the characters, and I’m excited to see what next for the Enforcers players.

Review: Shut Out by Kelly Jamieson

Shut Out
Series: Bayard Hockey, #1
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Bayard College hockey team isn’t where Jacob Flass thought he’d be a season ago. He was a rising star in the Canadian major junior league, cruising toward a spot on an NHL roster—until a single disastrous night on the town brought it all crashing down. Now he’s out of options, except for playing well, studying hard, and staying away from girls. He’s not supposed to be flirting with the hottest, sweetest chick he’s ever met. But how could he possibly stay away?
 
Skylar Lynwood knows that Jacob is out of her league. She’s just trying to go with the flow, which isn’t easy when six feet and four inches of total hockey hunkiness is making a play for her one moment, then giving her the cold shoulder the next. Skylar’s head tells her that this rugged athlete isn’t worth her time, but her body says something altogether different. Risking her heart for Jacob may be the craziest thing she’s ever done . . . but she won’t let him shut her out.


I’ve read quite a few Kelly Jamieson novels over the past year, and the Bayard Hockey series has been my favorite of hers. I love how she uses first person narrative in this series. It makes it so much easier to connect to her characters. I read the second book prior to its release and really enjoyed it, so the minute I saw the first book was on sale I had to buy it.

I knew what Shut Out was going to be about prior to reading it because the second book builds upon it a little bit. It didn’t dampen my reading experience at all. I loved Shut Out. The characters were awesome, and easy to relate to. I loved that the author used them to explore the issue of sexual consent. Both Skylar and Jacob had a history dealing with lack of consent, and I loved how their experiences were different, but both relevant.

My favorite thing about Shut Out was Skylar and Jacob’s relationship. It started out as a fake relationship, but quickly moved into the real category. That wasn’t hard to believe because they had great chemistry. What made their chemistry so good was the friendship they built. They cared deeply about each other, and they were both constantly finding ways to build the other person up. It was little things like helping each other study, pushing them in the right direction on a decision, or just complimenting each other that made this romance shine. Their relationship always felt like a positive one, even when things weren’t going so well.

Shut Out was a quick, fun read. It’s a book I would recommend to readers who love new adult hockey romances. It has a swoon worthy romance and exciting hockey moments. Oh, and hot hockey guys to drool over. I can’t forget those!