Review: Bench Player (Julianna Keyes)

Bench Player
Series: Charleston Thrashers, #2
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: March 30, 2020
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

ALLISON

As Public Relations Manager for the Charleston Thrashers, I’m responsible for protecting the team’s reputation. But after our right fielder gets sent to prison and we lose the World Series, my own reputation takes a huge hit. There’s only one way I can save my job: by revamping Connor Whitman’s tarnished ex-con image. Keeping my eye on the ball isn’t a problem until I discover what’s underneath his unkempt exterior—a man who’s unexpectedly vulnerable and distractingly sexy. Now, my professionalism is sailing far into foul territory.

CONNOR

I’ve served my time, and now I’m determined to reclaim my spot in the Thrashers’ outfield. Unfortunately, the new General Manager doesn’t want an aging ex-con on the roster, so I have no choice but to go along with Allison’s annoying scheme. Her bossiness drives me crazy—but so do her legs and her hair and her all-too-rare smiles. I can’t afford to fall for anyone when my focus needs to be on baseball, but love is a game I’ve never played before, and for the first time ever, I’m out of my league.


After reading Team Player, I was excited to hear there was going to be a second book in the Charleston Thrashers series. Bench Player was a great sports romance read. It had an almost enemies vibe going on at first, which then turned into a sort of forbidden lovers thing. Both of those tropes were done well and made the romance all the more fun.

I loved Allison. She was tough as nails, but also had a softer side. I loved her relationship with her grandfather. It was adorable! It might have almost been sweeter than her relationship with Connor…

Connor was a character I haven’t read before  in a sports romance. Sure, I’ve read about players who need some sort of image overhaul, but I don’t think I’ve ever read the ex-con angle before. I loved how it changed him. He was standoffish at first and had every reason to be. I loved seeing his character growth over the course of the story, and how his relationship with Allison changed how he saw a few things.

Allison + Connor = Fire! I loved their banter and chemistry. They seemed too opposite to make sense at first, but then that was what made them make sense together. I loved the ups and down they went through to get to their finish line.

The only thing I didn’t like in this book was something close to the end. It made me sad. I just wish the story hadn’t gone there. I felt like it maybe it didn’t need to.

Other than that one thing, I loved this book. I’m really hoping this series continues as there are a couple more players I would love to see get their own story.

Mini Reviews: Boss Man Bridegroom & Riven Knight

Boss Man Bridegroom
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: January 23, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Will you do me the greatest honor of all time and be my bridegroom?” she asks, hope in her eyes . . .

How did I get here? My assistant, bent on one knee, holding my hand, her expectant face waiting for an answer.

Just . . . how?

How did I go from being insulted by Charlee Cox to hiring her to be my assistant? How is it that she’s chaos in color – making me crazy and my life better at the same time?

I never thought I would be staring down at her bright blue eyes begging me to go along with this ridiculous scheme I suggested.

Yes, I suggested. Like the idiot I am, I thought hey, why not start an HR nightmare and have my assistant ask me to marry her?

Confused? Don’t worry, so am I.

But try to follow along, because this is how I became Boss Man Bridegroom.

My thoughts:

Boss Man Bridegroom was absolutely adorable. It had the humor and romance I have come to expect from Meghan Quinn. Rath was uptight, but also super sweet. Charlie was extra in the best way. I loved every minute of them falling in love. If you love fake relationships that turn real or office romances, this book is for you. If you’re unfamiliar with Meghan Quinn’s writing, but love a good romantic comedy, you could start with this book. Or you could do yourself a favor and start with Diary of a Bad Boy and then read The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister before reading this one. Each book is a ton of fun and they feature three male best friends finding love.


Riven Knight
Series: Tin Gypsies, #2
Author: Devney Perry
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Genevieve Daylee didn’t expect to be standing in front of a judge on her twenty-seventh birthday. But ever since her life became entangled with a former motorcycle gang, she’s learned not to expect anything but trouble.

Her mother, a woman she once admired and adored, is gone, leaving behind a trail of secrets and lies. She’s living in a tiny apartment above a garage owned by her brother, a man who loathes her very existence. And the father she met beside her mother’s grave is as much of a stranger as Isaiah Reynolds, the broken man with soulless eyes standing beside her in front of the judge.

Isaiah is her protector from the murderer at large in Clifton Forge. Though he’s more like a riven knight in dented armor than a prince on a white stallion. She knows next to nothing about him, other than he works as a mechanic. As of tonight, he’ll be sharing her bathroom.

And, according to the judge, Isaiah is now her husband.

My thoughts:

I liked Riven Knight even more than Gypsy King. It started out much quicker for me and I immediately bonded with the characters. Genevieve and Isaiah’s story was kind of a slow burn filled with all sorts of sexual tension. I loved how they navigated their new situation. I liked the mystery aspect of things. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was probably one of the biggest twists because I didn’t think it needed to go there…but that’s my personal opinion. Overall, a great addition to this new series.

Review: Faker (Sarah Smith)

Faker
Author: Sarah Smith
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy multicultural romance where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last…

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self.

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps…

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.


Faker is Sarah Smith’s début novel, and it’s a strong one. I was very impressed with the writing. It pulled me in right away. I loved the banter between Emmie and Tate. Their relationship was definitely solid in the hate to love game. I liked how things changed for them in a way that felt natural. I enjoyed reading their romance.

There a couple of things that bothered me, though. One was Emmie’s attitude toward Tate. I got why she put up a front with him, but I didn’t always like the way she antagonized him. I loved that she played a part to keep her co-workers respecting her in a predominantly male workplace, but a lot of the time Tate didn’t deserve what Emmie was dishing out. The second thing that bothered me was the twist. It’s not a twist I like in romance novels. I was disappointed that the author took the story there because there were a couple of opportunities for other twists that would have been less…disturbing?

In the end, I did enjoy Faker. Things ended in a way that I was good with and that brought back some of the happier feelings I had in the middle of the book. Emmie and Tate’s relationship was really cute for the most part. I’m looking forward to see what is next for Sarah Smith.

Review: Handle with Care (Helena Hunting)

Handle with Care
Series: Shacking Up, #2
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.
Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.
Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.


I had in my mind that I was going to do a bullet point review for Handle with Care listing my likes and dislikes. The thing is… I didn’t dislike anything about it. The Shacking Up series keeps getting better and better with each book. I loved Handle with Care. I guess I’m just going to have to gives you my likes.

  • Lincoln Moorehead. This burly mountain man had a heart of gold. He always tried to do the right thing. I loved how he spent his time giving back to others.
  • Lincoln wasn’t perfect, though. He had faults. He was especially good at goading his brother Armstrong, which I approved of.
  • Armstrong is probably one of my most hated characters, and he’s rightfully gained that title over the course of the series. He was especially fun to hate in Handle with Care.
  • Wren Sterling. Anyone who can bring Armstrong to his knees they way she could deserves applause. Plus, she was just a nice person.
  • Lincoln + Wren = insane chemistry. I loved the whole office romance vibe they had going on. The fact that she was his “handler” made it even more fun.
  • All of the surprised Helena Hunting had in store for the reader.
  • G-mom. I loved that old lady.

My list of positives about Handle with Care could probably go on longer. It was just such a fun read. I loved being back in this world of characters. I’m really hoping Helena Hunting will continue this series a little longer.

Review: On the Corner of Love and Hate (Nina Bocci)

On the Corner of Love and Hate
Series: Hopeless Romantics, #1
Author: Nina Bocci
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.


Today, I have a book I’m excited to share with you for a couple of reasons. If you’re a romance blogger like me, you have probably communicated with Nina Bocci or at least heard of her in some way. It’s always exciting to see a name you’re familiar with publish a book. Or maybe you’re like me in another way and became a fan of Nina Bocci’s writing with her collaboration with Alice Clayton on Roman Crazy. Either way, I was excited for On the Corner of Love and Hate for both of those reasons. Here is what I thought of Nina Bocci’s solo début.

What I liked:

  • I knew I liked Nina Bocci’s writing based on what I read in Roman Crazy. I wasn’t sure how that would translate to a solo novel. I was very happy to find that her writing felt just as strong by itself.
  • Emma was a strong female character. She was successful in life. She didn’t need a man to hold her hand through life. I liked that when she finally had a man in her life, it was because she wanted one instead of needing one.
  • Emma’s family. Her relationship with her dad was sweet, but her relationship with her mom was sweet and funny. I loved the texts they shared.
  • Emma’s friends were adorable! I loved Nick and Henry! I can’t wait to see them again.

What I disliked:

  • There was too much going on. There were three big things going on all at once and it was a little overwhelming. I didn’t know where to focus my attention: the mayor’s race, Emma’s tense relationship with Cooper, or Whitney?
  • The lack of Cooper’s point of view. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of Cooper because all I got to see through Emma were the bad things. Even when she moved from hate to love, it was hard to understand why. There wasn’t much to show their love for each other. It was so slow burn, the romance was almost non-existent.

Overall, On the Corner of Love and Hate was a strong solo début for Nina Bocci. It made me excited to find out what’s next in the Hopeless Romantics series.

GIVEAWAY

Review: Things You Save in a Fire (Katherine Center)

Things You Save in a Fire
Author: Katherine Center
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.


How to Walk Away was one of my favorite books from 2018. When I heard Katherine Center was releasing another book, I knew I had to read it. Things You Save in a Fire was exactly what I was expecting. The writing was brilliant. the characters were fleshed out and lovable. The story and drama were entertaining and pulled me in. There wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t love.

Cassie was this tough as nail firefighter who didn’t want to stand out in the crowd of firefighters. She tried to blend in as much as could with her fellow male counterparts. While I was impressed with her ability to do so, I was sad that she had to do that in 2019. I know a lot of women do, though, in many jobs. It added a very interesting aspect to this love story. It made Cassie’s feelings for the rookie a tad bit stressful and emotional in a way I couldn’t have seen coming.

I loved everything about Cassie and Owen’s (non-)relationship. The way everything built between them was perfect. I felt their connection. I enjoyed how Cassie tried to avoid it. It was just really cute…and emotional. I won’t go into why it was so emotional because I don’t want to ruin anything, but Cassie had some healing to do where love was concerned. I enjoyed how she worked through her issues with love.

Part of those love issues for Cassie had to do with her mom. I adored her mother in this book. I get why Cassie had to work on forgiveness. Forgiveness was a huge part of this book, and I liked how it was done — with one exception.

One of the biggest villains was forgiven more quickly than I liked. The severity of the hurt they caused felt almost brushed over by the rate of forgiveness. I am glad this person was forgiven, but I wanted more legal retribution. This person didn’t have to deal with their actions in the way I thought they should have. I did like how they atoned and made a huge effort to apologize, though.

Other than that, this story was perfection in my eyes. It was a great inspirational story that has me eagerly anticipating Katherine Center’s next book.

Review: The Billionaire Boss Next Door (Max Monroe)

TBBND - BT banner.jpg

The Billionaire Boss Next Door, an all-new hilarious romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe, is available now!

The Billionaire Boss Next Door
Authors: Max Monroe
Publication Date: May 16, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

My new boss has it all. In spades.

Gorgeous green eyes? Check.
Hard-and-sexy body? Check.
Intelligence? Check.
Success? A big fat billionaire… Check.

Too bad I haven’t started out on the best foot.

My big mouth has already turned him against me, and tempting good looks and success aside, Trent Turner is no peach either. He’s stubborn and thick-headed, and son of a fruitcake, he thinks he knows everything there is to know about the hotel business.

With him running the development of the new Vanderturn New Orleans Hotel and me doing the design, our work relationship is far too intimate for two people who absolutely despise one another.

But that’s not all.

See, he isn’t just my billionaire boss from hell. He’s my new neighbor, too.

Same city.
Same building.
Same floor.

Trent Turner is my billionaire boss next door.

Holy moly, let’s hope my career—and hormones—can survive.

Disclaimer: If you generally love to suffer, hate fun of any kind, and are allergic to laughter, this book is not for you.


If you are a fan of Max Monroe’s contemporary romances, you are in for a treat with The Billionaire Boss Next Door. It’s filled with classic Max Monroe goodness.

First, there is Max Monroe’s trademark humor. The Billionaire Boss Next Door was a little silly, pretty witty, and a whole lot of fun. I always wonder how they come up with such humorous antics and banter. It was great in this book with the way Greer and Trent started out hating each other. Max Monroe does enemies to lovers in the best way.

Second, Greer and Trent were the kind of characters you expect from Max Monroe. Each was slightly nutty in a humorous way. Greer was this outspoken, almost awkward, constantly late woman who you wish was your friend in real life. Trent was an uptight prick who was hiding a nice guy underneath. They were so “extra” in completely different ways.

Third, there’s tight, envy creating friendships. Greer and Emory were BBFs that I would be jealous of in real life. They had this tight friendship where they just got each other, and pushed each other when needed. Trent’s friendships were even more fun. Do I dare say the Trent – Caplin – Quince triangle reminded me a bit of the Kline – Thatcher – Wes friendship? It kind of did! (MM said Trent’s their new favorite over Thatch. I don’t know… I think if anyone is going to dethrone Thatch, it’s going to be Cap!) I loved how a couple of these friends even got a chapter or two in their point of view. Those chapters added so much and were perfect for this book!

Last (but not least), I have to talk about Greer and Trent’s relationship. I loved it. Somehow, their “extra” personalities made the a fascinating couple. Even while they were hating each other, I never doubted how perfect they would be together. They were so much fun to read about.

I know I just spent the last four paragraphs gushing, so I guess I should also mention a couple of the things that bugged me a tad. (Don’t worry, there’s not many.) It took me a few chapters to become invested in The Billionaire Boss Next Door. I won’t give too many details, but it takes some time to get things set up for Greer and Trent. At time I was reading, it had me wondering why I didn’t feel that initial connection to the story. Once the reason become apparent, I didn’t mind that the interaction between the characters took a little longer to take place than I expected. The other thing was The Billionaire Boss Next Door felt more slow burn and PG-13 than I was expecting from Max Monroe. I’m not really complaining about that. It was just enough different from their other billionaire series that is surprised me. I think some readers might be sad it’s not spicier.

Overall, I found The Billionaire Boss Next Door to be a delightful romantic comedy. It was had everything I’ve come to love in a Max Monroe novel. I’m very excited to find out what’s next to come in this series of standalone billionaire romances. I have a feeling Milo will be next, but I seriously can’t wait for Cap’s book.

 

TBBND - AN.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Vy4KOk

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TBBND

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2uEva5S

TBBND - Teaser 3 AN.jpg

About Max Monroe:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads. Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe:

Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/max-monroe

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ReoxkK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaxmonroe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormaxmonroe/

Stay up to date with Max Monroe by joining their mailing list today: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/newsletter

Series Review: Pippa Grant’s Series That’s Not Actually A Series

Were you confused by the title of this series review? I completely understand if you were because what’s a series that’s not actually a series? Well, in this case it’s several books that are connected by a ton of characters. Rather than review them all separately, I am reviewing them here for you in READING ORDER. Not that you have to read them in this order — I didn’t. (See, series that’s not a series.) Here we go!


Mister McHottie ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the book that starts it all. Mister McHottie is a second chance/enemies to lovers/co-workers romance. As you can probably tell from that description, there is a lot going on. Ambrosia Berger simultaneously hates and is attracted to Chase Jett. He was her childhood nemesis and her brothers’ best friend. There is a ton of animosity between them that makes for a really entertaining love story. I thought this book was a lot of fun. This book introduces us to almost all of the future characters.

Stud in the Stacks ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It’s funny that this is the second book in the series and it’s also my second favorite book in the series. In Stud in the Stacks, Parker Elliot (best friend to Ambrosia Berger) needs a date to her high school reunion. She enlists hunky librarian and romance book loving Knox Moretti to play her boyfriend. The thing is that Knox doesn’t just want this to be a fake relationship. This book was absolutely adorable and hilarious. I loved Knox’s personality and his stance on romance novels. Parker’s attempts to keep things platonic was entertaining for sure.

The Pilot & the Puck-Up ★ ★ ★ ★

This was actually the second book I read in this series, and I enjoyed it. Joey Diamonte was a kick-butt chick who flew planes and took names. I didn’t always love her and her virgin status was a little weird to me, but all that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because Zeus Berger was larger than life (in both description and action). The giant of a hockey player was awkward, caring, and shameless. Zeus was just so sweet. He made this book the delight that it was. I especially loved his relationship with his twin brother, Ares. Oh, and yes. Zeus is also Ambrosia’s brother from Mister McHottie.

Royally Pucked ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

This series has a little bit of everything: a billionaire, a librarian, a hockey player, and now a prince. Manning Frey wasn’t my favorite character from earlier in the series. He was just a bit of a nuisance. I wasn’t exactly sure what his deal was, and I was kind of confused since I had skipped ahead after The Pilot & the Puck-Up to read Ares Berger’s book. All my questions were answered with this read. I ended up really liking Manning and adoring Gracie Diamonte. Joey’s younger sister was a refreshingly real character mixed in with a prince. I loved this accidental pregnancy romance. Plus, a certain monkey is introduced.

Beauty and the Beefcake ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Beauty and the Beefcake is hands down my favorite book in this series. Felicity is an awkward, odd gal that I just loved. She got a little annoying at times, but that was because she was always talking — as herself or as her ventriloquist dummies’ voices. I’ve never had that experience before. What made this book even more special was Ares Berger. All of the other books make the dude seem like the biggest idiot on the planet. He may not have been the smartest, but he was more than who he was portrayed to be. I loved his personality and lack of words. His actions showed more than words ever could. I also can’t leave out his emotional support monkey. Yes, you read that right. Emotional support monkey. You’re just going to have to read this book to find out what that’s all about.

Rockaway Bride ★ ★ ½

Well, I guess they can’t all be favorites. This one did not start out strong for me. It was a little too — I don’t even know how to explain it. There was just so much build up and not enough knowledge of the characters from previous books to really tie into things emotionally from the start. It took me until about 52% into this book and a bunch of nuns to actually start enjoying Willow and Dax’s story. After that, it started to get exciting. When I was finally getting their connection, it was over. I expected to love this book, but didn’t.

Hot Heir ★ ★ ★ ½

I was super excited to read Viktor and Peach’s book. There was some tension stewing between them back in Royally Pucked, and I knew it would be romance gold. It didn’t start off super strong, but I really liked certain things about it: lamas, crazy castle, etc. Viktor and Peach were a cute couple. I thought it was going to go one direction, and it went another. Overall, it was a cute read.

The Hero and the Hactivist ★ ★ ★ ★

The Hero and the Hactivist was the last book I read of all of these books. I’m happy to say it ended things on a more positive note for me. This was Rhett Elliot (brother of Parker from Stud in the Stacks) and Parker’s bandmate Eloise’s book. It was a lot of fun. I liked how their different jobs shaped them and their romance.

Charming as Puck★ ★ ★ ★

Charming as Puck was really good! This was my first book by Pippa Grant. I loved her writing style. It was really funny. The one thing that did bug me was that I felt like it dragged along a bit at times. I can’t wait to read more of this series! This was my original review of this book before reading the rest of the series. I have to add that Nick Murphy (Felicity’s older brother and Ares’ hockey teammate) was an idiot, but I loved his how his relationship with Kami (Felicity’s friend) worked out. Plus, that donkey!

Overall thoughts:

This was a fun group of books to read. I definitely had my favorites: The Beauty and the Beefcake and Stud in the Stacks. I would recommend starting with those two if you don’t care about reading in order. The others weren’t quite perfection like those two, but they were good romantic comedies. The only book I wasn’t a fan of was Rockaway Bride.

Review: Team Player (Julianna Keyes)

Team Player
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Don’t hate the player…

BOTTOM NINE
Gwen Scott wants to love her job with the Charleston Thrashers, the MLB team she’s worshiped since she was a kid, but she can’t. Hateful colleagues and mind-numbing work make her days unbearable—until her head for baseball gets her exclusive access to the Thrashers’ clubhouse and she comes face-to-face with Tyler Ashe, the team’s sexy shortstop and baseball’s most ineligible bachelor.

BASES LOADED
Ty has sworn off relationships in order to focus on his all-star career, but with his best friend gone, his team struggling, and the press blaming him for every loss, the most recognizable man in the majors is in a slump. Until he starts spending his time off the field with a stern blonde who recites baseball stats for kicks and sees through his arrogant façade.

TWO OUT
As the Thrashers’ season gets into full swing and Gwen adjusts to her new job, their fun banter and friendly teasing turns into stolen kisses and countless steamy nights. The team’s strict policy against player-staff relationships throws a curve ball into the mix, but they can’t hide from their feelings any more than the most famous man in baseball can hide from the spotlight…


Team Player is a classic contemporary sports romance. It’s written in third person dual point of view. While that’s not my favorite type of narration, it was well done. I almost didn’t notice it was third instead. I loved how each chapter started off with a fun Tweet that applied to what was coming up.

There was a lot of stuff going on in this book. Gwen was dealing with her aunt’s death and trying to hold onto her job with the Thrashers. Her attraction to Ty wasn’t something she was ready to face. Ty wasn’t quite ready for Gwen either. His baseball career hasn’t been the same since his best friend abandoned him. Despite all of this, they don’t want to fight their attraction and start to secretly see each other. The secrecy of their relationship adds a bunch of other things for Gwen and Ty to deal with.

Gwen and Tyler were both similar and completely opposite people. Gwen was quiet and spent a lot of time trying to fly under the radar. Tyler was a cocky athlete who was always in the spotlight. Surprisingly, both of them were loners. Neither had a good support system or friends. I thought that was weird and a little too convenient, but it was one of the things that helped them connect to each other. They had great chemistry. I loved their quiet moments together — especially how they watched a baking show together.

I think what shocked me most about Team Player was that it wasn’t the couple or the romance that was my favorite thing about the book. I loved other stuff more. I thought Gwen and Ty’s backstories were really good and important. I wish they had gotten a little more focus. I loved reading about Gwen’s relationship with Marge and how it shaped her life — especially when it came to her job with the Thrashers. The dynamic in Gwen’s office was fun and fresh. I loved how smart she was when it came to her job. I adored all of the Thrashers’ players. Ty’s teammates were hilarious. They made his character feel more “real”. I would love books about a couple of them. (Preferably in first person…) Overall, Team Player was a fun contemporary sports romance.

Series Review: 2 Lovers (K. Webster & J.D. Hollyfield)

Today, I’m reviewing the first two books in the 2 Lover series by K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield. I haven’t read the third book yet, but hopefully soon.

Text 2 Lovers
Series: 2 Lovers, #1
Authors: K. Webster, J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: J.D. Hollyfield
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It’s the start of nothing good.
I fired off a storm of raunchy text messages…to the wrong number.
And he replied.
Him: Show me a picture.
Him: Tell me your name.
Why does the lure of anonymity have me craving to indulge a stranger?

It’s the start of everything right.
I received a slew of text messages…when everything in my life was wrong.
And she made me laugh again.
Her: You’re probably a creeper.
Her: Possibly a stalker.
Why do I have the overwhelming need to find this stranger who saved me and make her mine?

Him: Take a chance with me.
Her: This is crazy.
Him: I need to see you.
Her: What are we doing?
Him: We’re about to find out.

Her: PHOTO ATTACHED
Him: PHOTO ATTACHED

My thoughts:

Oh, boy. I am not sure how I’m going to explain my feelings for Text 2 Lovers. I’ve wanted to read it for a while now. I love the whole accidental texting and then falling for each other thing. It has worked well for me in other books. It started off working well for me in Text 2 Lovers, too. Then, all of a sudden it became a hot mess.

I loved how Text 2 Lovers began with Dani accidentally sending Ram crazy texts when she thought she was texting her ex. I loved how he responded. It was all so funny and cute. Dani was this overly apologetic and nice person. It was both a great thing about her and her biggest problem. It reminded me a bit of younger self. Ram was a great guy who was very forward. He had some work related stuff he was working through. How they ended up meeting in person and all the things that went with their relationship were adorable. They made a sweet couple.

What I couldn’t stomach was how quickly their texts changed from innocent to racy. Maybe I’m just too old and married to get how someone with such an innocent vibe like Dani would be comfortable taking the step into sharing some very personal moments, pictures, and conversations. It just didn’t work for me. I loved everything else about this story, though.

Oh! I have to mention one of the other things I loved! The side characters were amazing. Dani’s best friend, Andie, cracked me up. I loved her crazy self. Ram had an awesome older brother, Roman. Roman was all uptight. Andie + Roman = magic. I was so happy to see there was a second book about them. I have high hopes for that one.

Overall, Text 2 Lovers was a good read. I had a couple of issues with it, but ended up enjoying it anyways. It’s worth reading — even if only for the introduction to Andie and Roman. I have a feeling their book is going to be so much fun!


Hate 2 Lovers
Series: 2 Lovers, #2
Authors: K. Webster, J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She hates him and his big head.
He likes her and her big t*ts.

She hates him because she somehow ends up naked every time she sees him.
He likes her because she somehow ends up naked every time he sees her.

She hates him because the big oaf knocked her up with his kid.
He likes her because she’s carrying his child.

She hates the way he gets inside her head.
He likes the way she lets him see glimpses of her heart.

Andie: I hate you.
Roman: I know…but I’m going to change that.

My thoughts:

With the Andie/Roman cliffhanger that ended Text 2 Lovers, I had to pick up Hate 2 Lovers immediately. I loved Andie and Roman’s dynamic so much in that first book. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to become of their crazy interactions.

Hate 2 Lovers was everything that I had hoped it would be. First, it was hilarious. Andie was just so much. She’s over the top even more than she was in the last book. I couldn’t get enough of her crazy antics. Second, it was sweet. Despite his outer grumble, Roman had a soft and gooey center. He would have done anything for Andie, and it was so sweet! Third, there was all sorts of crazy drama that made the story entertaining. I would like to say I think both Andie and Roman learned some valuable lessons in some tough ways. Finally, it made me want to read the third book — about a couple I actually wasn’t interested in at all.

I guess what I’m saying is the writing was exceptional all around. Bravo to K. Webster and J.D. Hollyfield for this incredibly fun contemporary romance.