Release Blitz: I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

IDareYou-SBPRBANNER-RBWall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills brings you a brand-new heartfelt, sexy contemporary romance with I DARE YOU is LIVE!

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Bad Ass Athlete: I dare you to…
Delaney Shaw: Who is this?

The late night text is random, but “Bad Ass Athlete” sure seems to know who she is…

Delaney Shaw.
Good girl.
Lover of fluffy kitties and Star Wars.
Curious.

His dare? Spend one night in his bed—a night he promises will be unforgettable—and she can solve the mystery of who he is.

She knows she shouldn’t, but what else is she going to do with her boring Valentine’s Day?

One sexy hook-up later, her mind is blown and the secret’s out.

Maverick Monroe.
Bad boy.
The most talented football player in the country.
Just ask him.

Too bad for him Delaney’s sworn off dating athletes forever after her last heartbreak.

But Maverick wants more than one night and refuses to give up on winning Delaney’s heart. She isn’t one to be fazed by a set of broad shoulders.

After the semester ends, will the bad boy land the nerd girl or will the secrets they keep from each other separate them forever?

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About Ilsa


Ilsa LogoWall 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 Dairies, and any kind of book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females.

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Review: 25: Angels and Assists by Mignon Mykel

25: Angels and Assists
Series: Enforcers of San Diego, #3
Author: Mignon Mykel
Publication Date: April 29, 2018
Publisher: Mignon Mykel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the author of Prescott Family, comes the next installment in the Enforcers of San Diego interconnected series, featuring a widower father who learns: sometimes forever has been in front of you all along…

After growing up in a household without a mother and with a father who could not care less, Mikey Leeds took his world into his own hands. Being drafted into the Ontario Hockey League at seventeen, then the National Hockey League at eighteen, should have been the height of his dreams…but that was only the icing on the cake.

Moving to Canada for hockey was only the beginning of the good life. It also brought him Trina Perri.

Life was good.
Life was perfect.

And it all came crashing down one night in late December.

Year after year, the twenty-second of December brings darkness into Mikey’s life. He can’t catch a break.

This December, he’s taking a page from his own book. He’s going to take back his life, and not let hockey superstitions hold him back.

He has an angel on his side, while another has always been in front of him.
He just needs to see the assist for what it is, and not let her go…

Again.


Mignon Mykel is one of the authors I wish more romance readers knew about. I love her writing. All of her characters have interesting stories that are emotionally deep. I especially love her hockey romances. 25: Angels and Assists is one of my new favorites of hers.

25: Angels and Assists had my emotions on high alert from the beginning. I had no idea Mikey had been through so much! The loss of his wife was so devastating. I hurt for him and what his loss meant — but I loved his new love interest. Molly was his wife’s best friend / his son’s nanny. Even when they weren’t together, they created a special little family. Their relationship started out rocky and was an emotional rollercoaster, but the pay off was worth it! Mikey and Molly were perfect for each other. I loved every minute spent with them.

Another thing I loved in this book, as well as Mykel’s other books, was the attention given to the sport. 25: Angels and Assists had some great professional hockey scenes. I felt like I learned a few things about the sports that I didn’t know before. It’s always fun to learn something new.

If you’re a fan of hockey romances, you really need to check Mignon Mykel’s books! They’re emotionally raw, filled with great characters, and wonderful love stories.

Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

Making Up
Series: London Celebrities, #3
Author: Lucy Parker
Publication Date: May 28, 2018
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Author of Act Like It and Pretty Face Lucy Parker returns readers to the West End, where it’s fireworks onstage and off in a sexy enemies-to-lovers showdown.

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.

To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.

When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

It seems hopeless.

Utterly impossible.

And yet…


Making Up is my first Lucy Parker book. My blogger friends Nick, Ari, and Cristina have all been raving about this series, so I jumped on the chance to try it out with this book. I’m very happy I did.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the circus aspect of Making Up. It’s not a setting I’m normally drawn to. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. It was so different from the romance settings I normally read, and I really enjoyed that. Trix’s and Leo’s jobs were so interesting and fun to read about.

Not only did I love the setting, but I loved the characters. Trix was this fiery little sprite, but her self-confidence had been beaten down. The anxiety and self-doubt she experienced were easy to relate to. The emotional journey she went through in Making Up was an important one I think many readers will identify with. Leo had the confidence Trix was missing and more. He had his own problems, but they weren’t as challenging as Trix’s seemed. I loved how he supported Trix and helped her deal with the emotional challenges she was facing.

My favorite thing about this book was the second chance romance. Trix and Leo had a tumultuous past. They had different ideas of what created the hostility between them, and how they figured things out for the future was fun. I loved their hostile banter, but I loved it even more once it took on a sweeter manner.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, so I didn’t have too many thoughts on the characters who made appearances from them. I was interested in them enough to want to go back and read their books, though. I hope I’ll get a chance to do that in the future.

The one teeny tiny complaint I have about Making Up is the third person narration. Third person always takes me a while to get used to. It’s just harder to make the transitions between characters when reading. The third person didn’t really bother me much, but I feel like I would have loved the story even more if it had been in first person.

I’m so happy that I finally got the chance to read one of Lucy Parker’s book. I really liked her writing. Like I said above, I’m hoping to get to read more of it in the future.

Review: For Finlay by J. Nathan

For Finlay
Series: For You, #1
Author: J. Nathan
Publication Date: January 30, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Finlay Thatcher is a lost soul, guilt-ridden after the death of her twin brother. When Alabama’s football coach gives her the opportunity to work for him, she knows it’s her chance to move on, even if it means living her brother’s dream.

Caden Brooks is Alabama’s star quarterback. He’s got it all. The attention of adoring fans. A girlfriend who’d do anything to hold on to him. And a future in the pros. He’s getting along just fine until Finlay steps into his life, despising him at first sight and pushing his buttons like no other.

Unfortunately for Finlay, and her attempt to keep Caden at arm’s length, there’s nothing Caden loves more than a challenge. The problem with this challenge is she comes with a secret that has the power to destroy everything.


Recently, I read the second two books of the three in the For You series. The For You series are standalone novels. The characters overlap, but the main focus of each novel is the relationship between the main characters. Nothing is given away about any of the other couples’ stories. I really enjoyed For Forester and For Crosby, so I knew I needed to go back and read the book that started it all. I’m very happy I did because Finlay and Caden’s story wasn’t what I was expecting.

I have to admit that I didn’t love Finlay at the beginning. The memories she had of her relationship with her brother made me judge her harshly. I understood the reasoning for her actions, but knowing Cole died made them tough to stomach. As time went on in the present, I ended up loving her character. Despite her feelings about herself due to her brother, Finlay had a confidence and inner strength I admired.

Caden started off a little rough, too. I could tell he was going to be a good guy, but his initial attitude sucked. I didn’t appreciate his cocky college football quarterback attitude at the beginning. Caden became more endearing as the story went along. I really think it was how he interacted with Finlay and the choices he made along the way that made me respect  (and like) his character.

Finlay and Caden’s romance was a rocky one. It had so many ups and downs. The way Finlay and Caden solved their problems in this book was touching. I loved what they discovered with each other. How Cole was a part of that was really cool. That was my favorite part of this book. In a way, Cole helped Caden help Finlay heal.

Overall, For Finlay was a great new adult sports romance. It was fun to read. It wasn’t overly angsty or dark. Both characters had their challenges, but For Finlay felt uplifting. I loved the themes of this book, and the relationship between Finlay and Caden. Since I have already read the next two books, I can’t say this book made me want to read them, but I do hope there’s a fourth book in this series. Grady needs his own book.

Series Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

The past couple of weeks I’ve been reading the Pushing the Limits series by Kate McGarry. I’ve wanted to go back and read this series ever since I read the Thunder Road series. Rather than do individual reviews, I’m going to one big review for all of them.
Here we go!


Pushing the Limits (#1) ★ ★ ★ ★

I was impressed with Katie McGarry’s début novel. It didn’t feel like a début. It was so well written. Echo and Noah were adorable. They both had major family issues they were dealing with. Echo was recovering from an injury that she couldn’t remember. Her injury and memory loss unsettled her family, and caused all kinds of conflict between then. Noah lost his family, and he would do anything to get back the members he can. Echo and Noah were so different, but they related to each other in an important way. I loved how their relationship bloomed, and how they grew together and individually. I was especially fond of Noah. Pushing the Limits was a great start to the series.

Crossing the Line (#1.1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Lila and Lincoln’s story wasn’t long enough in my opinion! I really, really wish Crossing the Line had been a full length novel. I loved Lila and Lincoln. How they met and kept in contact was so special. I wanted to know even more about their family lives and what made them who they were. They had such great back stories! I also wanted more of their futures.

Breaking the Rules (#1.5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I don’t know why, but this was the hardest book in the series for me to read. It was hard to go back to Echo and Noah’s relationship. I loved those characters so much, and I guess I wanted to believe they got their happy ending after Pushing the Limits. It was hard to see them struggle again. I don’t mean I didn’t like the story because I did. I loved it. Echo and Noah’s story went in a direction I liked. Breaking the Rules was bittersweet to read, but I loved what Noah and Echo learned about themselves and their relationship.

Dare to You (#2) ★ ★ ★ ★

Dare to You is one of my favorite books in this series. I loved Beth and Ryan’s journeys. Both needed to take a look at their lives and families. Beth needed love, support, and guidance when it came to her mother. Ryan needed the same things, but in a different way. He needed to figure out what his dreams were outside of how he had been raised. Beth and Ryan learned so much together, and that’s what made this book so special.

The only reason this book wasn’t a 5 star was because of all of the mystery around what was behind the door in the apartment. I easily guessed it, but I expected it to be something even worse. I don’t know. I just wasn’t a fan of that part of the story for some reason.

Crash Into You (#3) ★ ★ ★ ★

Here’s the thing… I loved Isaiah and Rachel together. Everything about their relationship was so sweet and cute. I adored how he treated her and stuck by her. I also loved getting to know Rachel’s family. There were several of her brothers I would love to read more about. What I didn’t love about this book was the street racing thing. That’s a personal preference. I’m just not into it. It didn’t have too much of an impact on my enjoying this story, though. Isaiah and Rachel were just that perfect for each other. 😉

Red at Night (#3.5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Katie McGarry kills me with these Pushing the Limits novellas. I love them so much, but I always want more story from them!!! Stella and Jonah had such a great, little story. I loved their connection to each other and how it changed both of their lives.

Take Me On (#4)★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Take Me On was another one of my favorites in this series. Haley and West’s story was so much fun to read. I loved seeing the transformation in both their characters throughout the book. West’s were more apparent during the book, while Haley’s came more toward the end. They learned a lot from each other, and it made their relationship stronger. I especially loved West’s discoveries about himself and his family in Take Me On.

Chasing Impossible (#5) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This series got better and better as it went along. I loved Chasing Impossible! Logan and Abby totally surprised me! I knew they had great chemistry and already had a little bit of a relationship. What I wasn’t expecting was their back stories! Both surprised me. I loved what the newly revealed did to the story. Chasing Impossible was so much fun to read! This was definitely my favorite book in the series.


Overall, Pushing the Limits was an amazing series. I loved every moment I spent with it. I could go on reading books about every single character in it. I highly recommend reading it.

Review: Something So Unscripted by Natasha Madison

Title: Something So Unscripted
Author: Natasha Madison
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2018
Cover Design: Melissa Gill at MGBookCovers
 
 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Oh my goodness the feels in this book! Natasha Madison slayed me with this one! Something So Unscripted is a book that will have your emotions on red alert.

Zack’s life has exploded in the past year. First, his five-year old son Jack is diagnosed with cancer. Then, he finds his wife cheating on him with his teammate. Instead of feeling sorry for himself Zack drops the dead weight, trades teams, and moves to New York where the best doctors are for Jack. One of those doctors is Zack’s new teammate Max’s younger sister, Denise. Denise is the perfect doctor for Jack, and she might just be the perfect woman for Zack.

There were so many things to love about Something So Unscripted. Natasha Madison’s writing was as brilliant as always, but this book stood out from her others. It was so emotionally complex. I loved where she went with this one. Even when it was tugging on my heart-strings, it was still fun to read.

The characters in this book were outstanding. Zack was an awesome father. His dedication to his son was exactly what it should have been. I loved how Jack was his first priority and everything else came after. I loved how he dealt with his wife on everything regarding Jack. Denise was also special. I can only imagine what being an oncology doctor for young children would be like. The care she showed the kids and their families showcased what an amazing woman she was. I especially loved how she adored Jack. Their relationship was so special and sweet. It was more important to me than Denise’s relationship with Zack.

As for Jack…he completely stole the show. That kid was so freakin’ adorable. He may have had cancer, but he didn’t let that get him down. He shared his light with everyone. His part in this romance was something special. I loved him so much!!!

I can’t leave out all of the other awesome characters. Max and Matthew were back harassing each other and now Zack. Their wives and families also made several appearances and made this book feel family oriented. I loved seeing them all again!

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this book! Well, maybe the whole Zack and Jack name thing. They rhyme and I kept getting them confused! LOL. But seriously. Something So Unscripted was utter perfection right through to the epilogue (LOVED it!!!). It was such a great story. I really, really hope this isn’t the end of this series. I want need more books!

One of the most EMOTIONAL romances I’ve read this year! Natasha Madison continues to AMAZE ME with every new release! – Shayna Renee 


Something so Unscripted is so much more than a love story, it is an all-encompassing, engrossing and engaging novel about, love, life and all the moments that make life special. – Denise Shh Mom’s Reading


Something So Unscripted is positively the most amazing book I’ve read. It gives the most heart wrenching story that will leave breathless. – Book Haven Book Blog

Zack

Finding my teammate in bed with my wife made the decision I had been fighting with for years easier.

It’s time to move on. 

A fresh start and a new NHL team in a big city. Most importantly, it’s my son Jack’s best shot. 

It would be both of our best shots. 
Denise

After a bad childhood, I made sure I would succeed, so I lived for my job. 

The problem is I die a little with each patient I lose. It’s part of my career at Hudson Children’s Oncology Hospital, but it doesn’t make the sting of loss any easier. 

Seeking anything other than a life saved isn’t on my agenda until a NHL player walks into my hospital with his son. 

We’re officially off script the moment we meet. 

If this love is anything, it’s unscripted.

 
“Zack.” I hear her voice and just look at my wife. The woman who said she would love me in good times and in bad yet is currently holding a sheet to cover her naked body. The four-carat engagement with matching eternity wedding ring glistens in the light. “It’s just …” she starts to say, and I look over at the man in bed next to her. In our bed. 

“It’s over.” I say the two words I swore I wouldn’t say no matter how hard it got. No matter how much I saw her push me away, no matter that I always suspected she was cheating on me. Then I look over at the man who I called a brother, the man who stood by my side on and off the ice. “You’re scum.”

“It just happened,” Colton says, getting out of the bed. At least he’s wearing boxers. His knee is still wrapped from the operation he had last month, which is why he wasn’t on the road with us, which is how I surprised them.

We were on the road for the whole week and due back tomorrow, but I hightailed it out of there to get home to my family and my son. “It just so happened you walked into my house and slept with my wife?” I ask him, and I have to wonder why I’m not more pissed, why I’m not more angry with them. “You come here and sleep with my wife with my son under the same roof.”

“Zack,” my wife says, and I look over at her again. Tears are rolling down her cheeks, her perfectly made up face now streaked with the black mascara she always wears. “Please let’s …”

I shake my head, putting my hands in my pockets. “Let’s what? Let’s talk about this?” I throw my head back and laugh. “Let’s talk about the fact that our son is in his room dying. Let’s talk about the fact that instead of helping him, you’re just helping yourself. Let’s talk about the fucking fact that instead of being there by his side with me, you chose to escape the fucking reality that our son won’t make it to six years old.”

“No.” She shakes her head, and I know that I’ve about had it.

“I’ll give you an hour,” I tell them both. “One hour and I want you packed and at the door when I come back.”

“But—” she says.

“But nothing, Chantal. You did what you had to do for you, and now I’m doing what I need to do for our son.”

I turn and walk out of our bedroom, then down the winding staircase that leads to the big brass front doors. Once outside in the warm Arizona air, I take my phone out of my pocket and call the only person I know who has my back no matter what. My agent and best friend, Jamie.

He answers after one ring, and it doesn’t surprise me he sleeps with his phone in his hand. “What’s up?” he says, his voice sleepy since it’s four a.m. in New York.

“I want out of Arizona, make the trade. Call the powers that be; I want out,” I tell him, getting into my Range Rover.

“You can’t just demand that,” he says, and I hear sheets rustle.

“Just walked in on Colton fucking my wife, so you can bet your ass I can. Make it happen. Call New York because it’s the only place I’ll go. I don’t care if I take a pay cut.”

“That fucking scumbag,” he says. “I’ll call them now.”

“Jamie, there is a top-notch doctor who specializes in cancer in New York. Max Horton’s sister,” I tell him quietly and slowly drive out of my gate.

“I’ll make it happen,” he says softly. “I’ll let you know what they say.”

“Jamie, I’m leaving here in a week regardless of what they say,” I tell him and disconnect the call. 

“One week,” I say to myself. “One fucking week.”
 
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…
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Mini Reviews: Playing Hurt, My Way Back to You

Playing Hurt
Series: Aces Hockey, #6
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s playing hurt. She’s laying low. And they’re both flirting with disaster.
 
“Kelly Jamieson is my go-to author for hockey romance.”—Jami Davenport
 
Chase: The last thing I’d ever want to do is let my team down. After overcoming my bad-boy reputation, I was dominating on the ice. But things aren’t going so well this season, and even my parents think I’m partying again. Now I’m really worried about my career. The only bright spot in my life is the Twitter flirtation I’ve struck up with pop princess Jordyn Banks. Turns out she’s a huge hockey fan—and she’s willing to wager a date on her favorite team. . . .

Jordyn: Even though I’m an L.A. fan now, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aces, since I grew up in Chicago. Then I lose a bet to Chase Hartman, and suddenly I’m up close and personal with a pro athlete who’s anything but soft. Not only is Chase the hottest guy I’ve ever met, he’s secretly super sweet. As if I had time for a relationship . . . yeah, right. But when I suddenly have nothing but time on my hands, he’s the only one who understands. Now, with both of our careers at stake, Chase is tempting me to put my heart on the line too.

Review:

Playing Hurt is my new favorite Kelly Jamieson book! I absolutely loved how Jordyn and Chase’s interactions started over Twitter. Their flirting was cute and funny. I could imagine a real relationship starting between two celebrities exactly this way! It was so much fun! Once they actually meet in real life, the story gets even better. Chase and Jordyn really had to work to make their relationship work with the spotlight on them. It wasn’t easy. I enjoyed how each had their own struggles and things to deal with. Their growth individually made their relationship stronger. I loved how it all played out. Playing Hurt was truly a delight to read.


My Way Back to You
Series: Second Chances Duet, #2
Author: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: March 15, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Book 2 in the Second Chance Duet . . .

Love isn’t always about timing.
Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and roll with it.

I admit I wasn’t ready.
I know you don’t want to look at me, let alone talk to me, but please, let me explain.
Let me tell you all the ways my heart broke when you walked away.
Let me show you what our years apart have done to me.

Give me a chance to find my way back to you . . .


My Way Back to You begins a while after the cliffhanger from The There Was You. It’s a little disorienting for a couple of chapters figuring out where the story was now, but once I had everything straight I was pulled into the story. I liked it a lot better than the first book. That book was one big set up for this one. I wish they had been one book with some of it condensed down because My Way Back to You was really the fun, meaty part of the entire duet. I really enjoyed reading this one. The only thing that I would have changed in this one was that there should have been more time of anger between Rowan and Tessa. They forgave each other too quickly and easily in my opinion. Still, it was a good read.

Review: The World’s Worst Boyfriend by Erika Kelly

From award-winning author Erika Kelly comes her brand new, smoking hot series about four elite athlete brothers raised in the Tetons by their eccentric, billionaire dad and uncle, The Bad Boyfriend Series! Don’t miss your chance to meet the sexy and extreme Fin Bowie in THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND! Order your copy today!

Six years ago Fin Bowie made a decision that cost him the love of his life. Now his ex is coming back to town for her brother’s wedding, and he can finally make things right. Except, right before the event, a text he sent goes viral. Overnight, he becomes an international meme. And it’s hard to win your woman back when the whole world’s calling you The World’s Worst Boyfriend.

The last thing on Calliope Bell’s mind is getting back with Fin. Not when her life’s just gone sideways, forcing her to spend the summer in Calamity, Wyoming. She can’t be away from the New York art world this long, so she comes up with the idea to turn the hottest pop culture event of the moment into a museum exhibition.

The two have every intention of avoiding each other–until the county judge sentences Fin to community service…helping her exploit the meme he’s trying to make go away.

Order THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND in ebook or paperback, releasing 4/3/18

 Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

The World’s Worst Boyfriend was a second chance romance between childhood sweethearts. Fin and Callie broke up when their lives took different directions after high school. Both were left shattered. Fin escaped through spending time with winter sports and his snowboard. Callie ran off to New York to become an artist and reinvented herself. When they both arrive back home years later for Callie’s brother’s wedding, seeing each other sends their worlds into a tailspin.

What I loved most about The World’s Worst Boyfriend was plot. I’m a sucker for second chance romances, and this one was a lot of fun. I loved how the whole meme that got Fin into trouble ended up pulling Callie and Fin closer together. I loved reading the letters people replied to the meme with. They were sad, but funny in a way. I just thought the whole set up of this story was cool.

Fin was my favorite character in this story. Yes, he made some pretty big mistakes, but he never seemed to do it out malice. He was a nice guy who had a lot to learn. I loved the way he didn’t give up on Callie. Callie wasn’t my favorite at first. She was just a little too shut down for me. That made her character seem snobby. The longer she spent at home, the more I liked her, though. I ended up loving Callie and Fin together.

Another thing I loved — the ending! It was a shocking cliffhanger!!! I really can’t wait to read the next book. I need it now!

I do have to admit their were a couple of things kept me from giving this book five stars. First, the pace was slower than I would have liked. I felt like I was struggling through it at a couple of points, which was weird because Erika Kelly is an amazing writer and I liked the story. Second, it was written in third person. Erika Kelly can pull off third person narration like no other, but in this situation it made it harder to connect with the characters.

Overall, The World’s Worst Boyfriend was a cute romance with a fun story line and a cast of characters I’m excited to read more about.

Erika Kelly’s THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

March 26th

A Novel Glimpse – Review

Books 2 Blog – Review & Excerpt

Obsessed with Romance – Review & Excerpt

Ree Cee’s Books –Review & Excerpt

March 27th

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Flo Grugel – Review & Excerpt

Logan’s sports book section – Review & Excerpt

Sincerely Karen Jo – Excerpt

March 28th

Beware Of The Reader – Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

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About Erika Kelly:

Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

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Mini Reviews: Rusk University Series by Cora Carmack

All Lined Up
Series: Rusk University, #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Narrators: Justice Bolding, Dan Bittner
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: HarperAudio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.


I have always been interested in the Rusk University series, but I had not gotten around to reading it yet. When I saw that All Lined Up was available as an audiobook through my library, I jumped on the chance to listen to it. I knew from the moment I began that I was going to love this book, and I did!

I loved Cora Carmack’s writing style. Her books have the feel I’m looking for when I reach for a new adult sports romance. There’s college, there’s the sport, there’s emotion, and there’s two characters who are perfect for each other. I absolutely adored Dallas and Carson’s love story. I loved how it built slowly, and being together made them stronger apart. It was a fun, sweet romance.

I also have to add that this was a great book to listen to! The narrators were amazing. They truly brought this story to life.



All Broke Down
Series: Rusk University, #2
Author: Cora Carmack
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.


I’m just going to say now that I’m a sucker for this series! It is so good! I loved All Broke Down even more than I loved All Lined Up. Silas’ character was redeemed in this book. I didn’t like him in the first book, so I was shocked how much I loved him! He was an angry young man who needed someone to believe in and love him. Dylan was the perfect person for the job! I loved how they each gave each other the support (and lessons) they needed to be happier and healthier people.

I also have to mention this book made me really, really want Stella’s book. I know it’s not the next one, but I’m hoping I get to read it someday soon.



All Played Out
Series: Rusk University, #3
Author: Cora Carmack
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.


I really wanted Stella’s book, but if I had to read another character’s in the mean time I’m happy it was Torres’. The guy made me smile the minute I met him, and it was fun to get to know the deeper side of him. He was definitely swoon worthy. I loved how he wanted to take care of Nell and help her accomplish her list.

Nell was a fun character, too. She was all studious and series. I adored how Torres sent her head into a spin. I loved how her relationship with him taught her more about living life to the fullest.

Torres and Nell’s relationship was so sweet I adored it unfolded. I loved this book so much that I’m having a hard time deciding whether it has surpassed book 2 as my favorite or not.


Overall feelings about this series? It was exactly what I want in a new adult sports romance series. It was amazing. I loved how it was set at a university with a developing football team, and that those players were the focus. It was cool how all of the characters were connected in a way. That made their stories even more fun to read. I can’t wait for Cora Carmack to release another book in this series.

Review: Virgin Territory by Lila Riley

Virgin Territory
Series: Hellions Angels, #3
Author: Lila Riley
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Practice Makes Perfect

Patrick “Patch” Donnelly has what it takes to be the best goalie in the NHL…if only he could learn to control his temper. When Coach orders him to get his head in the game with private yoga classes, Patch isn’t having it. There’s no way this tough Boston guy would be caught dead downward dog-ing his way to inner peace. But if he refuses, he risks his starting position and the dream he sacrificed everything for, including joining the priesthood.

Yoga instructor Margot Kowalski is over men. After yet another toxic relationship, she’s eager to forget love and focus on growing her business. Doing the Hellions head coach a favor by helping out a troubled player can’t hurt, and it might give her career a high-profile boost. But free-spirited Margot is soon charming the pants off Patch. Literally. Her sassy combination of sweet and sexy proves irresistible to the goalie. Before Patch can give into temptation though, he’ll have to confess his biggest secret:

He’s a virgin.

But Patch is hiding more than sexual inexperience, and his dark past soon threatens to destroy his shot at true love.


Virgin Territory is the first book I’ve read by Lila Riley. Her books have sparked my curiosity for a while now, and I was excited to read this one particularly because I haven’t read very many books where the man is less experienced than the woman. I wanted to find out how that changed the way a romance read.

I enjoyed Lila Riley’s writing, but found this story to be a little ridiculous. Reserved Patch jumped into things so quickly (and unbelievably well) that it was jarring. It felt like he was two different people. I felt the same way about Margot. One minute she was a sexually experienced free spirit who was openly sex positive. The next she was consumed by lack of self-confidence related to high school slut shaming. Patch and Margot had a very real chemistry, but the insta-love was out of control.

The rest of the story surrounding Patch and Margot was cool, though. I loved both of their backgrounds. Patch’s relationship with his mom and his almost priesthood was fun to read about. Margot’s problems with her ex Stefan brought some interesting drama. Overall, it was a fun read. I just wish that things went a little slower between Patch and Margo.