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: Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear Aaron
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: June 10, 2017
Publisher: Mariana Zapata
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.


This book made me swoon so dang hard. Normally, I like my characters to instantly have chemistry that leads quickly to sexy times, but I was all about the slow burn romance in Dear Aaron.

The way Mariana Zapata set this story up was amazing. I absolutely loved how Dear Aaron began with a series of letters between Aaron and Ruby. It was easy to see the friendship and camaraderie developing between them. They exchanged so much about their days and themselves with each other. Their silent attraction grew and grew for the first half of the book through those letters and then online chats. I could have read the entire book through their online communication with each other.

Then, Aaron and Ruby’s mode of communication changes. The story switches from letters and chats to Ruby’s point of view. I loved this change. It gave me even more insight into the characters. I wish more of the story would have been done this way. I wanted more of Aaron and Ruby’s story through her eyes. There wasn’t enough of that part for me.

I loved both Ruby and Aaron so much. Aaron because he was what every girl dreams of. He was the perfect combination of strong and sweet. He wasn’t perfect, but his imperfections are what made him special. It also helped that he was hotter than sin. Ruby was that nice, shy girl who doesn’t know how gorgeous she actually is. She had some annoying self-confidence issues, but they made her more real and genuine. These two characters truly brought out the best in each other.

I wasn’t ready to be done with Aaron and Ruby’s story when it ended. Honestly, I could have read another 400+ pages about them. I loved Dear Aaron that much. I have some other books I need to read next, but I really, really want to go devour Mariana Zapata’s backlist right now! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be her new biggest fan.

Review: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Publisher: Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.


Here’s the thing about reading a book by Tarryn Fisher: You never know what you’re going to get. No two of her books are ever the same. Her writing is always evolving and so are the ways she touches her readers.

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray is a romance. It’s probably the softest book Tarryn Fisher has written to date. By softest, I mean most romantic because this book has its edges. There is still pain and suffering, and there are still twists you might not see coming. I don’t want anyone to think Tarryn’s gone completely soft.

I can’t even begin to explain to you how I felt about this book. I was completely addicted to it from the very beginning until the very end. Atheists Who Kneel and Pray made me feel so many different emotions. I loved every moment I spent with it.

Review: Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

Ready to Run
Series: I Do, I Don’t, #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: firefighter Luke Elliott, a known player who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan, but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.


Jordan Carpenter has spent her entire adult life running from her small town roots only to end up smack in the middle of another small town. She wants nothing more than to get back to her life in New York, but first she has to talk firefighter Luke Hollow into starring in her new reality TV show.

It should be easy, but Luke isn’t who Jordan imagined him to be. He’s not easily swayed by reality or fame. He’s actually a decent guy who has no interest in reliving his three failed attempts at getting married on TV. There’s more to his story than Jordan expected, and getting to know Luke has Jordan reconsidering her city girl ways.

Once again, Lauren Layne has proved to me why she’s one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. Ready to Run was a delight to read. This romantic comedy was a fresh take on the whole bride/wedding genre. It really was a combination of The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride, but it didn’t feel like a copy of those two. Ready to Run was a story of its own. I loved very minute of it!

Jordan and Luke were such fun characters. They had an amazing love-hate relationship going on. Jordan was sassy and head strung. She knew what she wanted and had no problems going for it — until she got to know Luke. Luke was a total surprise to Jordan. He had the looks she was expecting, but his story wasn’t what it seemed. He resented Jordan invading his life, but he couldn’t stay away from her. They had some serious sparks and it made this romance exciting.

Ready to Run wouldn’t have been quite as entertaining as it was if it wasn’t for Luke’s amazing small town friends and Jordan’s big city sidekick. All of the people in Luke’s town had big personalities. They weren’t over the top, but perfect to showcase the tight-knit community Luke lived in. Jordan’s co-worker and bestie Simon added to the fun with pushing and prodding of her. Everyone was just so much fun!

Obviously, I had a fantastic time reading Ready to Run. It was exactly what I love in a contemporary romance, and it started out the I Do, I Don’t series in the best way possible. Bravo, Lauren Layne! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Review: Ruckus by L.J. Shen

Ruckus
Series: Sinners of Saint, #2
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: L.J. Shen
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.


When Ruckus released last month, I saw a ton of good reviews for it. I had never read L.J. Shen’s books before, so I decided to give Ruckus a try. I downloaded it, but couldn’t get to it right away. This week, I was feeling a bit of a book hangover and decided to start Ruckus. I’m really happy I did. I have found a new author I’m excited to read more from.

Rosie LeBlanc has felt a connection to Dean “Ruckus” Cole ever since she first met his glare in high school. She knew Dean was the one for her at that moment. Sadly, a relationship with him wasn’t in the cards. Dean was her sister’s boyfriend, and that made him off-limits even after they broke up.

Now, year’s later, Dean’s back in Rosie’s life. They live in the same building, and no matter how hard Rosie tries to avoid Dean, she always runs into him and his harem. His blunt cockiness and womanizing ways should make Dean the least desirable guy, but when Rosie’s sister’s wedding requires them to spend time together, she can’t help but be drawn further into his web.

I loved L.J. Shen’s writing style. It’s a little bit dark and a whole lot gritty. I love that she gives a voice to both the male and female main characters. The first person dual points of view are raw and emotion filled. Her characters are alpha males and strong females who won’t step down from a fight. They have something traumatic that pulls them together, while at the same time breaking them apart.

Rosie was an inspiring character. Her life was harder than most due to physical challenges, but she didn’t let that stop her from trying to achieve her dreams. She was so good deep down inside, and saw good in Dean when others wouldn’t have.

Honestly, Dean was a cocky jerk. He may have had a lot going for him career and looks wise, but he wasn’t a nice guy. Dean had moments where his compassion and sweetness showed through, but they were rare. He was pretty messed up, and it took a lot to get him started on the right path. It took me a while to really like Dean. I would have liked to have seen more of the redeemed Dean. I could have used about 5 epilogues to believe he could be who he needed to be — I’m not just saying that because I fell in love with him even more in the epilogue provided.

Rosie and Dean’s relationship was a rough one. There were a lot of barriers trying to keep them apart. Whether it was her health, his addictions or their friends and family, nothing was strong enough to break them apart. Their chemistry and love for each other was too strong. I loved how they fought for their love and for each other.

Since this is the first book I’ve read in the Sinner of Saint series, I feel the need to point out two things. First, the side characters are just as intriguing as the main characters. Hearing about everyone’s combined past makes me want to hurry up and read the other books in the series. I need to know more about the rest of the HotHoles and their women. Second, this book can be read as a standalone. You don’t have to have read the first book to read this one. It might have made it more fun (I don’t know since I didn’t read the other books first.), but it was a great reading experience without having read the other books.

Oh! And I can’t leave out the fact that Ruckus surprised me! I thought I knew what Dean’s secrets were going to be, but I didn’t! I was completely surprised a couple of different times while reading. I loved that!

Overall, I loved reading Ruckus. This enthralling romance was combined with just the right amount of mystery and darkness. It was everything I expect from a great new adult book. I will be immediately reading the rest of the series.

Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Stay
Series: WAGS, #2
Authors: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.


Stay was my #1 anticipated release for 2017. I could not wait to get my hands on this book. Heck, I can never wait to get my hands on any of their books. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy are my dream team of contemporary romance writing. Their books bring me such joy. I’ve fallen in love with all of their characters, especially those in the Him and WAGS world. I couldn’t wait to get to know Matt Eriksson better and find out what it would take to win his heart.

In Stay, Matt’s still trying to move on from his divorce. He knows it was for the best, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. One thing that has made it easier is Fetch and the virtual assistant from the company who has fulfilled all his needs. Matt can’t stop thinking about her and their computer chats. He would do just about anything to meet her, including give her tickets to his next hockey game.

Luckily for Matt, Hailey Taylor Emery is a huge hockey fan. Specifically, she’s a Matt Erikkson fan. She’s known deep down that her favorite client is Matt, but now that it’s confirmed, Hailey’s not sure what to do. How can she handle Matt’s advances when she can barely utter a word around him?

Once again, Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have won the game with Stay. I absolutely loved this book! Their writing shined. Matt and HaiIey were amazing characters. I loved the witty banter between them and the rest of the characters. The incredibly funny and sometimes awkward situations they created made laugh constantly.

Matt Eriksson may have been a god in the rink, but he was even more so in life. I can’t get over what a stand up guy he was. He was perfect, but he was pretty dang close. Matt was a guy who put his family first. That, combined with his dominant personality, was super sexy. He had me fanning myself more than I would like to admit.

I adored Hailey Taylor Emery. She was one cool chick. She was smart, determined and real. I loved that Matt terrified her a bit. Hailey’s reaction to Matt was exactly what I think I would be like if I met my celebrity crush. I’m sure I would be a bundle of nerves, too! Another thing I loved about Hailey was her personality. She could hold her own and a relationship wasn’t the only thing she had going for her.

Matt and Hailey’s relationship was full of ups and down, and I loved every minute spent with them. My only complaint about Stay would be that I needed another 500 pages of it. I could have gone on reading about Matt and Hailey forever. Their story was that much fun. I guess I’ll just have to hope there is another WAGS book coming in the near future. I want another book. I need another book. Please, please let them write an O’Conner book! Or a spin-off about Mr. Dick would be fun, too. Heck, I would even read a book about Puddles and Rufus falling in love if these two wrote it! Just give me more books from my dream team!

Review: Until Tomorrow by Nancy Naigle

Until Tomorrow
Series: Boot Creek, #2
Author: Nancy Naigle
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an e-book from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

After yet another heartbreak, Flynn Crane is pretty much done with dating. She’s not even sure she can keep her grandparents’ struggling bed-and-breakfast afloat. But just as she’s about to give up on both her business and her dream of settling down in Boot Creek, Ford Morton walks back into her life.

Even from thousands of miles away, Ford never forgot the spark that ignited when he first met Flynn. Now a monthlong artists’ residency near Boot Creek gives him the perfect opportunity to find out just how intense the fire between them can get.

Neither of them expected just how that little spark would turn into heated passion. With Ford’s return to Alaska looming near, Flynn is torn between her life in Boot Creek and a chance to move to the wilderness for love. Can Ford and Flynn find a way to share tomorrow together—before they both lose their hearts in Boot Creek?


A while back, I read Every Yesterday (Boot Creek, #2). It was my first book by Nancy Naigle, and while I liked her writing, I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I was excited to get a chance to read another book in this series.

In Until Tomorrow, Flynn is done with dating men who use her. She’s going to take a break from men and work on getting her bed and breakfast back up and running. Flynn’s able to do just that until Ford comes strolling back into town. Flynn met Ford at her best friend Angie’s wedding, and sparks flew between the two of them. Flynn never imagined anything could ever happen between them since Ford lives in Alaska. The more time Flynn spends with Ford, the more she wants more with him. But is Flynn willing to give up her bed and breakfast dreams to move to Alaska?

Until Tomorrow was a fun read. It’s exactly the kind of adult contemporary romance I like. It was fast-paced, cute, and the characters’ chemistry was strong. I immediately felt connected to Flynn and Ford. Their story was definitely instant lust and a little bit instant love, but it was also had a slow burn feel. I liked that Flynn and Ford’s relationship was built on what started between them in the previous novel. It made their romance easier to rationalize. (Not that you would have to read the previous novel to read this one. It can be read as a standalone.)

I’m glad I gave the author a second chance. Until Tomorrow had everything I thought Every Yesterday was missing. Romance readers who enjoy a traditional contemporary romance will love this book. There’s a lot of relationship build up and just a little bit of sexiness to enjoy.