Review: Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

One fiery American woman and one hot British guy? The language of love knows no boundaries…

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the hot, new romance guaranteed to sweep you away while scorching the sheets, WANDERLUST! A brand new, sinfully sexy romance, WANDERLUST is now available on all retailers! Get your copy delivered now!

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From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!

The first time I met him, his sexy British accent almost talked me into giving him my number on the spot. The second time, he nearly charmed the panties off me with his wit. Then I learned he’s the key to success in my new job in Paris. The man who tempts me into fling-worthy dirty daydreams has turned out to be my personal translator, and his accent is the hottest thing I’ve ever heard.

My mantra is simple — Don’t mix business with pleasure.

I do my best to resist him as he teaches me how to converse with my co-workers, navigate the metro and order the perfect bottle of wine at dinner. But I also figure out how to tell the charming and clever man what I most want to say — that I want him to take me back to his flat — tonight.

Except there’s a catch…

***

One more assignment before I take off on my big adventure…

And it involves the toughest work ever — resisting the fetching American woman I spend all my days with. But you know what they say about best intentions. Soon, we’re spending our nights tangled together, and I don’t want to let her go. The trouble is, my wanderlust is calling to me, and before we know it I’ll be traveling the globe to fulfill a promise I made long ago.

What could possibly go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nothing…unless one of you is leaving.

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REVIEW:

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

Wanderlust was an experience I adored. I didn’t feel like I was simply reading a romance novel, but that I was frolicking through Paris with Joy and Griffin. I could almost smell the fragrances, taste the delightful food, hear Parisians speaking French, and imagine I was seeing all of the sights they were experiencing. That’s how wonderful Lauren Blakely’s writing was in Wanderlust. She brought the Paris experience to me.

Not only did I adore the experience of reading Wanderlust, I also loved Joy and Griffin’s romance. Joy was a woman living life for herself after a tough couple of years. She was living her dream, and just happened to find the perfect person to do that with. Griffin’s motivations for living life in Paris were different from Joy’s but just as important to living his life to the fullest. Neither had any desire to find their perfect match, but fate brought them together. Their relationship (and their shared experience in Paris) was magical.

If you’re a fan of romances involving travel or ones set outside the U.S., you will want to read Wanderlust. It made me want to travel to Paris and experience everything Joy and Griffin did.

Excerpt:

~JOY~

Forget oysters. Screw candlelight and champagne. A sexy accent is the truest aphrodisiac. I’m talking a weak-in-the-knees, flutters-all-over, fast-track to euphoria.

I’ve tried to analyze precisely why the sound of a man’s words can elicit this reaction in, frankly, millions of women. But when I break down an accent and study it like a chemical reaction, it’s nearly impossible to draw a logical conclusion. The ingredients in and of themselves don’t seem swoontastic enough.

And yet, accents have been known to induce major swooning.

That’s why, in my professional opinion, the sounds aren’t the rocket fuel for the tingles. Instead, it’s the associations evoked. Italian is food, wine, and days drenched in the pleasures of the senses. Australian is the laid-back twang of a surfer. A Southern drawl says a man will take his sweet time. Oh, yes, darlin’, will he ever.

But British? Dear God. A delicious British accent to my oh-so-American ears triggers wave after wave of goose bumps across my skin. My knees wobble. My stomach swoops. My skin heats. All the turned-on centers in my body are cranked to high.

A British accent is James Bond in a bottle. It’s sex, it’s style, it’s sophistication, and it’s the man who’ll find his way out of any jam, save the damsel, and do it all with silver cuff links on.

Wait. Make that platinum.

Charmed, indeed.

That’s why I say it’s a damn good thing I’m moving to a country that won’t be chock full of my personal vocal kryptonite, since I don’t have the time or inclination for distractions in my life right now. Look, I don’t have a single problem with the French accent whatsoever. A hot French man can voulez-vouscoucher avecmoi, if you know what I mean.

But it’s a British accent that turns me to Silly Putty, so in Paris I’ll be mighty fine.

Then, I meet him.

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 “Wanderlust is the love story to end all! I laughed, cried, dreamed, and hoped. To say I was transfixed by this story is to underrate its power. I am a romantic at heart and this book spoke to me like no other.”
-Gloria Herrera for As You Wish Reviews

“Packed with flirty banter, a slow-building, yet scorching hot romance, and characters that are enchanting, voracious, and delightfully unreserved, Wanderlust is a hopelessly romantic, heart-meltingly sweet love story from Lauren Blakely.”
-Yvette for Nose Stuck in a Book

“Loved this! Wanderlust is a delightful and utterly romantic read.”
-ShawnaLovesRomance

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About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 90 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In March she’ll release WANDERLUST, a sexy new standalone romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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Review: What I Never Knew by C.L. Collier

What I Never Knew
Series: What I Never Knew, #1
Author: C.L. Collier
Publication Date: March 15, 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I told myself I was done with men. After a string of bad relationships, then the devastation of losing my mom to cancer, I knew life would never be the same.

Losing my mom was hard enough, but finding out she had lied to me my entire life has rocked me to the core. Even still, I carry out her last wishes and return to her hometown in California.

I was expecting to learn about my mom’s life and extended family, but of course, it’s never that simple. My world changes when I meet Dax, and he makes me question everything.

I have to return home to Seattle, but I also have to make a choice. I swore I was done with relationships and I was happy being single, but there’s something about Dax that I don’t want to leave behind.


I am very excited and proud to introduce to you a new author today. Her name is CL Collier, and I have a feeling her name is one you’ll be hearing in upcoming years. CL and I went to school together during our teen years. She’s someone I’ve reconnected with as an adult over Facebook by noticing we have some favorite authors in common. When I learned she was writing a novel, I wanted to read it.

Normally, I would be super hesitant to read a book by an author I grew up with. There’s always that niggling feeling in the back of your head saying, “What if I don’t like it?” I didn’t have that hesitation with CL’s book. I think that love of the same authors thing gave me faith in her ability to tell a story I would like to hear. My instincts totally paid off because I really enjoyed What I Never Knew.

What I Never Knew was the story of woman discovering her mother’s past after her death. Thirty-eight year old Amanda was incredibly close to her mother prior to her death. When a journal her mother wrote for Amanda is given to her after her mother’s death, Amanda is shocked to find out her mother had a secret past. Determined to get to know her mother better, Amanda departs on a journey to her mother’s hometown. Her mother’s past isn’t the only thing that awaits Amanda on her journey. Amanda might just find love when she least expects it.

Like I said above, I really enjoyed What I Never Knew. For a first novel, the writing was impressive. I’ve read first novels where the writing felt bogged down or not as smooth as a seasoned author. I didn’t feel that way with What I Never Knew. I was pleased at how quickly I was pulled into Amanda’s story, and how well it flowed.

Amanda was an interesting character. She was a single woman who taught for a living. She wasn’t pining over finding a man or having a family. The only disappointment Amanda felt was of losing her mother. Even in grief, Amanda was a strong woman. I loved that she was content in her life the way it was. I also loved the curiosity she had regarding her mother’s previous life. I could really identify with that. There’s so much we never know about our own parents.

Dax was actually my favorite character in What I Never Knew. For some reason, I really loved reading from his perspective. It was a little more relaxed than Amanda’s. I could understand her pull to him by reading his thoughts and actions. He swept me off my feet while he was sweeping Amanda off hers.

One of my favorite things about What I Never Knew were the friendships in it. Amanda had an amazing support system. Laura and Krista were so different, but each had a role in Amanda’s life. They lifted her up when she needed it, and she did the same for them. I loved reading their shared experiences. It made me think of my own special, lifelong friendships.

I only had a couple of little frustrations with What I Never Knew. First, I would have loved for Amanda’s mom’s secrets to be even more juicy, even more salacious. They were good, but I wanted more drama. Maybe I just needed the secrets to be described even more. Second, I felt for a minute like I missed a turning point in Dax and Amanda’s relationship. Amanda reacted to something heavily, and it caught me off guard. I don’t know if it was something I personally missed or if things just jumped in time and circumstance faster than I was prepared for.

Another thing I wasn’t prepared for was the ending! It was great! I was so shocked! I didn’t expect it to end when it did or in the way it did. What I Never Knew definitely left me hungering for more! I’m so excited to find out where this story goes in the next book!

What I Never Knew was a great début novel. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction with a heavy dose of romance, What I Never Knew would be right up your alley. CL Collier’s storytelling reminds me a bit of Kristan Higgins’ newer novels or somewhat of Kristin Hannah’s early novels about family relationships and love. It was filled with love, friendship, and family.

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Review: Two Wedding Crashers by Meghan Quinn

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I don’t know what love is anymore.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark.

You know the kind of spark I’m talking about?

Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark.

Except I haven’t felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem–but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right?

That’s how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase.

It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I’m a pro. I can handle this.

Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I’m doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don’t think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.

MY REVIEW

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

Well hello, Beck!

It pains me to admit this, but Beck was my least favorite character from Three Blind Dates. I didn’t connect with him at all. In fact, I thought he was kind of douche-y in a weird way. Everything about his time with Noely was overly sexual, and I just didn’t love it. After finishing that book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like reading a book about him.

Surprise, surprise. I LOVED BECK. Seriously! Where did this guy come from? I saw teeny tiny remnants of the guy I met in Three Blind Dates, but this Two Wedding Crashers Beck was a whole different person. Or maybe it was just because I got his point of view this time and was able to fall in love with him. I don’t know, but Beck was a charmer! He still had a sketchy past, but the man he was now was simply amazing. He was so humorous and kind. I really, really adored him.

Another person I adored? Rylee. Meghan Quinn could not have written a better match for Beck. Rylee was a romance author who was sassy, sweet, and funny. She had this hesitancy to put herself out there and try things. I loved how Beck challenged her to broaden her horizons.

Beck and Rylee’s adventures together were nothing short of hilarious. They had some of the best banter I’ve read in romance. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself laughing out loud. (That wedding scene! OMG!) It truly felt like Beck and Rylee connected on both a mental and physical level.

The side characters were all hilariously fabulous in Two Wedding Crashers. I couldn’t decide whose friends I loved more, Beck’s or Rylee’s. They were all over the top and provided entertainment beyond just the main couple’s story. I’m really hoping the characters who popped up in Rylee’s hometown get some books of their own because I’m so curious about them!

I know I’ve been gushing about Two Wedding Crashers this entire review, but I can’t help it. I just loved it so dang much! It blew away my expectations for it. You guys, you really need to read this book!

EXCERPT

Chills scream their way down my arms and legs, my nipples pucker, and just like that, with one word, all humor vanishes from our little conversation and awareness of this all-consuming man wrapped around me hits me hard.

Gathering myself, I say, “Tell me something Chris and Justine know about you.”

“Hmm.” His thumbs hook under the waistband of my shorts, playing with the lower part of my hipbones. His touch spurs on my pelvis, needing to rock, begging for him to go lower. My toes curl in my sandals and my back slightly arches, reaching for more. “Something they know about me.”

His mouth doesn’t stray from its position against my ear, and his hips start to slowly move underneath me, his legs tangling with mine. Involuntarily, one of my hands hooks the back of his neck as I hold on tightly to him, feeling like I need support from the onslaught of sensation I’m feeling.

I hear him say something, but it doesn’t register in my brain, which has turned to mush as his thumbs stray from my hipbones to right above my pubic bone.

There is no denying how turned on I am, how wet I am from his mere touch, how much—despite my reservations—I want this man.

With each stroke, my head turns farther and farther to the side until our noses are touching, Beck’s head bends forward to meet me halfway. My eyes flutter shut for a brief moment before I open them and am captured by those flecks of green and gold.

The air stills around us, our breath mixing, swirling between us, our lips so close.

One swipe of this thumb.

Another one.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t focus.

Another swipe, my head leans even closer, my tongue wetting my lips.

One more swipe . . .

My heart hammers in my chest, my skin prickling with awareness.

Beck brings his mouth even closer, only a whisper away now, and he waits.

Holding still.

His breathing feeling erratic beneath me.

One.

More.

Swipe.

And I’m gone.

I bring my mouth to his, slowly parting my lips ever so slightly, just enough to maneuver my mouth across his.

A low, provocative moan escapes Beck as one of his hands snags the back of my head and holds me in place, almost as if he lets go, I’ll disappear.

Needing more, I shift on his lap so I’m straddling him once again, my hands on his bare chest, feeling the powerful sinew that holds him together.

Our lips press and mold, mingling, taking, begging . . .

Desperate.

Beck’s tongue runs against my bottom lip, eliciting a moan from deep within me, lighting a fire so hot, so wild, my hands start to travel up his neck to his cheeks where I grip him, positioning his head so when I open my mouth, I can expertly dive my tongue onto his.

He groans, his lap shifting against mine now, his hard-on pressing against my wet and throbbing center. I match his rocking, using my position on his lap to take advantage of his length I can feel through his board shorts.

This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen, but God, am I happy it has. Maybe I really should live in the moment, maybe I should take advantage of the opportunity, maybe I should…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me
Series: Me Before You, #3
Author: Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Anna Acton
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?


I read Me Before You when it was released. It was the first book I read that made me question some of my beliefs. It really hit me hard, and I was so excited to hear the series would continue with After You. After You was…well, it was a rough read. It was full or mourning and devastation. It was uncomfortable and nothing like Me Before You. I didn’t feel inspired after reading it, BUT (and that’s a big but) the end left me curious. It left me believing there was more in store for Louisa Clark. That brings me to Still Me.

Still Me was a pleasant surprise. Louisa was back to that original Louisa from Me Before You. She’s got her groove back — even if it is still an awkward, fumbling sort of groove. Louisa’s in a new country with new employers trying to figure out where she fits in. She’s trying to keep her relationship with Sam going from a distance while meeting new people and forming new bonds. I loved the Louisa in Still Me. I loved how she approached her new life. She made me a little crazy at times, but I understood each decision she made. Her journey in Still Me was very special.

My favorite thing about this book was that Louisa’s story went full circle. It felt she finally hit her stride and got to be the person she was meant to be. Her life might have been a rollercoaster from the very beginning, but it was one that ended with my smile when I closed the book. Jojo Moyes did right by Louisa and I felt so happy to have experienced all of her ups and downs in Still Me and the entire Me Before You series.

Review: Emerald by Elle Casey

Emerald
Series: Red Hot Love, #2
Author: Elle Casey
Publication Date: April 12, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A million reasons to go home. One hot reason to stay.

Emerald Collins is nothing like her strong-willed sister Amber. When she found out her father was a member of the legendary rock group Red Hot, sensitive Em was determined to carry on as normal—she had no interest in finding out more about her dad or leaving her quiet sanctuary in Maine.

But while visiting Amber in New York, Em meets Sam, a tortured, sexy, and utterly unsuitable musician. Sam and Em are used to life behind the scenes but their undeniable attraction is about to put them right in the spotlight.

When Sam reveals a shocking secret about his past, Emerald has to make a choice. Will she follow her head and return home or is the magnetism between them and the excitement of the big city enough for her to follow her heart?


Emerald is not happy with her sister Amber for moving to New York to work for the band her father is in. They had an agreement not to let the band into their lives, but that’s something Amber seems to have forgotten now that she’s in a relationship with the band’s new guitar player Ty. Emerald is determined to avoid anything to do with the band. She’s able to do just that until Amber forces her to visit New York.

In New York, Emerald meet’s Ty’s brother Sam and they instantly hit it off. They have a lot in common, and Emerald decides Sam might just make this trip to New York worth it. Things are going perfectly until Sam’s secret calls him back to Los Angeles. Emerald has to decide if his secret is too much for her and the short time she’s had with Sam is over, or if she can open her heart to new adventures.

I have to admit that I didn’t love Amber. I liked it, but her personality really put me off. I was curious as to where the series would continue to go, so I wanted to read Emerald. I was hoping I would enjoy this sister’s personality and therefore the book more.

Emerald was easier to digest than Amber. Her personality was quieter, less in your face. I loved that she felt such a deep connection to her upbringing, and wasn’t so quickly swayed from that way of life. I did get frustrated with her stubbornness at times, but I understood it. I felt she had a genuine connection with Sam. I enjoyed how their love bloomed.

Sam was a surprise. I don’t know what I expected from his character, but it wasn’t what I got. He was a really great guy. Sadie proved that. The whole story around Sam and Sadie was sad, but sweet. I really liked it, and I liked how it fit with Sam and Emerald’s story. It made me like Emerald even more.

I do have a couple of complaints about Emerald. One was the insta-love. Everything happened within a week or two, and it felt too fast for me. I needed more time for Sam and Emerald’s love to grow. I guess I sort of got that with the epilogue, but I needed more. The other thing that bugged me a bit was the father storyline. I don’t want to give it away, but I still feel unresolved with it. I’m scared Rose’s book won’t give me what I want.

Emerald was a fun, fast paced romance. I had some frustrations with it, but overall I enjoyed reading it. It continued to keep me interested in the series storyline, and I am very interested to find out what comes next.

Release Day Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Brooklynaire
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #4
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: February 12, 2018
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?


If you’re like me and have read the entire Brooklyn Bruisers series from the very beginning, there’s a romance you’ve been hungery for: Becca and Nate’s. We all know they belong together and have wanted to see that happen. Thank goodness Sarina Bowen has finally given that to us with Brooklynaire!

Brooklynaire is slightly different from any other of the Brooklyn Bruisers novel. It’s the first book not published in the series by Berkley. That brought about one amazing, important change. Brooklynaire is written in FIRST PERSON! Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. As amazing as Sarina Bowen writes in third person, first person is just always that much better. There was a little third person sprinkled in during chapter’s exploring Becca and Nate’s past, but it was done in a comical way that was so much fun.

As for the romance we’ve all been waiting for — IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT! Nate and Becca’s story was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. Everything. Their was heat, sweetness, passion, adoration, friendship…Brooklynaire had it all. I loved the way Becca and Nate admitted their feelings for each other and navigated through what it meant being co-workers and friends. It was just so much fun and so special.

Honestly, I don’t think Sarina Bowen could have done anything better with these two. I loved how the story went back into their history to show how they met. I loved how they fought their feelings for each other, but couldn’t withstand their attraction for each other. I simply loved everything about it. I’m so, so happy Nate and Becca got their happily ever after. The only thing that bugs me is that I have a feeling this might be the end for this amazing series. I’m really hoping that’s not the case. I would love more Brooklyn Bruisers in my life.

Excerpt:

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.


The Great Alone was wonderfully written and captivating book. The Alaskan setting was both beautiful and brutal. Leni was a fantastic narrator. She, along with her parents and the other characters, were well-developed and had important stories to tell. Everything about The Great Alone was pretty much perfect — except that it was torturous to read at times.

There were just so many tragic moments. It hurt to read about Leni’s life. There was just so much heartbreak. I had to take little breaks to get through much of it. I never felt like I could relax and just enjoy it.

In a way, that’s a compliment to Kristin Hannah’s writing. She really did touch my heart with The Great Alone. She depicted a life that was tough, but never let me give up hope for a brighter tomorrow for Leni. Even though The Great Alone wasn’t a comfortable read, it was a great one. It shared an important story in a fascinating landscape.

Review: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

Moonshot
Author: Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: July 4, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance, Suspense,

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Baseball isn’t supposed to be a game of life and death…

The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase… he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil.

I tried to stay away. I couldn’t.

Then, the team started losing.
Women started dying.
And everything in my world broke apart.


Before I start my review, I have to comment on the cover of Moonshot. It is absolutely gorgeous and it fits the book perfectly. Honestly, it’s what originally drew me to the book. Now, for the insides of it…

Moonshot is the first book I have read by Alessandra Torre. I heard her stuff was twisty and sometimes infuriating, but I still didn’t really have any expectations for it. Moonshot wowed me right from the beginning. I loved Alessandra Torre’s writing! It put a spell on me because, even when I didn’t like the situations going on, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to know how everything was going to play out.

Moonshot kept me on my toes. For the majority of the book, I had no idea what was going on. I knew by the foreshadowing that it couldn’t be as simple of a story as it seemed. Each twist came out of nowhere. Even the ones I might have guessed ahead of time still managed to shock me. I was so impressed by that.

I loved Tyler and Chase. The evolution of both of their characters throughout this book was cool. Their forbidden romance made me uneasy at times, but I could feel their connection and truly believed in their love.

Another thing I enjoyed about Moonshot was the baseball. It was cool how the story was shaped around it. I loved all the little tidbits about it the were included. When I read that some of the information came from Torre’s husband’s time as a ball boy, I was even more impressed. It was just a really great addition.

So if Moonshot was so brilliant, why the 4 stars? Well, it all had to do with the tropes (yes, there were more than just forbidden love) and situations going on in this book. I won’t say exactly what they were because I don’t want to ruin anything, but they were ones I normally wouldn’t choose to read. They made me slightly uncomfortable.

Moonshot was a great introduction to Alessandra Torre’s writing for me. It was such a fascinating story. I’m looking forward to reading more of her novels.

Blog Tour Review: Wildcat by Max Monroe

Wildcat
Series: Mavericks, #1
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

BLURB:

Wildcat: a football formation in which the ball is snapped, not to the quarterback, but to another player lined up in the quarterback position.

Wild, Cat: a beautiful woman from the sky, who hooked me against the rails, and has me on the ropes. Sweet like honey, with a hint of sass burning behind her pretty brown eyes, she took over my heart without warning.

I’m Quinn Bailey, quarterback for the New York Mavericks.
Sports analysts predicted I’d break records and take my team all the way.

But no one predicted this.

And just like the other team, I never saw it coming.

MY REVIEW:

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

Thank you, Max. Thank you, Monroe. Thank you for gracing us with the hilarious sports romance that is Wildcat.

Wildcat is Quinn Bailey’s story. If you’re a fan of Max Monroe’s, you may remember him as the Mavericks’ quarterback from Scoring the Billionaire. He also made an appearance in Sleighed It. He’s a sweet Texan who isn’t looking for love. He’s completely focused on his job…until he meets a certain flight attendant who he can’t keep his eyes (and mind) off.

Quinn was everything I knew he would be from meeting him in previous books. He had a confident cockiness due to his profession, but he was also down to Earth. I loved that he valued family and commitments. I also loved how he stood up for what he believed in.

Cat was also a great character. She felt like a real person. I loved how she navigated Mr. Quarterback’s interested in her. She didn’t exactly get swept away in his popularity, and that was cool. Cat was the perfect match for Quinn.

Some of my favorite scenes in Wildcat were those on airplanes. I really enjoyed all the moments spent with Cat on the job. There were so many priceless little moments from the way Cat and Quinn met to one of my favorite books being mentioned. Actually, this entire book and all of its settings were my favorite. They made for so many hilarious things to happen! I can’t count the number of times my husband made fun of me for laughing out loud while reading.

There were some amazing secondary characters I can’t leave out of this review. Casey, Cat’s bestie, was hilarious. I need a friend like him. Denver, Quinn’s brother. His story was a little sad, but I loved what it brought to the book. Sean, Cassie’s brother and Quinn’s football teammate. Oh, and Wes and Winnie. They showed up for some important times. Seriously, so many great supporting characters!

Wildcat was such a joy to read. I can’t even explain how much fun it was. Everything about Cat and Quinn’s romance was magical. From the way they met to the very end, I couldn’t get enough of them together. I am so excited to see what comes next for Sean in this new series!

Whether you are a fan of the Billionaire Bad Boys series or just looking for a fun sports romance, this book is not one to miss. It’s fun, romantic, and downright hilarious. I highly recommend reading it!

Disclaimer #1:

Things this book is:

  • Romantic Comedy
  • #1 in the Mavericks Tackle Love Series
  • Can be read as a complete standalone.

Things it isn’t:

  • Paranormal: The only thing magical is inside Quinn Bailey’s pants.
  • Boring: Pssh, please. Max Monroe doesn’t do boring.
  • Short: Prior to reading, prepare yourself for one huge, long, thick…book.

Disclaimer #2:
Unfortunately, you many not MARRY this book without proper consent from the authors.

Though the idea of a spouse who does nothing but provide you endless laughs for hours at a time, turn you on, make your heart swell, and require nothing but your undivided attention for several hours in return sounds nearly orgasmic, there are laws. And the Fictional Municipality only allows twenty book wives at a time.

Due to high demand for a significant other that encourages you to leave the dishes in the sink, the laundry in the washer, and the vacuum in the closet unattended, we’ve implemented a shift schedule of marital proprietorship. You will be rotated accordingly.

Applications can be submitted by hitting the “buy” button on the following retailers:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2rOMxCx
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2DVC8tj
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rRyH1V
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2EqqDbr
iBooks: https://apple.co/2mKGCJz
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Wildcat_Kobo
Nook: http://bit.ly/Wildcat_Nook

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY: http://bit.ly/2nkjt0R

Blog Tour Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

 
 “Lauren Layne gets the red rose for this one, and fans of The Bachelor will fall in love with this thoroughly charming story.”Kate O’Keeffe, bestselling author
 
 RUNAWAY GROOM
I Do, I Don’t – Book 2
Lauren Layne
Releasing Jan 30, 2018
Loveswept

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it.
 
Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of
that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .
Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook
endings.
 
NOW AVAILABLE!

MY REVIEW:

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

In Runaway Groom, Ellie has agreed to be one of the contestants on a Bachelor-like television show. She’s not doing it for the chance to find love, but for the chance to promote her new t-shirt company. Ellie has no interested in meeting Hollywood heart-throb Gage at the altar.

Gage isn’t exactly thrilled to be on the reality television show either. He lost a bet, and there’s nothing he can do to get out of being the “groom”. The only thing good about the situation is meeting Ellie. She’s real and refreshing in a way the other contestants aren’t. Gage just needs to convince Ellie that he’s not the Hollywood playboy he’s been made out to be.

Runaway Groom is the second book in Lauren Layne’s I Do, I Don’t series. I loved the first book, Ready to Run, but I found Runaway Groom to be even better! The format was so much fun! I loved that not only were first person dual points of view used to narrate, but text messages and official letters to the contestants. It also had what I love about every Lauren Layne book — great humor! Oh, and I can’t leave out the setting. Who doesn’t love reading books set in tropical locals?

Gage and Ellie were both pretty pessimistic at the beginning of Runaway Groom. I loved how that initially brought them together. I don’t want to spill how, but I thought it was so cool! Lauren Layne came up with a great plot there. It was so easy to understand how Gage and Ellie were meant for each other.

Honestly, Runaway Groom was perfectly written. I wouldn’t make any changes to it. It was so much fun to read! If you’re a Lauren Layne fan, you need to read this book. If you haven’t read her stuff before and love contemporary romances, you need to read this book! You don’t have to read the first book in the series to read Runaway Groom, so basically everyone needs to read this book.

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies.
She lives in New York City with her husband. A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

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