Review: The Summer Remains by Seth King

The Summer Remains
Series:
The Summer Remains, #1
Author: Seth King
Publication Date: February 14, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may or may not end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.

As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app – and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.

Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.


Ugh. This book. How to explain my feelings about it?

I knew going into The Summer Remains that it was going to be a sad book, a book that might play with my emotions. If the summary didn’t tip me off, the fact that it’s on The Huffington Post’s Oh, You Little Heartbreaker! The Ultimate List of Ugly Cry Novels would have been a dead giveaway. So while I knew it would be sad, I wasn’t expecting it to make me think quite as much as it did. There were just so many complex pieces of this story.

In The Summer Remains, Summer Johnson is closer to dying than not. It’s a fate she’s dealt with for most of her life, but now that it seems more likely than not there’s one thing she was wants to experience in life. Summer wants to fall in love.

Summer gets her chance when she meets Cooper Nichols through a dating app. Cooper’s everything Summer never expected. He’s cute, smart and into her. Falling for Cooper makes Summer realize she might not be quite as prepared to die as she thought she was.

The Summer Remains was told in dual points of view, Summer’s and Cooper’s. Their voices were so different. What they were going through together shaped them both, but in different ways. Summer’s, even though she was the one with the possible death sentence, was easier to read. She had more time to make peace with what might happen and accept it. Cooper’s was extremely hard to read. His thoughts and feelings were more heartbreaking.

Summer was very intense character. The hand she was dealt sucked, but she tried to make the best of things. She had a laid-back-everything’s-good vibe, but deep down she cared more than she wanted people to know. I loved that she was getting her wish fulfilled, but I hated the chaos it was bound to create for Cooper and everyone else around her. It was torture to experience their relationship knowing the chances of Summer’s survival. The truths Summer comes to know by the end are so hard and ugly. They broke my heart.

Cooper was almost too good to be true. I was right there with Summer wondering how she got so lucky. But he wasn’t without his own flaws. His past created the good and bad in him. He was so much stronger than he gave himself credit for.

While this book revolved around the beauty of Summer and Cooper’s relationship, there was a deeper topic that stood out to me: judgement of others based on physical attributes. There was a whole cast of characters in this book that weren’t “perfect” by society’s opinion. Seth King did an amazing job voicing their heartaches and dreams. It’s easy to forget how we all some of the same basic things in life. We all want to be valued and loved.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering, did I ugly cry? No, even though this was a really touching story, I didn’t bawl. I did tear up a few times. There were a couple of moments when Summer was talking to her mom, Shelley, and I got very teary eyed. I could only imagine what Shelley was going through since I have a little girl of my own. And then there was the author’s note at the end of the book explaining his personal connection with Summer’s story. That one had me holding back the tears for sure.

The Summer Remains was a heartbreaking story filled with so many inspirational moments.The only thing that prevented me from giving this 5 stars was the ending. There was just a part of it that felt like too much to me. Otherwise, I truly enjoyed reading this book and feel like it’s one everyone could benefit from reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Romance Novels (Or Series) Set in the Workplace

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc). I decided to go with Top Ten Romance Novels (Or Series) Set in the Workplace because it’s something I haven’t done before. 🙂 So let’s get our “office” romance on!


1. Reasonable Doubt Volumes 1-3 by Whitney G.
(Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3)


2. The Oxford Series by Lauren Layne
(Irresistibly Yours, I Wish You Were Mine)


3. The Legal Briefs Series by Emma Chase
(Overruled, Sustained, Appealed, Sidebarred)


4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


5. Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis


6. The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid


7. Four Seconds to Lose and Five Ways to Fall by K.A.Tucker

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8. Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson


9. That First Kiss by J.C. Valentine


10. The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day
(Bared to You, Reflected in You, Entwined with You, Captivated by You, One with You)

The Olympic Book Tag

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I was tagged by Jocelyn @ 52 Letters in the Alphabet for The Olympic Book Tag. Thanks, Jocelyn! I’m super excited to do this tag because I’ve been kind of obsessed with watching the Olympics. 🙂


The Opening Ceremony — What book did you think had an incredible opening?

More Than This by Jay McLean popped into my mind when I saw this prompt. It wasn’t a shocking beginning, but it was kind of funny.


The Games — What is your favorite fictional competition?

My answer isn’t the fictional competition most people would probably come up with. Mine is all about getting the girl. In Too Late, Asa and Carter compete for Sloan in a really messed up way. I loved it.


The Original — The modern games are based on the original Greek competition – what is your favorite book based on a classic?

I loved That Girl, Darcy. It’s based on Pride and Prejudice.


The Eternal Flame  — What is one ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen?

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Gus and Kate from Bright Side. I love a great best friends to lovers story and I think they could have had one. Dang Keller! 😉


Gymnastics — What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)

Out of Time is the second book in the Nine Minutes trilogy. Both had amazing twists, but Out of Time messed with my head!


The Controversial Judge  — What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people?

*SPOILER-ISH* It seems like a lot of people hate Maybe Someday because of the cheating aspect of it. I didn’t mind it in this book. Even though it was horrible, it felt real.


Beach Volleyball  — What is your favorite fictional duo?

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There are so many great ones! Recently, it’s been Ted and his trusty doggie sidekick Lily from Lily and the Octopus.


Weightlifting — What is the most massive book on your shelf?

HarperCollins English-Spanish/Spanish-English Dictionary: College Edition

Harper Collins Spanish English Dictionary is the most massive book on my shelf.


Track & Field — What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?

I just finished For Better or Worse. I read it in a day. It was so cute!


Synchronised Swimming — What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why?

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I loved Divergent, but Insurgent wasn’t anywhere near as good. Then, Allegiant was even worse. I probably should have just stopped at after the first book.


The Tortured Fan — What fictional family, group, nation, or organisation do you irrationally root for no matter how many times they break your heart?

Back to More Than This. I loved the entire series no matter how much it broke my heart. It’s a must read for NA lovers.


Closing Ceremony — What book had an ending that just blew your mind?

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The Ghosts of Heaven wins this one hands down.


Relay Race — Who do you tag?

Ashley @ What’s She Reading
Alex @ Alextheshadowgirl’s Blog
Calliope the Book Goddess
Claire @ Art and Soul
Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf
Jesse @ Books at Dawn
Jessica @ Mud and Stars
Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts
Maren @ The Worn Bookmark
Monique @ The Wild Soul
Paige @ Page by Paige
Raven @ Dreamy Addictions
Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Book Reviews

And anyone else who wishes to do this tag!

Blog Tour Review: Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett

Title: Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl, Book #2)
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: August 16, 2016

Synopsis:

In the steamy and suspenseful sequel to Sugar Daddy (A totally gripping take on romance and revenge!͟—Lauren Blakely), a heartbreaking rift threatens to unravel a dangerous alliance . . . and a fragile new love.

After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?

Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.

Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story concludes in Sugar Free!

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27774345-sugar-rush

Review:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Sugar Rush from the minute I finished Sugar Daddy. Sugar Daddy ended with a major cliffhanger, and I just had to know what happened!

Sugar Rush picked up right where Sugar Daddy ended. The story continued to captivate me, and I didn’t want to put the book down. I was extremely happy with how the cliffhanger was resolved from the first book and Sela’s quest for revenge continued to be built upon. Sugar Rush was full of suspense and kept me on edge.

The book wasn’t all suspense, though. It was filled with some incredibly HOT and touching scenes between Beck and Sela. They were an amazing team — in and out of the bedroom. I loved the way their sexy times were not only fun but strengthened their relationship.

My only issue with Sugar Rush was something that Sela does towards the end of the book. I wanted to yell at her and tell her not to be so dumb. Seriously. She wasn’t a stupid person, so I didn’t get her actions.

Overall, Sugar Rush was a really great continuation of Sela and Beck’s story. It ended in an another amazing cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see how the story resolves in Sugar Free. If you enjoy books with a lot of sexy time and a little suspense, you should definitely give this series a try.

MurderJT IMR Purchase Sugar Rush:

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B017QLSIUO
B&N: http://bit.ly/1RkH9vQ
iBooks: http://apple.co/1QpjxG2
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1O5wYuy
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1P3Ai6s

Check out the other Sugar Bowl books now! Sugar Daddy (available now):

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B00XST7UBM
B&N: http://bit.ly/1SSoRj4
iBooks: http://apple.co/1RevoHk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1M7yRzz
Kobo: http://bit.ly/222C52P

Sugar Free (releasing 10/11/16):

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01AQO16PW
B&N: http://bit.ly/1TuReY5
iBooks: http://apple.co/1XD5spa
Google Play: http://bit.ly/213kRVe
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Qr1uKn

About the Author: Bennett_photo_2014

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Mary’s strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

Connect with Sawyer:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BennettBooks
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sawyerbennett123/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Sawyer_Bennett

Sign up for Sawyer’s newsletter: http://sawyerbennett.com/signup/

 

Review: L.I.A. by R.S. Reed

L.I.A.
Author: 
R.S. Reed
Publication Date: March 24, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an electronic copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Sometimes your journey in life isn’t up to you…

Katie Lauren would rather do just about anything than be shuffled off to boarding school for her eleventh grade year, but that’s exactly where she finds herself. It’s her worst nightmare come true.

Softening the crushing blow of leaving her hometown behind to attend Dunn’s Preparatory Academy in Tennessee, is the fact that Katie’s best friend, Nikki, will be going too. When they discover the most gorgeous boy to ever step foot in their town, John, will be attending the remote boarding school as well, junior year is looking up.

Katie’s world is turned upside down when a simple plane ride to her new school turns out to be not so simple. Uncovering deeply guarded secrets that her family didn’t want her to know, and being out on her own for the first time, leaves Katie wondering, when your whole world changes, who will be there to hold you up?

Her friendship with John is becoming complicated, and her relationship with Nikki is changing. Soon, events in her unfamiliar life lead Katie to believe that they are all in some real danger, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Now that fate has intervened, will love be the only thing to save her?

Katie’s never thought of herself as fearless. Just a normal girl, from a normal town. Life has other plans though, and now that she has someone, and something, worth fighting for, she’ll need to be braver than she ever knew she could be.


From the minute I started reading the Prologue of L.I.A., I knew I was in for an adventure. It was a really unique and well written story. I was surprised by the mysterious plot. L.I.A. combined so many different elements. There was friendship drama, romance, and magic.

The characters were your typical teenagers, and yet they weren’t. Katie was struggling with so many real feelings as she left for boarding school. She was worried about leaving home and trying not to be attracted to guy her best friend liked. But, before long, she would find those were the least of her worries.

The only issue I had with L.I.A. was the amount of descriptions in it. They did an amazing job of painting a picture of Katie’s life and everything around her, but they bogged down the story at times. There were just so many of them. I would have liked more dialog between the characters, especially in the beginning of the story.

I’m surprised this is R.S. Reed’s début novel. The writing was polished and creative. She built a mysterious and magical world in L.I.A. that readers are sure to enjoy.

Cover Reveal: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

OMG, guys! Do I have a treat for you!!! Today, I have the cover of The Goal (Off-Campus, #4) to share with you! I was already excited for this book, but seeing the cover and reading the synopsis has me even more so! Here it is…

 

TheGoal iBooks

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

 Purchase Links

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aI6DAx

Nook: http://bit.ly/2aNXrhC

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2aW2hIK

iBooks: http://apple.co/2b2IaKb

Blog Tour Review: The Playboy’s Proposal by Ashloy Mallery

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The Playboy’s Proposal

by Ashlee Mallory
The Sorensen Family #3
Publication Date: July 25, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled Bliss, Contemporary, Romance

The Playboy's Proposal Cover

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Synopsis: Sometimes the perfect match is right under your nose…

Doctor Benny Sorensen has had it up to here with her party-throwing playboy neighbor. She’s declaring war. She doesn’t care how gorgeous or charming he is, he’s going down. That is until he proposes something she’s not sure she can say no to…

Wealthy ad man Henry Ellison lives an uncomplicated life that revolves around work, women, and partying. In that order. Until Benny storms into his life. To placate his attractive but hotheaded neighbor, Henry offers to help her land a date with the man of her dreams. Only as Henry makes her over and coaches her on the fine art of flirting, he realizes that the idea of this woman in any other man’s arms but his own is unacceptable. But Benny’s a forever kind of girl and forever might just be the one commitment he can’t make.

Each book in the Sorensen Family series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Her Backup Boyfriend
Book #2 Her Accidental Husband
Book #3 The Playboy’s Proposal

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REVIEW:

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The Playboy’s Proposal was one of those cute romances that remind me of all of those fun teenage ugly duckling movies, like She’s All That, where one of the main characters gets made over. Except in this version, an adult playboy is making over a doctor.

In The Playboy’s Proposal, Dr. Benny Sorensen has a huge crush on her co-worker. The problem is, he makes her a bumbling mess. She would do almost anything to catch his attention — including take advice from her obnoxious playboy neighbor.

Playboy Henry Ellison needs to look more favorable in the press, and the only way he can help his image is to revamp is image.  Henry is going to rely on his marketing skills to help him. He’ll guarantee his uptight neighbor a date with her crush, if she’ll retract her complaint about his partying to their HOA.

Soon Henry’s giving Benny a physical and mental makeover to prepare her to score the man of her dreams. The problem is she just might be the girl of Henry’s.

I loved Benny. She wasn’t the self-conscious character I thought she would be. She had her insecurities, but she was happy with herself. She just wanted to be attractive to the guy she liked. It was very easy to relate to. I loved how she  was willing to put herself out there and try new things.

It took me a while to fall for Henry. He just seemed so pompous at first. I think I started to fall for him when he started to fall for Benny. She really brought out the best in Henry. They were perfect for each other and so many of their experiences together made me laugh.

The only complaint I have about The Playboy’s Proposal was that it was so predictable. I could guess everything that was going to happen before it did. I would have liked to have been surprised once or twice.

I really enjoyed reading The Playboy’s Proposal. Benny and Henry’s romance was cute and exactly what I would expect from a contemporary romance. I would definitely recommend it to romance lovers. It would even be a great introductory book for someone looking to move to YA romances to adult ones as it was sprinkled with sexiness but lacked actual sex.

**I received an ARC of The Playboy’s Proposal from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

EXCERPT:

Man, she hated golf, but the artful way Henry swung that thing was…kind of hot.

“Try it,” he said, thankfully ignorant of her less-than chaste thoughts.

Pulling her tongue back into her mouth, she tried the same swing in what felt like exactly the same motion. By the tugging of Henry’s lips, she was going to assume she hadn’t quite duplicated the movement. Henry repeated his instruction and directed her to make some adjustments in the grip before he swung again.

She greedily eyed his form while he was preoccupied.

Marvelous.

When she realized he was waiting for her, she repeated his motion.

“Maybe we should practice with the ball.” He grabbed a couple and placed them on the tees in front of them before winding back again, the swooshing hypnotic, this time followed by the short cracking sound of the iron hitting the

ball as it sailed up into the air and landed on the stretch of grass ahead of them.

At least, she was certain it had landed somewhere over there, since she was still watching Henry, his torso turned to the side and his arms flexed as he gripped the club, making it hard to miss the bulge of his biceps. His profile clean and

striking, his lips parted as he watched the landing.

How did he get his hair to stay like that yet still look so touchably soft?

He turned toward her, and Benny tried to divert her eyes so he wouldn’t know she’d been slobbering over him. She reminded herself that Henry Ellison was a self-absorbed ladies’ man who was only helping her out to help himself—nothing more.

But when he smiled, telling her to give it a shot, that reminder went out the window.

She looked down at the end of her club as he continued to coach her. “Practice swinging, feeling the back-and-forth in your hips before you try and connect. The key is, when you’re about to hit the ball, keep your eye on the spot where you want it to go.”

Blah, blah, blah.

… Only nine swings later, other than hitting and tearing up the grassy area around the ball, she’d been unsuccessful. She shot him a frustrated look, blowing back a strand of hair that kept falling to her mouth. “I suck at this.”

“The problem is in your lineup. Here.” Henry walked behind her, and before she could even catch her breath, she felt his hands on her hips. She nearly shot out of her skin from his touch. “Easy,” he said somewhere near her ear before his arms went around her and his hands rested over hers on the golf club. “I’m just trying to show you the motion, the way you want your body to flow as you hit.”

Her body was flowing, all right. Her whole freaking body was buzzing from having him so near her, surrounding her. He smelled…good. Clean. Masculine. Goose bumps prickled along her arms.

Was this even appropriate in public? She looked up, her eyes wild, to see if everyone was staring at them in horror, but no one was even glancing their way.

Steady there, Benny. He’s just showing you a swing. Nothing more.

Do not turn around, though, whatever you do.

She exhaled slowly and worked to take in another breath. It was unnaturally quiet, and she realized that Henry was no longer talking or trying to move. Birds chirped from somewhere overhead, but she was paralyzed from moving or looking up.

Henry cleared his throat and shifted behind her, his arms dropping away from her. “Okay, let’s try again.”

She raised the club, her heart beating a trillion beats a second and brought it down, swinging through just as Henry taught her. Like before, she missed the ball and stumbled forward, trying to save herself on the follow through. Only this time, she did make contact with something.

From the oomph from behind her and the ball still perched on the tee at her feet, she knew it wasn’t the contact she’d wanted.

DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE SORENSEN FAMILY SERIES BY USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR ASHLEE MALLORY!

Her Backup Boyfriend (book #1)

BUY:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2asqB3N
Paperback: http://amzn.to/29XcaHh
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iBooks: http://apple.co/1KVrUoo

Synopsis: One little white lie leads to more than she planned…

Straight-laced lawyer Kate Matthews always plays by the rules. But when her ex gets engaged and a big promotion is on the line at work, she blurts out that she has a new boyfriend. And now that she’s proved she “has a life” outside of work, everything is perfect. Except for one teeny little detail—there is no boyfriend. And now Kate’s liable for her little white lie…

Dominic Sorensen is hot, charming, and very definitely not Kate’s type. But not only does Dominic want to help Kate renovate her home, he’s also willing to play “boyfriend.” All he wants in return is a little pro bono work for his sister. Now instead of Mr. Right, Kate has a delectable Mr. Fix-It-Right—and some unbelievable sexual chemistry. And if falling for Dominic is a breach of contract, Kate is guilty as charged…

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Her Accidental Husband (book #2)

BUY:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a9s82q
Paperback: http://amzn.to/2a9so1s
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29KDmJP
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29KDt88
B&N: http://bit.ly/1MgvG9f
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2asr99B
iBooks: http://apple.co/29SxuiG

Synopsis: Payton Vaughn’s trip to Puerto Vallarta for her friend’s wedding was her big escape from her ridiculously overbearing mother–oh, and that little matter with her cheating fiancé. Now, her flight’s been cancelled, and she’s crammed into a tiny car with the gorgeous-but-irritating best man.

Viva la road trip from hell…

Cruz Sorensen doesn’t have time to babysit some spoiled socialite, even if she is the future daughter-in-law of the man who could change the fortune of his family’s company. He has no business getting to know her better—not even for all the tequila in Mexico…until they wake up with grande-sized hangovers as man and wife.

Now Payton and Cruz must decide if they’ve reached the end of their journey…or the beginning of a new adventure.

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ABOUT ASHLEE MALLORY

AshleeMalloryAuthorPic

Ashlee Mallory is a USA Today Bestselling author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Thrillers. A recovering attorney, she currently resides in Utah with her husband and two kids. She aspires to one day include running, hiking and traveling to exotic destinations in her list of things she enjoys, but currently settles for enjoying a good book and a glass of wine from the comfort of her couch.

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Review: Kicked by Celia Aaron

Kicked
Author:
Celia Aaron
Publication Date: July 28, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Trent Carrington.
Trent Mr. Perfect-Has-Everyone-Fooled Carrington.
He’s the star quarterback, university scholar, and happens to be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen. He shines at any angle, and especially under the Saturday night stadium lights where I watch him from the sidelines. But I know the real him, the one who broke my heart and pretended I didn’t exist for the past two years.
I’m the third-string kicker, the only woman on the team and nothing better than a mascot. Until I’m not. Until I get my chance to earn a full scholarship and join the team as first-string. The only way I’ll make the cut is to accept help from the one man I swore never to trust again. The problem is, with each stolen glance and lingering touch, I begin to realize that trusting Trent isn’t the problem. It’s that I can’t trust myself when I’m around him.

This is a full-length, sweet, hot, safe, standalone American football romance novel.


I’m a big sports romance fan, so I was really excited to read Kicked. It’s the first story I’ve read featuring a female kicker on a male dominated college football team. I loved all the possibilities the romantic involvement between a female kicker and the male quarterback would create.

Kicked had a really complex plot with many pieces to it. All of those pieces revolved around Cordy and Trent’s romance, but they went deeper than I expected. There was so much more than love going on in this story. At times, I felt like almost too much was going on. But then I would think about it and all of the things that happened really cemented Cordy and Trent’s relationship. The things they had to deal with made their relationship feel stronger.

 

Cordy was a cool character. Despite being a third-string kicker for a college football team, she was confident in herself and what she could do. I loved that she was proud of her sporty body and didn’t feel the need to be anyone but herself.

Trent was a down to earth guy despite growing up privileged. He was devoted to his family, but wasn’t willing to live the life they wanted to confine him to. Trent was a nice guy who knew what he wanted and was willing to put everything on the line for it.

Cordy and Trent’s relationship was my favorite part of the story. It was a really sweet slow-burn romance. There was a sexual tension that burned between the two of them. Cordy was hesitant to give the popular quarterback a chance, but Trent wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I loved the way they worked out their issues and supported each other in more ways than one.

There were some other amazing characters in Kicked, too. I loved Trent and Cordy’s football friends. They added a lot of fun to the story. I wouldn’t mind reading more about them in other stories.

The one thing that bothered me in this story was the role Cordy’s best friend Landon played. I started out liking him and how he stood by Cordy. The more I got to know about Cordy’s previous involvement with Trent, the more I felt that Landon was overreacting and being an idiot. I actually ended up not liking the guy. I just didn’t like the direction his friendship with Cordy and the storyline surrounding it took.

Kicked is the first book I’ve read by Celia Aaron, but it definitely won’t be the last. I really enjoyed her writing style. I think sports romance readers will love Kicked. 

 

Review: Stroked by Meghan Quinn

Stroked
Series:
Stroked, #1
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: July 20, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Reese King: Olympic medalist, underwear model, Greek god.

His body is chiseled from rock, sculpted by the weight room, and refined by water.

On a daily basis his skin is completely bare for everyone to see, tan and defined, only covered up by a minuscule piece of spandex. There is no denying his sex appeal.

I hate to admit it, but I’m head over heels infatuated with him.

There is one HUGE problem though. His achingly gorgeous abs, inked up arm, and cocky swagger belong to my boss, the high-profile, reality star bitch from hell and certified heinous human being, Bellini Chambers.

What I think is going to be an easy job assisting a glorified wench turns into a cluster f*ck of epic proportions.


Oh, my. Stroked was just too hilarious. This romance stared not only two main characters, but three. First, you have Paisley, a down on her luck production assistant that needs a big break. Then, there’s hunky Olympic swimmer Reese who’s on the quest for a gold medal that has alluded him. Finally, there’s a foul-mouthed, self-absorbed Paris Hilton or Kim Kardasian-esque reality T.V. star named Bellini with a slight religious obsession. All three of their points of view were amazingly written. Stroked‘s storyline is a love triangle between these three characters, but not in the way that might turn some off. There’s more to it than first meets the eye.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book! Paisley was beautiful and down to earth. She was also a stealthy badass who knew how to handle tough situations without drawing attention to herself. Her strengths made her the perfect person to deal with Bellini’s absurd bitchiness.  Reese was that self-confident but sweet sports star. He treated Paisley with such care. They had a really cool connection and their chemistry was off the freakin’ charts. I loved how he also didn’t put up with Bellini’s high jinks.

Bellini…That woman. Wow. I don’t know if I’ve read any character quite like her. I kind of wanted to puke while reading her points of view. She was just so over the top, so self-entitled. I hated her, but she was great for some laughs. I have to admit she made for a fun and interesting love triangle.

Paisley, Reese and Bellini weren’t the only fun characters in this story, though. Meghan Quinn loaded this one with exceptional characters. Bellini’s friends were crazy and I have a sick curiosity about them — sick because they were a little disturbing. I wouldn’t mind another story staring Bellini just to find out more about them. Reese’s friends were cool and I am excited to find out more about them in upcoming books.

My only teeny tiny complaint about Stroked was Paisley’s best friend and roommate, Jonathan. I liked him the first half of the book, but then he showed his true colors and I wasn’t a fan. I just wish his part in the story hadn’t taken the direction it did. That being said, it wasn’t a huge issue for me. It didn’t detract from my love of this story. It was so much fun to read that I can’t give it anything less than 5 stars.

I would highly recommend reading Stroked. It’s the perfect sports romance for the 2016 Olympics Games or if you’re just looking for a fun romance to enjoy.

 

WWW Wednesday: August 10, 2016

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Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

I am starting ’89 Walls today.


Recently finished:

It’s romance city this week! I have a lot of blog tour reviews coming up in the next couple of weeks, so I’ve been reading the ARCs for those. I also did a buddy read with some Goodreads friends.

The Best Friend Bargain (Kisses in the Sand, #3)
Interference (Prescott Family, #1)
Wrong Question, Right Answer (The Bourbon Street Boys, #3)
Wicked Bond (The Wicked Horse, #5)
Bending Bethany
The Summer Remains (The Summer Remains, #1)

Click on the book titles to read the reviews that I have already posted.


Reading Next:

Next I’ll be reading L.I.A.