Review: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

Fraternize
Series: Player’s Game, #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.


I am normally a big fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s new adult novels. I love the heart she brings to them. However, I was not a big fan of Fraternize. It was well written and entertaining, but I had a lot of little problems with it. (Caution – SPOILERS AHEAD).

First, I am a native Washingtonian. I grew up and live about 40 minutes from downtown Seattle and Bellevue. I had a hard time buying into a Bellevue Bucks  AND a Seattle Seahawks NFL franchise. Seattle and Bellevue are a measly ten miles apart. There is no way the area could support another NFL team. Traffic is bad enough as it is. I did appreciate all the Russel Wilson love, though. And I loved how parts of the game of football and grueling practices were included in the book.

Second, I didn’t love the love triangle between Miller, Emerson, and Sanchez. It made me very uncomfortable. Everyone was too close for comfort. Miller and Sanchez were teammates, neighbors and friends. Emerson had a past with Miller that she wasn’t over. Sanchez was overly aggressive in his attempts to woo Emerson, even though he knew Miller had a past with Emerson. Miller and Emerson had been best friends and then more. The had a very intimate emotional connection. I could feel their bond, and I wanted them to be together. That’s not what happened. Emerson ended up with Sanchez.

Third, my biggest problem was I didn’t care for Sanchez. Like I said, he was overly aggressive when it came to Emerson. He had a filthy mouth when it came to his attempts to get her to go out with him, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was disrespectful and made me uncomfortable. I get that underneath it all, he was a nice guy. I just didn’t get that from him until the end.

There were some things I did like about Fraternize. I liked how Emerson wasn’t the standard NFL cheerleader. I loved that she was fit even though she wasn’t a size 0,2, 4, 6, 8…I also loved that she loved food. Emerson’s confidence was cool. Another thing I loved was the ending. The one about Miller. It leads into the next book, and I’m actually really excited to read it. I loved Miller, and I am hopeful Rachel Van Dyken will give him his happy ending.

Honestly, Fraternize was a good book that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there are going to be lots of people who fall in love with Emerson and Sanchez.

Review & Excerpt: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the swoony and oh-so-romantic title…MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY.

In MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, the NFL starting quarterback Cooper Armstrong needs his best friend’s sister to pretend to be his girlfriend. Violet is willing, but neither one expects their boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage to turn into a full-contact sport so quickly. Find out if their fake play will become the real deal or if they can turn back the clock to when they were just friends in this sexy new standalone sports romance!

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Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long — and it has been long — because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.
Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is — I’ve been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!

Amazon Amazon UK Audible Audio on Amazon

iBooks Barnes & Noble Kobo Amazon PB Google Play

10% of the proceeds from the release day sales along with a portion of pre-orders across all retailers of MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY will be given to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Humane Society to help those in need from the natural disaster.

My Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: I received an ARC from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an unbiased review.

Lauren Blakely is a master at writing romantic comedies. Each book she writes is filled with witty, sexy dialog. They’re so much fun to read. I was very excited to get my hands on an ARC of her upcoming release, Most Valuable Playboy.

Most Valuable Playboy was a cute combination of a few different relationship tropes I love. Cooper, our hero, is the new quarterback for the San Francisco Renegades. When a team auction takes a possible turn for the worse, his best friend Violet makes a bid that turns her into his fake girlfriend. The lie wouldn’t be such a big deal if Violet’s older brother wasn’t Cooper’s best friend or if Cooper didn’t actually feel something toward Violet. Soon their fake relationship is feeling rather real for both of them.

Cooper was the narrator of this story, and I enjoyed reading about his relationship with Violet through his eyes. He was confident in all things except her. I loved how he valued her friendship most of all. I also loved the close and supportive relationship he had with his mother. It was nice to see that Cooper wasn’t just another charismatic sports star.

Violet may not have gotten her own point of view, but she didn’t need it to shine. Her character was perfect. I loved how witty and down to Earth she was. Violet had some pretty fun text messages included that brought out even more of her personality.

There were other great relationships in Most Valuable Player besides Cooper and Violet’s. I already mentioned Cooper’s relationship with his mother. That was fantastic. There were also some football players who Cooper was close with, his agent, and coach that were special. I liked how the actual sport of football even got some attention.

The only thing I could have asked for more of was more story in the middle. Most Valuable Playboy felt like it flew by so quickly. There were so many great moments where Violet and Cooper were connecting intimately and finding themselves falling in love. I loved those moments, but I wanted more moments of them with friends or out and about with media scrutiny. I guess what I am saying is that I wanted more scenes with them being a regular couple.

Overall, Most Valuable Playboy was a light, fun sports romance. I adored the characters, their relationship and watching them fall in love. I have high hopes the next book in the series will be even more exciting to read.


✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber! Grab your copy today! http://adbl.co/2gbiHT2


Excerpt:

The business suit woman raises a hand, offering forty-one hundred.

Maxine’s eyes laser in on me, and she slashes an arm through the air. “Five thousand dollars,” she says, jacking the price up by nine hundred and staking her claim. I shudder inside.

The guy’s eyes widen, and he holds up his hands. “I’m out.”

My stomach plummets when the business woman shakes her head.

“Going once?” Sierra asks, scanning the tables, looking for perhaps one last big spender. My eyes scan the crowd, too. Hell, maybe I’ll find an escape hatch. A trapdoor to drop into and disappear like in a magic act. Maybe Trent will learn to read my mind. Trent, I’ll cover you for anything you bid. Just raise that hand, name a price, and save me.

My best friend’s expression is merely curious now as he watches Maxine and Sierra, waiting for the verdict. My opportunity to play yard boy slips through my fingers.

The look in Maxine’s eyes is pure satisfaction as she waits for the final word. She winks at me, as if we have a secret. Holy shit. She thinks I want this. She thinks I want her to win me.

A flash of chestnut brown hair in the back catches my attention. A flurry of silver. It’s Violet, hands in the air, wildly flapping over her head in the middle of the ballroom. She brings her finger to her nose. And she’s tapping it, like fucking Santa Claus coming down the chimney, and Harlan tapping his nose to signal his agent, and all the greatest solutions in the universe at once.

My heart goes crazy.

It hammers in my chest. This is like finding an open receiver a second before you’re sacked.

“Going twice,” Sierra says, trailing off as she waits.

I raise my arm and tap my nose, too. Violet is the only one who knows I need to get out of this jam. She’s the only one I mentioned it to. And she’s the only one now who can save me.

“Ten thousand dollars.”

Holy shit. Violet does not mess around with my money. Her eyes widen, as if she’s surprised she bid that high.

My gaze finds Trent. He’s staring at his sister, slack-jawed.

Sierra’s smile is bright and wide. “Ten thousand dollars. Do we have ten thousand, one hundred?”

The room is hushed. Maxine’s expression is blank. She must be shocked. She probably didn’t expect anyone to vie with her to this extent.

I tap my foot, willing Sierra to close this quickly. Just slam the door shut, please, fucking please.

“Going one. Going twice.”

I say a silent prayer. I cross my fingers. I hope.

Maxine blinks, opens her mouth, and I steel myself for a disgustingly high counter bid.

But there’s only silence. No words come. Violet has shocked her speechless. This type of bid wasn’t in Maxine’s playbook.

Sierra raises her arm. “And a night with the quarterback is sold for ten thousand dollars.”

Talk about a Hail Mary.

“Lauren Blakely is a master at writing sexy, engaging stories that draw you in and make you fall in love with her characters. A definite go-to author for me!”
NYT Bestselling Author Melanie Moreland

“Lauren Blakely never ceases to amaze me with her sense of humor, her talent to write fabulous heroes and heroines and to pull an A game with a male POV. Most Valuable Playboy is a real treasure.
Becca at Little Read Reading Hood

“The slow burn, the teasing, the kisses, OH THE KISSES!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY exceeded all of my expectations. Lauren Blakely has a knack for making a reader fall for her characters.”
Jess at Jo and Isa Love Books Blog

Add it to Goodreads here!

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

Lauren’s Most Valuable Playboy Team Spirit Prize Package Giveaway! This bundle is valued at $450 and includes a Coach Handbag ($300 value) and $150 Stub Hub Gift Card to use for tickets to the game, your favorite concert, or theater performance.

http://laurenblakely.com/valuable-playboy-giveaway/

About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times 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 eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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Review: The Real Thing by Melissa Foster

The Real Thing
Series: Sweet Lake, #1
Author: Melissa Foster
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.


Willow has always longed for her older brother’s best friend, Zane. They had a night together back before Willow left for college, but their relationship went no further. It left Willow with feelings of anger and resentment toward Zane — especially when he became a womanizing famous actor. Now, Zane’s back in town and looking to change his image. He needs Willow to help him do that by pretending to be his fiancée. The arrangement is something Willow should know better than to say yes to, but she still can’t resist Zane.

The Real Thing was a fun fake fiancée romance. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Melissa Foster. I had forgotten how much I enjoy her writing. She’s an author who knows how to write third person point of view. A lot of the time, it takes me a while to be able to get into third person narration. It wasn’t that way with The Real Thing. I didn’t even notice it. Third person felt just as easy as reading first person in this book. I really appreciated that. I also appreciated that both Willow and Zane’s perspectives were included.

Willow and Zane were a cute couple. She was independent, loyal and fiery. He was overconfident, but deep down had a big heart. All of those things fit really well and complimented each other. I loved that they had been pining over each other since high school. It made their love story all the sweeter.

I do have to admit there was something that bugged me about this book that I couldn’t let go. Willow’s hatred and distrust of Zane didn’t make complete sense. I understand that she’s mad that he moved on, but she set things up that way. He truly didn’t do anything that set out to hurt her or break her heart. Plus, it had been like ten years and she was still holding onto to her anger. It seemed weird since she had been in contact with him at least monthly and had seen him several times over the years. Maybe I was missing something. Maybe I needed more than just a snapshot of the aftermath of their teenage decision.

One of my favorite things about this book was the cast of secondary characters. Willow had an amazing family. Each was an individual with a strong personality. Meeting them made me very excited for what’s to come in this series. I hope they all get their own books. I’m really hoping to see more of Ben and Amelia!

Overall, The Real Thing was a sweet contemporary read, and an entertaining take of a celebrity fake relationship.

Release Day Review & Excerpt: The Better Man by Barbie Bohrman

The Better Man
Series: Allen Brothers, #2
Author: Barbie Bohrman
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Meet Max Allen.

He’s ambitious, too smart for his own good, and very single.
Nicknamed “Max-A-Million” by society gossip types, he thinks he’s got it pretty damn good and he’s right…for the most part.

Meet Daphne Rodriguez.
She’s ambitious, too smart for her own good, and very single.
She works extra hard for everything she has and never complains about the crappy hand life has dealt her.

When Max is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, it comes with the condition that he must work with the one person he despises most…and wants the most: his sworn enemy, Daphne.

However, Max has no plans of giving Daphne the satisfaction of ever letting her know how he feels about her. Instead, he vows to make her life miserable at every turn.

Which works out perfectly, since Daphne has no intention of making it easy for Max either.

When all hell breaks loose and they’re on a collision course with disaster, these two stubborn people will have to overcome their mutual hatred of each other long enough to work together and get the job done.

For better or worse, they will have to rely on each other to save themselves…and the people they love most.


I originally met Max Allen back in the first book in the Allen Brothers series, The Best Man. I was intrigued by his character. He was a guy who thought he was the top of the food chain due to his money and his success. I wondered what it would take for Max to give up his attitude of importance and put someone else first. I found out in The Better Man.

I have to admit that I hated Max the pretty much the entire book. His sense entitlement and over the top confidence were off-putting. He was just too full of himself for my taste. I couldn’t stand how mean he was to others, especially Daphne. I was shocked she was actually into him. Max was supposed to be gorgeous, but his attitude would have killed things for me.

Not Daphne. Their spark was too strong. Luckily, so was her personality. Daphne was able to give back to Max what he dished out. She was also able to take the high road when he couldn’t. I loved that about her. I also loved Daphne’s sense of family. Her relationships with her brother, grandmother and even her friend Derek were shining moments in the story.

Toward the end, there were moments of greatness for Max. When he finally surrendered to his feelings for Daphne was one of them. He became sweeter than I imagined. There were also amazing moments with his family, especially his twin nieces. What he was willing to do for them brought out another side of him. I liked Max in those moments.

I can’t review The Better Man without mentioning the shocking surprise Barbie Borhman included. It gutted me and brought me to tears. I won’t say what happened, but I wasn’t expecting to be so shattered. It made me very anxious to get the next book in the series, and it made The Better Man a better, more complex story.

Despite my initial dislike of Max, The Better Man was a great read. It had the push and pull I have come to expect from a great enemies to lovers story. I would recommend it and the rest of the Allen Brothers series to contemporary romance readers.

Excerpt:

For every person who didn’t like me, there were a lot more who adored me. That had to count for something, right?

Right.

“Of course, mate. Of course,” Oliver said. “Then you know what some of the male viewers have been saying, yes?”

I was blessed with the looks of a fucking Adonis, so yeah, men usually hated me anyway. I paid their bullshit complaints little to no attention at all. Let me put it this way, if I had a nickel for every single time some guy was jealous of me, I’d be rich.

Oh, wait! I am a rich. So, fuck them.

Shrugging my shoulders, I replied with ease, “A few haters never killed anyone.”

“Let’s see, shall we?” With another click or two on his keyboard, Oliver then announced, “Here’s one tweet that says, ‘Max Allen needs to get hit by a bus. #pleasebabyjesus.’”

“That’s not so bad,” I said through a chuckle. “I’ve heard a lot worse. Hell, I think my big brothers can come up with better ones.”

Oliver ignored me and kept right on reciting more tweets. “Here’s another one, ‘It looks like his face caught on fire and someone tried to put it out with a fork.’ And another, ‘I wish Max Allen’s mom would have swallowed instead.’”

He was starting to cackle like a hyena. “All right, I get it, boss. Men don’t—”

“Wait, wait,” Oliver managed to say between his laughing fit. “One more, ‘Max Allen has more dick in his personality than he does in his pants. #dickless.’”

“Boss, I—”

“‘Max Allen looks like two pounds of shit in a one pound bag.’” Oliver was laughing so loudly he had to stop for a second to gain his composure. “Oh, and this one! This is my favorite, mate, ‘If Max Allen could suck his own dick, then he would finally suck at everything. #eatadick #buteatyoursbro #suckyourdick #maxsucksdick #dickdickdick.’”

Oliver was having the time of his life reading off these awful tweets about me, super loud, too. So loud that his assistant and the assistant to his assistant, or intern, or whatever the fuck they were to him, were cracking up. One of them yelled out, “Dude, you have to go to the Twitter feed right now!”

And then, like a wave of dominoes falling over, one by one, the rest of the office was reading the same tweets and laughing their butts off. Thank God I had thick skin, or I would take it personally.

“All right,” Oliver wheezed while he wiped the tears from his eyes. “Oh my God, those are priceless.”

“Yeah, right. Priceless.”

Review: Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

Fallen Heir
Series: The Royals, #4
Author: Erin Watt
Publication Date: August 28, 2017
Publisher: Timeout LLC
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.


“These Royals will ruin you.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Every single book about the Royals ruins me in some way. Fallen Heir did it more than once.

There was more to Easton Royal than I expected. I knew he would be a cocky young man with the world at his finger tips. What I didn’t know was the extent of his past and how it affected him. He was such a strength for Ella in the first three books. I was surprised that he was different in Fallen Heir. I didn’t quite love his character as much as I expected to based on that role. His truths were more and different from I imagined.

As for Hartley Wright, I still feel a little in the dark. I learned about Hartley through Easton’s eyes since she didn’t get her own point of view. I started to like her, but I really wanted to know her thoughts and motivations. It feels like Hartley is going to be a good influence on Easton. I’m hoping she gets to voice her own thoughts in book 5.

The thing that ruined me the most in Fallen Heir was that ending. If you’ve read the first three books in this series, you know that Erin Watt are the queens of the cliffhanger. They didn’t disappoint with the one at the end of Fallen Heir. It completely blew my mind. I could have never seen what happened coming, and now I’m frustrated that I have to wait until January to find out what’s next!!!

Fallen Heir was a great addition to The Royals series. It ruined me in the best ways. It took everything I thought I knew about Easton Royal and both altered and built upon it. I’m really looking forward to seeing his character continue to grow in the next book. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss this book!

Review: To Hate Adam Connor by Ella Maise

To Hate Adam Conner
Author: Ella Maise
Publication Date: June 9, 2016
Publisher: Ella Maise
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

*Lucy’s story is a complete standalone*

So you may ask, who is Adam Connor? He is the recently divorced, Academy Award-winning actor who just moved in next door with his kid. He also happens to be an exquisite male specimen and the most infuriating sly bastard I’ve ever come across.

Let’s be honest here, wouldn’t you wanna take a peek over the wall to catch a glimpse of him, hopefully when he is naked? Wouldn’t you melt away after watching him work out as his five-year-old kid cheered him on? Do I even have to mention those abs, the big bulge in his pants, or that arm porn? Oh, wait, you would never spy on him? Sure…

While I was being thoughtful by not breaking and entering and was actually considering going over to offer him a shoulder—or maybe a boob or two—to cry on (y’know, because of his divorce), instead he had me thrown in jail after a small incident. Jail, people! He was supposed to grant me countless orgasms as a thank you, not a jail cell.

After that day, I was mentally plotting ways to strangle him instead of jumping his bones to make sweet love. So what if my body did more than just shiver when he whispered dirty little things in my ear? I can’t be held responsible for that. And when was the last time he’d kissed anyone anyway? Who’d enjoy a kiss with a side of heart attack?

Even if he and his son were the best things since sliced bread—and I’m not saying he was—I couldn’t fall for him. No matter what promises he whispered on my skin, my curse wouldn’t let us be. I wasn’t a damsel in distress—I could save myself, thank you very much—but deep inside, I still hoped Adam Connor would be the hero of my story.


I’ve wanted to read To Hate Adam Connor ever since I read To Love Jason Thorn. I fell in love with all of the characters in that book, and I wanted to get to know Lucy better. Her relationship with Jameson intrigued me, and she made me laugh so much.

I have to admit I was a little surprised when I read the title and blurb for this book. How could Adam Connor be the star of Lucy’s book? I mean, what happened to Jameson? Not to worry, Ella Maise did an amazing job at explaining why Lucy didn’t end up with Jameson. She gave us a much better man for Lucy to fall for.

Adam Connor was the full package. Not only was he an incredibly sexy famous actor, he was also a doting single father. The way he loved his son increased his hot factor by about a million.He was the perfect match for Lucy’s over the top personality. I loved the way Adam and Lucy fell in love. They started out hating each other, and it made watching them fall for each so much fun.

Lucy was just as hilarious as she was in the first book, if not more so. I was surprised to find out how much she hid behind her humor. Lucy was a much deeper character than I expected. She had a past that haunted her. I’m so happy Adam was the man to prove to her that she could break the cycle.

I was also super happy to see Olive and Jason back in this book. They made many little appearances, and their relationship with Lucy made me smile. Lucy and Olive are some hilarious friends.

To Hate Adam Connor was a great hate to love romance. It was also a really fun take on a celebrity romance. If you like both of those romance tropes, you need to read this book! But read To Love Jason Thorn first. You don’t want to miss out on the beginning of Lucy’s (and Olive’s) high jinks.

Review: When I Need You by Lorelei James

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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