Review: Hard Pass (Sara Ney)

Hard Pass
Series: Trophy Boyfriends, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

“Hard pass.”
That’s what the last girl I slept with said when she got her first sober glimpse of me. She laughed, walked out of my penthouse—and I never saw her again. It doesn’t matter that I’m a rich, professional athlete; what mattered was my face. Beauty might only be skin deep for some—but I know better.

“Pay up.”
That’s what the last girl I spoke to said over the phone when I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Desperate to sell a set of rare baseball cards, she’s clever and entertaining. I’m instantly smitten, but nowhere ready to reveal myself. Thank god she has no idea who I am—or what I look like.
I’m a professional athlete–how hard can playing the love game be?


I feel like my 3.5 star rating doesn’t accurately portray the happy feeling this book gave me. It had some of the same vibe as The Learning Hours (my favorite book by Ney) did in many ways and was all sorts of fun. I loved the way Noah and Miranda met, and the drama that unfolded because of Noah’s insecurities. They way the clicked and their instant attraction/chemistry was so cute. I even loved Noah’s self-appointed,annoying best friend, Buzz. Hard Pass was just one of those books that made me smile the entire time I was reading it.

Why only 3.5 stars then, you ask? Well, I needed more. It felt like one date and then BAM! Everything goes down and is wrapped up so quickly. I thought there could have been a little bit more of a story there. Or maybe I just wanted longer so that it wasn’t completely instant love between Noah and Miranda.

No matter what, it was still an adorable read. Almost had the feel of a mixture between the Douchebag series and the Jock Row series. I loved that. I hope the rest of the series is as cute!

Review: Hands Down (Mariana Zapata)

Hands Down
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: July 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.


Sigh. I am so happy Mariana Zapata wrote Hands Down. I didn’t know I needed a story about Zac (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me) or Bianca (The Best Thing), but I am so glad I got one. Hands Down was a happy place for me. It was a a slow burn romance that I wanted to keep burning. I loved the way it combined friendship and love. There was also a great family aspect. This was one of those books that had it all.

Now, if you’re familiar with Zapata’s writing you will understand what I’m talking about next. There are times this book is a little too wordy. There are times the words and thoughts feels redundant. I knew this was the way that it was going to be, so it was easy to look past for the amazing characters and their story.I just went with the flow, got lost in the story, and forgot that things could be a little repetitive and predictable. I did that, and I fell in love with this book.

I did have one big beef with this book in the form of nicknames. How many nicknames for a character are too many? I have never thought about this before, but one. One nickname is more than enough. There were WAY TOO MANY nicknames in this book. For Zac: Big Texas and Snack Pack. Probably only needed one of those, but I guess both worked. It was Bianca’s nicknames that killed me: Bibi, Little Texas, Blanca (just a jerky boss, but added to the number), and kiddo. Yes, KIDDO. That one right there is what killed me. Zac called Bianca “kiddo”. Yes, it was leftover from childhood, but STILL. They hadn’t seen each other in 10! years! That one needed to go. At least before they began a relationship. ICK.

Anyways. After finishing Hands Down, all I could think was that I wanted another new book by Mariana Zapata like now. I enjoyed this one so much, and finishing left me feeling both happy and sad. I think I’m going to have to either re-read this one soon or another one of hers.

Series Review: Love (Jillian Dodd)

Vegas Love
Series: Love, #1
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Publisher: Jillian Dodd, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A sexy celebrity stand alone romance by USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd.
Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.

Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.
Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.

Will this one night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love.

My thoughts:

Vegas Love is a book that sat on my Kindle for years after I downloaded for free. I’m not sure why I never picked it up, but when I started the New-to-Me Author Summer Bingo challenge it fit perfectly for one of my bingo squares. I’m glad it did because I enjoyed it so much!

What did I love about it? Ashlyn and Cash were hilarious together. Their whole night in Vegas had me cracking up. They were perfect for each other from the moment they met. I also loved how sweet Cash was and how he took care of Ashlyn so many times. Cash’s family was so much fun, too. They added to all the sweetness of the story.

What didn’t I love? At times, I had a hard time equating Ashlyn to who Cade said she was. Some of her habits didn’t line up with what I thought based on her mother’s problems, but I guess everyone deals with things differently.

Overall, this was an entertaining romance that had me swooning and hurrying to download the next book from Kindle Unlimited.


Broken Love
Series: Love, #2
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Jillian Dodd, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can you get a second chance at first love?

After years of crushing and many failed seduction attempts, Palmer Montlake had finally scored the sexy Cade Crawford. Both a little drunk when they got back to her place, they were frantic with need, their desire intense. But as the night progressed, the hot-mess hookup morphed to sweet lovemaking. The kind neither had ever experienced.

But they were destined for heartbreak. She was his best friend’s little sister. He was her talent agent. And they were dating in secret. When they got into a wicked fight and broke up, all hell broke loose. The kind neither have recovered from.

Six years later, they still hate each other. But the universe seems to keep throwing them together. When they catch the bouquet and garter at a mutual friend’s wedding, sparks fly between them — their chemistry undeniable.

Will they get a second chance? Or will they be left with a broken love?

The Love Series is a series of standalone novels featuring a different sexy Crawford sibling. They can be read by themselves. However, if you do wish to read them all, they are best enjoyed in order.

My thoughts:

This second book was cute. I’m not normally one for flashbacks, but the ones in here helped give the story of the first time Palmer and Cade were together so I didn’t really mind them. It actually helped solidify their current relationship, which would have felt very insta-lovey without them. I loved both the characters and couldn’t wait from them to get everything worked out. Palmer and Cade’s second chance at romance was fun and sweet read.

Overall, Love was a fun series. I will be reading more of Jillian Dodd’s books in the future. I do have one question, though. Does anyone know if Fake Love (Love, #3) will ever be released? I saw it on Goodreads, but couldn’t find any information about it. I would love to read it!

Mini Reviews: Loud Mouth & Jilted Jock

Today, I have reviews for two recently released sports romances for you.

Loud Mouth
Series: Ice Knights, #3
Author: Avery Flynn
Publication Date: June 22, 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I never meant to say a word, not one single word.

But I did.

And now, because of my blog, everyone knows that Ice Knights hockey star Ian Petrov’s best friend and fellow player is actually his half brother—hello, hockey Hall of Famer dad who couldn’t keep his jeans zipped.

That wouldn’t be such a big deal if Ian knew. He didn’t, and boy howdy is he pissed. And who is he most mad at? Oh sure, he’s upset with his dad and former best friend/brother from another mother, but most of his ire is with me. It’s definitely a case of hating the messenger.

And what could make it worse? How about the two of us being trapped together in a remote cabin after a massive blizzard. Neither of us can leave. Just us, the snow, his resentment, and OMG sexual tension so thick it would take a snowplow to break through it.

I’ve got to get out of here before I do something even dumber than I’ve already done and kiss the sexy, snarly grump with his misplaced anger and perfect pecs. That would be the worst, the absolute worst. That’s why I’m not going to do it. Nope. Really. So why can’t I stop imagining what it would be like?

My thoughts:

Want a break from all the stress of the world around you? Loud Mouth has you covered. This light, slightly steamy read was nothing but fun. If you have read the first two books, I would say it’s just as good as Parental Guidance, but not quite as good as AWK-WEIRD (That one is my shining star in this series.). I really enjoyed how easy Shelby and Ian’s book felt, despite some of the deeper issues it delved into. It’s one of those books that would be perfect for the beach or just chilling at home.


Jilted Jock
Series: A Cocky Hero Club Novel
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: June 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

He was someone who belonged on the cover of Sports Illustrated instead of in my small beach town.

A sexy, cocky Australian soccer star named Finn was the last person I expected to be living with for two weeks.

He showed up at my brother’s house on his wedding night, hot, drunk, and very much not married. Next thing I knew, we were roommates, spending nights watching TV and getting to know one another.

Those two weeks turned into more than either of us bargained for.

He was fresh off a broken heart and I had a boyfriend.

I wasn’t supposed to fall for the jilted jock, especially when I knew we’d be going our separate ways.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except he’s not letting me go without a fight.

My thoughts:

Rebecca Jenshak has become one of my new favorite authors this year. I love her sports romance novels, and was excited that this book was related to Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s Cocky Bastard.

Jilted Jock was a fun read. I fell in love with it from the very beginning. It was kind of a love triangle, but not really one. Normally, I would steer clear of it because of that, but it was pretty apparent the direction it was going from the beginning so no worries if that concerns you. Adele and Finn had an instant connection. I love how they became friends and then… Well, you have to read it find out what happens.

The only thing that didn’t 100% work for me in this book was that the first part of this book was in Adele’s POV of view. Then, it switches to Finn. I loved getting both of their perspectives, but I kind of missed Adele’s when I didn’t have it. I really wanted to know what was going on in her head, but I guess that was the surprise of it. I can’t really complain to much about it.

Review: Charming Like Us

Charming Like Us
Series: Like Us, #7
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: June 23, 2020
Publisher: K.B. Ritchie
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As the hottest bodyguard on Security Force Omega, Oscar Oliveira has no trouble finding a warm body at any odd hour. But he’s ready for more.

And for the first time in this ex-pro boxer’s life, he just got rejected. For a kiss.

Oscar’s friends warned him not to fall for the straight guy, but flirty, sexy-as-hell Jack Highland made that difficult. Now Jack has Oscar’s sweater. His belt. His bandana. And Oscar seriously wants them back.

As for Jack – well, Jack wants a lot of things.

But for the first time in this confident filmmaker’s life, he’s absolutely 100%… confused. Add another ultra-complication in a sea of complicated: Enter Charlie Cobalt.

The enigmatic famous one that Oscar is sworn to protect wants his own show, and he’s asked Jack to film it. A Charlie-centric docuseries will force Oscar & Jack to share the same air again.

Option 1: Ignore each other.
Option 2: Flirt, aw yeah. And act like the rejection never happened.
Option 3: Confront each other about the rejected kiss.

With options on the table and their romantic lives unsettled, both Jack & Oscar are concerned about why Charlie wants his own show. And the longer filming lasts, the more tumultuous their personal & professional worlds become.

Chaos reigns when you’re around the Cobalts, and Jack & Oscar are swept up among the most destructive one.


Finally! Another Like Us book. The wait hasn’t been that long, but it felt like years for some reason. I missed being in the midst of the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt family drama. I was so excited to read this one and here are my thoughts now that I have…

What I loved:

  • Krista & Becca Ritchie’s writing. It always feels a bit like coming home.
  • Getting to know both Oscar and Jack better. Jack was probably my biggest surprise. I think it’s because I can remember not liking him when he first dropped into the Hale-Meadows-Cobalt world. He’s proven himself over the span of many books, but this book made me love his character even more.
  • How Jack’s change of feelings and exploration of self went. How his family and friends supported him.
  • Oscar and Jack as a couple. Very cute.
  • Seeing so many favorite characters. It was especially fun to get some hints at what’s to come in the next three books.
  • Charlie could have been part of that last bullet, but he deserves his own. I felt like I learned the most about him in this book than I have over the last six. If I wanted a book about him before, I want it even more now.

What I wasn’t so sure about:

  • There is one part of this book that felt like it maybe should have taken place somewhere like Las Vegas instead of New York. It was kind of thrown in and was a big surprise, but I wasn’t sure that I was 100% behind it.
  • It felt a little weird that this book wasn’t about a Hale, Meadows, or Cobalt clan member. I didn’t mind much because Charlie was so present and Oscar and Jack are so prevalent throughout the entire series, but it did give the book a little bit of a different feel.

Overall feelings? It was a fun ride. I am excited to find out what’s next in this world. Bring on book 8!

Mini Reviews: Faked, Taking His Shot, Trying to Score, & Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Happy Friday! Today, I have some short reviews to share with you for the books I have been reading the past couple of weeks.

Faked
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Dutch Girl Publishing, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Every action has a consequence, and Claire Ward knows it. And yet, even knowing that her decision to swap places with her identical twin sister, Lia, for a night could be disastrous, she still does it.

Why?

Because it will give her an evening with the man she’s been crushing on for years, Lia’s best friend, Finn.

Miss Straight A Student has thought through all the angles, and knows the risk is worth it. And everything would have been fine, if Finn had been the one to show up at her door.

But it wasn’t.

Bauer Davis— Finn’s half brother and his exact opposite in just about every definable category is the one waiting for her instead. A professional snowboarder, Bauer is covered in ink, full of attitude, and has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Olympus. The kind of bad boy that Claire has never been attracted to before.

Now the good girl is with the wrong brother for a night, and when the consequence is that they have to pretend to be together for an event, it’s nothing she could have predicted. But maybe, just maybe, what makes Bauer so bad, is exactly what Claire needs.

My thoughts:

Karla Sorensen is an author whose books I tried and fell in love with earlier this year. Faked was a little insta-lovey, but I could not have cared less about that because it was so freaking cute! I loved Claire and Bauer together. They seemed liked opposites, but got each other in the most sincere way. The way their families wove into the story was perfect. I had such a great time reading this book! It might just be my new favorite of Sorensen’s!


Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Series: The Brown Sisters, #1
Author: Talia Hibbert
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

My thoughts:

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the banter between Chloe and Red. Their enemies to lovers thing was super cute. I loved how Chloe’s disability was written. What I had a harder time with was the pace of the story or how the story unfolded, I guess. I had to push myself to keep reading even when I liked the romance that was happening.


Taking His Shot
Series: Hot Jocks, #7
Author: Kendall Ryan
Publication Date: June 5, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She says she doesn’t date players.

She swears up and down that she’ll never handle my stick.

We’ll see about that, sweetheart.

When I win the pleasure of Harper’s company at a charity auction, I get exactly one date—one shot to win over the gorgeous and feisty brunette.

Game on. I play hard, and I love a challenge.

But just when I think I’ve finally carved out my shot . . . a huge secret implodes around us, threatening everything we’ve built.

The bestselling Hot Jocks series is back with one last stand-alone novel. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series is perfect for you! Each book features a brand new couple to fall in love with.

My thoughts:

I had high expectations for this book because I have come to love Jordie’s character over the series. I wasn’t a huge fan of Harper. She was so closed off, and I knew from the moment the book started what was going to happen. I guess I wanted Jordie’s book to be a little more like Landon’s since they were the younger guys. This book was lacking something that one had. It was a quick, fun read still.


Trying to Score
Series: Hot Jocks, #3
Author: Kendall Ryan
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Teddy King excels at many things. Playing hockey. Check. Scoring on and off the ice. Check. Being stupidly attractive … Double check.

I knew him way back when. Before he was the guy everyone wanted a piece of, he was just a rebellious college co-ed and one of my more energetic study partners.

But secrets have a way of getting out, and a steamy encounter from our college days (that we probably shouldn’t have filmed) is about to cause a major scandal. Unless we can work together to stop it.

Teddy’s no stranger to hard work … but the thing he wants most?

Is me.

Note: This high-heat standalone is chock-full of scorching banter and steamy good times. He’s a testosterone-dripping hockey player who wants a second chance. She’s a tough as nails attorney intent on making partner. Loads of hot banter. No cliffhanger. Enjoy!

Your favorite hot jocks are back with an all new stand-alone novel. If you like sexy, confident men who know how to handle a stick (on and off the ice), and smart women who are strong enough to keep all those big egos in check, this series of athlete romances is perfect for you!

My thoughts:

Obviously, I’m reading this series out of order depending on when my library holds come in. Not a big deal at all, but I was super excited for this one because of the hints about this couple in some of the upcoming books. I really loved Sara and Teddy’s romance. Their history made this book extra fun, and I adored how their friendship easily transitioned to more. This was one of the books that is on my list of favorites for this series.

Review: Want You to Want Me (Lorelei James)

Want You to Want Me
Series: Want Me, #2
Author: Lorelei James
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The new sexy contemporary romance in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s Want You series, set in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis–smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund–for help.

Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.

They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends–much more.


Want You to Want Me is a book I wanted to read simply because I have read the first book in this series and the entire related series. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Lund family, and wanted to spend some more time with them.

This book was a great read. It was a slow burn in a lot of ways. The  romance built slowly. The characters spent a lot of time getting to know each other as their relationship developed. Nolan and Gabi were kind of an unlikely couple. He was into fashion and business, while she was into hockey and coaching. They didn’t have the best or even correct impression of who the other was at first, but they once they figured each other out, they were perfect together. It was a super sweet relationship that I loved.

The plot also built slowly throughout the book. There were a couple of tiny hints at what was to come, especially for Nolan. What was a little unsettling was how the major problem was kind of just dumped on me all at once. I had to think hard back to those tiny hints to put some of it together. I had a hard time coming to terms with the side characters acted. I liked how things played out for Nolan and Gabi, but the rest I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I’m not sure if I loved that or not.

There were a few other great things about this book that I want to spotlight. I loved that Gabi was the athlete in this book. She was a great female sports role model. I also liked the inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and events. Everything Nolan did to support the community was done with the best intentions. The other thing I liked was the way Nolan’s mom and brother interacted with both him and Gabi.

Overall, Want You to Want Me was a great contemporary sports romance. I enjoyed the low amount of drama and the sweetness of the romance.

Series Review: Game On (Kristen Callihan)

 I picked up The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan because I needed the first book in a series by an author I hadn’t read yet for the New to Me Author Summer Challenge. When I did that, I had no idea it would turn into a binge read. Thanks to the challenge, I have found a new sports romance author to love. Here are my mini reviews for each book in the series.


The Hook Up (Book 1) ★ ★ ★ ★

I really enjoyed Drew and Anna’s story. He was a cocky football player looking for more. She was a girl who didn’t see herself as the bombshell she was and didn’t want a relationship. They had great chemistry. I do have to say that at times this book felt a little long, but the pay off was well worth it.

The Friend Zone (Book 2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Wow. I’m impressed. This is one of my new favorite friends to lovers books. Between the texts and the chemistry, I was sold. I loved Ivy and Gray together. This will be my favorite book in the series, I just know it.

The Game Plan (Book 3) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Did I say The Friend Zone would be my favorite? Well, The Game Plan surpassed it.  I loved Dex and Fiona just as much as I loved Ivy and Gray. Dex and Fiona surpassed them based on their chemistry and emotional connection, though. That emotional connection was something else.

The Hot Shot (Book 4) ★ ★ ★ ★

Don’t let the 4 stars fool you. I enjoyed this book almost as much as the last two. When it comes to rating it, I felt like I had to give it less because it was missing something the last two had. Not sure what it was because I loved Finn and Chess. The way they started out as friends was cute. Their relationship drama didn’t seem to be as big as the past three books, which I was thankful for, but it was there. It was a great addition to the series.

Conclusions?

I really hope we get more books in the Game On series and soon. I loved every minute I spent binging this football romance series. I see a ton of possibilities in this football world for future stories.

Review: Summer Fling Anthology

Summer Fling Anthology
Authors: Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, L.J. Shen, Willow Winters, Helena Hunting, R.S. Grey, Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: June 8, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ¼

Synopsis:

For a Good Time Call by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Ever see For a good time call scribbled on the bathroom wall of a bar? Sure you have. Ever wonder what would happen if you had a few too many drinks and actually called the number? Well now you don’t have to wonder anymore, because I’ll tell you… It blows up in your face when you suddenly realize who Mr. Good Time is.

Eternal Sunshine by L.J. Shen

Adam Mackay is my brother’s best friend, turned Hollywood heartthrob, who is now my brand new, infuriating boss.

Sounds complicated? You have no idea…

Stay Right Here with Me by Willow Winters

I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made sitting in this very spot in this small town bar. Watching the iron doors swing closed as the broad-shouldered man who just walked in sits across from me, I already know he’s on that list of, “I shouldn’t have done that…”

Damsel Dude in Distress by Helena Hunting

I thought I was helping a damsel in distress. Turns out my damsel was actually a hot dude with some bad luck. It started with a broken down car and ended with a gross motel, an indoor campout and a set of Kama Sutra sheets.

The Beach R.S. Grey

I’m not supposed to be on vacation with my best friend’s older brother. I’ve wanted him for so long, and now we’re unexpectedly alone in a tropical paradise. Naturally, I packed a lot of bikinis, but I should have brought armor if I want to have any hope of surviving my week away with Noah Martin…or should I say, Dr. Martin.

Lucky Shot by Sarina Bowen

Rookie sports agent Bess Beringer gets a real education on the night of her first glitzy New York business dinner. But the things she learns have nothing to do with roster rules or contract negotiation. Luckily, rookie hockey player Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz is a pro-level teacher…


Here is a mini review for each book in this FREE anthology.

For a Good Time Call by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward – This was one of the shining stars in this anthology. It was the epitome of a summer romance. There was the beach, hilarious moments, and a flirty romance. I really enjoyed it.

Eternal Sunshine by L.J. Shen – This was the short story that brought the book down for me. It didn’t feel summery at all. It felt depressing. I don’t know what the dude was thinking in the beginning, but it completely killed the story for me from the get-go. Eternal Sunshine is just another example of why I think I have grown out of L.J. Shen’s current writing style.

Stay Right Here with Me by Willow Winters – I loved Stay Right Here with Me. I would have loved for this to have been a full length novel or even just longer. I wanted to spend more time with this couple.

Damsel Dude in Distress by Helena Hunting – This was another gem that had me laughing. I loved these characters and their story. I would have read more of it.  It took me a while to figure out how the characters in this story relate to other characters in Hunting’s books, but once I did I was even more sold on this short story.

The Beach R.S. Grey – I was sad when this one was over. I really wanted more just so I could keep reading about this couple. It was so much fun. It had a summer vacation resort vibe that I loved. I would be on board for Grey to turn it into a full length novel.

Lucky Shot by Sarina Bowen – Lucky Shot was the reason I picked up this anthology, and it did not disappoint. I loved getting one more look at Bess and Tank’s relationship. They’re such a fun couple and have amazing chemistry. It was basically a prologue to Sure Shot.

Review: The Player Next Door (K.A. Tucker)

The Player Next Door
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: June 14, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Ten Tiny Breaths comes a new second-chance, hate-to-love romance.

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot’s daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he’s Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won’t allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.

But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.

And maybe this time she’s the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.


The Player Next Door was a fun escape. It was a cute second chance romance. Scarlett was heartbroken after Shane broke up with her in high school. Now, years later, she’s back living in her hometown living next door to him. He’s determined to win her back, and Scarlett is determined to stay away from him. That doesn’t last long, and Scarlett discovers the feelings she had in high school might not be as far behind her as she thought.

I loved how lighthearted this book felt compared to some other of Tucker’s books.  The sweetness of Scarlett and Shane’s takes center stage. Their romance felt fun and natural. There was some deep stuff going on at times, but it never felt like too much. It also helped that there were so humorous moments with Scarlett’s friends. It was exactly what I needed in these heavy times. I’m hoping Tucker will make this a series and give Justine a book. I would LOVE to see her with Dean!

Download today or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2B2QTuD
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ThePlayerNextDoorKAT
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2YJOXRC