Review: The Dugout (Meghan Quinn)

The Dugout
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Let me ask you a question:

If someone is vying for your spot on a team and just so happens to injure you during practice, would you believe it was on purpose?

Word around campus is . . . it was no accident.

That injury has cost me everything; my starting position, my junior year—and the draft. Now, I’m a senior fresh off recovery, struggling to find my groove, until the day I run into a nervous, fidgety, girl with freckles, in the dining hall.

They call Milly Potter The Baseball Whisperer, The Diamond Wizard, and The Epitome of All Knowledge. She believes in baseball. She breathes it. She’s the queen of an infamous dynasty, but no one actually knows who she really is, and she plans to keep it that way.

One mishap in the panini line, one miscommunication in the weight room, and many failed attempts at an apology equal up to one solid truth — Milly Potter never wants to speak to me again — no matter how good my forearms look.

Little do we both know, she’s about to become more than just my fairy ballmother.


If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s low on agnst, step right up to The Dugout. The Dugout is a college baseball romance. Carson Stone is a second baseman who is trying to claw his way from injury to drafted in his senior year of college. Milly Potter is a baseball fan. She’s not a groupie, but a woman who knows everything there is to know about the sport. When Carson needs help with his swing, Milly steps in and the rest…Well, you just have to read it for yourself. It’s so stinking funny and cute.

My favorite thing about The Dugout was Milly. She was this adorable tomboy-ish young woman. Baseball was her thing and she didn’t let anyone’s opinions about that sway her. Milly worked hard towards her goals. She was also hilariously awkward. Certain people made her nervous and it was so funny to watch her struggle for composure. There was this time with a cookie that had me roaring with laughter. I simply adored Milly. She made the book.

Carson wasn’t all that bad either. I really liked how he saw beneath Milly’s awkwardness and layers of clothes. The way he pursued Milly was so sweet. I couldn’t do anything but like him after that.

Carson and Milly’s romance was smooth sailing for the most part. Actually, it wasn’t really smooth sailing for them — things were awkward (see Milly above) and unclear for them, but smooth reading for me. Their relationship was so much fun to read. Yes, there was some drama. This is a romance novel after all, but it was low on the angst. That made it feel light even when things were getting stressful.

The only thing I would have liked to see more of was the end of the story. Everything wrapped up so quickly. I wanted more time with Carson and Milly. Maybe that’s just selfish of me, but I loved them so much. I needed more of what their HEA looked like because I absolutely loved their road to love.

Bravo, Ms. Quinn. Bravo. I hope there is more to come in this baseball world. I would love a book about each Potter brother, please.

Review: Jock Road (Sara Ney)

Jock Road
Series: Jock Hard, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: September 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Repeat.

Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough.

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.


Cute. There isn’t a word to better describe Jock Road. It’s a cute college romance between a big, dumb jock and a girl who wants nothing to do with him. Or at least that’s how it starts out. Jackson (or Triple J as he’s sometimes called) isn’t all that dumb. He’s actually sweet and has Southern charm to boot. Charlotte (or Charlie as her friends call her) just thinks Jackson’s an oaf until she gets to know him. Jock Road is really all about Jackson and Charlotte getting to know each other, dealing with their preconceived notions and pasts, and falling in love.

I loved Charlotte and Jackson. They had some great almost enemy type banter going on at first. Then things started to get cute with some fun text messages. In the end, there was a very sweet and slightly deep love story. The progression of their relationship felt normal and not at all instant. I loved that about it.

I really love what Sara Ney has done with this Jock Hard series. Every book, including this one, is super cute and funny. There’s little drama and no angst. The entire series is pure fun. I loved this addition to the series.

Available HERE:Amazon
Free in KU

Meet the Author:
 
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives in the Midwest, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. 
 
For a list of cities/venues Sara will be signing at, or to purchase signed books, please visit her website at www.authorsaraney.com
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Review: Flashed (Zoey Castile)

Flashed
Series: Happy Endings, #3
Author: Zoey Castile
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When a man makes his living by his looks, he can forget that love–and lust–are more than skin deep. But the right woman can remind him . . .

A former soccer player, stripper, and model, legendary party boy Patrick Halloran finally gets his big break starring in the summer blockbuster. But when an accident leaves him changed forever, he hides away in his secluded Montana ranch. Only his new housekeeper is allowed inside–with one rule: she’s not allowed to see him. But Pat sees her, and she’s the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Even her voice is beautiful. Still, Pat can’t allow himself to get close to anyone. Not without a fight at least . . .

Magdalena “Lena” Martel is a long way from Queens, New York. After a rough patch, the aspiring artist is working her way through college–even if it means keeping house for a man whose gruff voice she can only hear through a closed door. Still, Lena senses Pat’s got a good heart, maybe even a lovable one. She’s intrigued–until his anger sends her running into the freezing woods. Now Pat will have to find her–and when he does he may have found the one woman who can thaw his heart–not to mention the rest of him. But can their new bond survive the paparazzi–and their personal
demons? . . .


The last book in the Happy Endings series wasn’t my favorite, so I was a little hesitant to pick up Flashed. I waited for reviews from some trusted readers and since they all seemed to love it, I decided to give it a read. I’m so happy I did!

Flashed takes us to the quiet ruggedness of Montana, to a man who was once famous but now hides from the world. After a horrific accident, Pat’s once beautiful body has been left ravaged. He doesn’t want anyone to see him and feels he doesn’t deserve anyone’s love or friendship. All of that begins to change when Lena becomes his housekeeper and moves into his pool house. Lena brings with her a magic that makes him want to live.

Flashed reminded me a bit of a mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. Pat was this gruff, tormented man who was no longer his most handsome self. He needed to forgive himself and move on, but didn’t know how. Underneath it all, he was a sweet guy. Lena was a young woman down on her luck who takes a job as Pat’s housekeeper to help pay for college. He’s not nice to her in the beginning, but they slowly develop a friendship that turns into more. It was just all so sweet. I loved every moment of it. I don’t know what else to say about it. Fans of fairytale retellings will most likely adore this book. I obviously did. It’s my new favorite in this series.

Review: I Hate You (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

I HATE YOU BLOG TOUR BANNER.jpg

I Hate You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s a fine line between I hate you and I want you.
Once you cross it, there’s no going back.

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.
Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of all her friends.
At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class. He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please. She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life?


I Hate You wrapped two tropes into one. It was both an enemies to lovers and second chance romance. Charisma and Blaze had a thing for three weeks last semester. Charisma thought it might have turned into a relationship (despite her rules to prevent one) until Blaze publicly dumped her at her sorority’s party. Charisma was devastated and still hasn’t quite recovered from the humiliation when the new semester starts. She’s turned that embarrassment into hate. Blaze may have been the one to break up with Charisma (for his own “good” reasons), but seeing her again makes him question his decisions. He hates her for the way she makes him feel. Seeing each other again promises a big explosion between the two.

There were so many things I loved about this book. First, the writing. Ilsa Madden-Mills is gifted in mixing just the right amount of drama and angst into a college romance. In this book, she actually went lighter in that area. I appreciated that because it gave the story a more lighthearted feel than some of her others.

Another thing I loved was the characters. Charisma was this feisty young woman who had lost her confidence in the breakup. I loved seeing her fight to get it back. It was easy to relate to her feelings after being dumped and the way she compared herself to other girls. Blaze knew he was a big shot on campus due to his football player status, but he had insecurities as well. His broke my heart. At first, they both had valid reasons for not being in a relationship. I liked that they had a common issue with different reasoning. I liked how they had to work out their issues together. Plus, they had amazing chemistry.

It’s always fun to see characters from previous books in a series, and a bunch showed up in this one. I liked that I could remember them and catch up, but they didn’t take up a lot of time and you wouldn’t miss anything if you hadn’t read the first couple of books. My favorite returning character had to be Vampire Bill. (A parrot, not a real vampire.) He brought his touch of humor with him and made me laugh.

The English series used to be my favorite by Ilsa Madden-Mills, but I Hate You has now dethroned it. This book was new adult college romance magic. I loved everything about it.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KF0tWN
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IHateYou

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ZhXn09

About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies. Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4. A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero. She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online. . Ilsa head shot-2

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Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/

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Review: The Guy on the Right (Kate Stewart)

The Guy on the Right
Author: Kate Stewart
Publication Date: July 25, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Strike One-My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk.

Not cool, Mom.

I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work.

Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself.
There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot.

Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well.
And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect.

That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams.

Everything is perfect.

That is, until Troy takes a good look at her.

I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game.

I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.

Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.


You know what The Guy on the Right made me think? I miss the romantic comedy movies of the 80’s and 90’s. This book could easily have been a current day romantic comedy movie. It should be because it had everything one of those movies back in the day had. It was so freaking adorable and swoon worthy that I can barely stand it. Reading it made me so happy. Why? Get ready for some serious gushing!

I have only read one other Kate Stewart book and while I thought it was okay, I didn’t search out any of her other books. When I saw the title and cover for The Guy on the Right, I was intrigued. I read the blurb and thought I might want to read it. Then, I read a friend’s review and knew I had to read it. I’m so glad I did because it was so hilarious and sweet and cute.

Theo was fabulous. Who wouldn’t root for an underdog as fantastic as him. He may not have the body or looks his football playing, womanizing roommate has, but Theo doesn’t need those things when he has that awesome personality. Theo was a decent human being, and that’s what made him shine. Band geek does not equal nerd in this equation.

Laney was a hilarious hot mess. She was kind of all over the place in the best ways. She shocked and surprised me as much as she did Theo. One of the things I liked best about her was her ability to look past people’s outer appearances to find out what was inside them. Her self-imposed Batman ban helped that, but I think she would have done that anyways.

Theo and Laney’s relationship had the best start. Their tight friendship was incredibly fun. Attraction always simmered beneath the surface, but I loved that they really got to know each other before they acted on any of it. Everything they experienced together gave this romance a deeper feel. No instant love here.

*LOVE TRIANGLE SPOILER* There was a love triangle that wasn’t truly a love triangle. Troy, Theo’s meathead roommate is mentioned in the blurb. It makes it seem like there could be a love triangle, but not to worry — there isn’t really one. Troy does have a part in things, but “the underdog is going to win.”

I could probably go on an on spouting off things I loved about this book, but I think I’m going to stop here with specifics and just say one more thing. You need to read The Guy on the Right NOW!

Review: Making Up (Helena Hunting)

Making Up
Series: Shacking Up, #4
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A new standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting.

Cosy Felton is great at her job—she knows just how to handle the awkwardness that comes with working at an adult toy store. So when the hottest guy she’s ever seen walks into the shop looking completely overwhelmed, she’s more than happy to turn on the charm and help him purchase all of the items on his list.

Griffin Mills is using his business trip in Las Vegas as a chance to escape the broken pieces of his life in New York City. The last thing he wants is to be put in charge of buying gag gifts for his friend’s bachelor party. Despite being totally out of his element, and mortified by the whole experience, Griffin is pleasantly surprised when he finds himself attracted to the sales girl that helped him.

As skeptical as Cosy may be of Griffin’s motivations, there’s something about him that intrigues her. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas and when real life gets in the way, all bets are off. Filled with hilariously awkward situations and enough sexual chemistry to power Sin City, Making Up is the next standalone in the Shacking Up world.


Making Up was so much fun to read. It had the same feel as Shacking Up or the Pucked series. Basically, it had the over the top humor I’ve come to love from Helena Hunting.

Cosy wasn’t quite a Violet, but she had a quirky sense of humor and self-confidence. I didn’t expect her to be as mature as she was, and I loved that. Her romance with Griffin was adorable from the start.

Griffin came across as slightly uptight, but only because he was wealthy and established. Oh, and like ten years older. The age difference between the two of them was smart. It added this fun aspect to the story. It gave Cosy a way to make Griffin slightly uncomfortable.

The romance between Cosy and Griffin wasn’t quite a slow burn, but things happened slower than I expected. I loved that their relationship had a natural feel to it. Things progressed in a believable fashion and they really got to know each other before diving deeper. There were some predictable parts of their relationship, but there were also some big surprises.

Making Up is the fourth book in the Shacking Up series, but it did feel like a standalone novel. Sure, there were cameos by some previous characters. Their presence wasn’t a walk down memory lane, though. They popped in to help Griffin out and that was it. It was fun to see them, but a reader could totally start the series with this book and be good.

Overall, Making Up was super entertaining and filled with characters I adored. It’s one of my new favorite Helena Hunting books.

Purchase Links:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250253378

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Helena Hunting Blog Tour Q&A MAKING UP

  1. What inspired you to write Making Up?

I’d introduced Griffin in the previous Shacking Up Series novels, Shacking Up and Hooking Up—he was a bit of a mystery for readers because he was talked about, but not really present. I had a very clear picture in my mind of who he was, and the kind of woman who would end up being the perfect fit for him, and it was not his fiancé from the previous books. 

2. Introduce us to your main characterGriffin Mills is the oldest of the three Mills brothers. At thirty-three he’s had several very long term relationships and was formerly engaged, but that relationship went up in flames. He’s gorgeous, smart, loves the numbers side of the family business he’s part of—a chain of hotels he’s set to inherit with his brothers. Also, he’s a little awkward, which I love, because there’s nothing quite like a hot guy who doesn’t have all the lines and fumbles a bit when he’s dealing with someone he’s attracted to. It makes for some hilarious banter with his love interest, Cosy Felton. Our heroine is a twenty-two year old who has been a bit of a nomad for most of her life, but is finally finishing school and happens to work at an Adult Toy Store part time. It’s definitely not her favourite job, but it pays the bills. She’s sassy, not much of a planner and definitely more than Griffin bargained for.

  1. Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?

Just keep writing. Every day put words on the page and surround yourself with positive people who are there to support you. Ask questions, join book groups, be an avid reader and an observer.

  1. How is Making Up different from your other books?

Making Up has a trope I’ve never really explored or played around with before, so it was a lot of fun to write. While I’ve written age gaps before, it hasn’t been a key part of the storyline, or had a significant impact on how the characters perceive the relationship. Griffin and Cosy are from two very different worlds and balancing their expectations and insecurities was one of my favourite parts of writing their story. Making Up has my signature quirky, sassy heroines and I love writing heroes that are sexy, yet a little awkward. While it’s a light read, there’s some drama, and some heavy baggage, which I think grounds the story and balances out the hilarity.

  1. I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?

I’ve been so lucky to read so many amazing books this year but I’m going to go with Broken Knight by LJ Shen which releases this August. I love YA/NA romance and angst, and she knows how to deliver both flawlessly.

  1. Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?

We all need a little escape from our own realities once in a while and Making Up is a fun, sexy romance that’s perfect for the summer. Also, Griffin is hot, and not particularly suave at times. I think we can all appreciate a guy who doesn’t have all the lines, especially if he looks like he should.

  1. A famous movie producer wants to make your books into movies and they want you to cast your characters from Making Up. Which actors/actresses make the cut?

This is always a fun question and I’ll be 100% honest, I never actually look at actors prior to writing a story because I generally have a picture of the character in my head. But, I went on a Pinterest mission and Alex Morgan (she’s a soccer player, not an actress) would make a fabulous Cosy if she suddenly switched career paths. Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee) is super sassy, and could definitely play up the humor in this story, so she would be a legitimate actress choice. Gabriel Macht has a great smolder and can rock a seriously sexy suit, so I think he’d be great as Griffin.

  1. Favorite quote or scene you wrote in Making Up?

Making Up is definitely a rom-com with some incredibly hilarious moments, but Griffin has some heavy baggage, which means there are also serious moments, and this is one of my favourites: “Talk to me. Fall apart on me. Show me your weakness so I can give you my strength.”

  1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always loved to write, but finding time was a challenge during university and then afterward I was building a career and we renovated a house down to the studs—which takes up a lot of time and doesn’t leave much of an opportunity for putting down words (but it was an amazing experience). When I gave birth to my daughter she struggled to sleep—or rather stay asleep—and that meant I spent a lot of time awake in the middle of the night. So I started writing again during those late nights, and finally penned my first full novel.

  1. What is a typical writing day like?

I usually start with a run and then copious amounts of coffee while I manage the administrative side of things—ie emails, social media posts etc. But when I sit down to write I have a playlist I put on repeat, more coffee, sparking water (so I can stay hydrated) and my cat Pumpkin generally lies on top of my closed laptop and supervises me for the day.

  1. Do you have any interesting writing quirks or habits?

I listen to the same playlist while I write a novel. So if it takes me two months, then I listen to the same set of songs for two full months. I’ve destroyed A LOT of albums for my husband over the past several years. I just need the background noise, and listening to the radio or unfamiliar songs can be distracting.

  1. What has been one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a published author?

I’ve only been in the industry for five years and there has been so much change, learning to adjust and adapt and just staying true to your personal goal is really the most important thing I’ve learned. I think when you start out there are just so many unknowns, and taking risks can be scary, but if you don’t take those risks, it’s hard to grow as an author.

  1. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next after this for you writing wise?

I have one more book in The Shacking Up Series, HANDLE WITH CARE, which releases at the end of August! Griffin’s cousin and best friend, Lincoln Moorehead, is the hero and if you didn’t know, he is also Armstrong’s brother. Lincoln is the polar opposite of Armstrong so it was so fun to write. I can’t wait for people to meet Griffin and Cosy and Lincoln and Wren.

  1. How can readers connect with you online?

They can connect with me all over social media! (add links)

Website→   http://www.helenahunting.com/

Amazon →  http://amzn.to/1y6OBB7

Twitter → http://bit.ly/HelenaHTwitter

Facebook  → https://www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69/

Pinterest →  http://bit.ly/1oQYRVN

Instagram →  http://instagram.com/helenahunting
Goodreads→ http://bit.ly/GoodReadsHH
NEWSLETTER  → http://bit.ly/HelenaHnewsletter

Bookbub →  http://bit.ly/BookBubHH

Facebook Reader Group  →  http://bit.ly/TheBeaverDenHH

Review: First and Forever (Jay McLean)

First and Forever
Series: Heartache Duet, #2
Author: Jay McLean
Publication Date: July 12, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

First and Forever is the second book in the Heartache Duet, and must be read after Heartache and Hope.

Duet Synopsis:
Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last…
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.


First and Forever is the second book in the Heartache Duet. It is the conclusion to Ava and Connor’s story. You have to read Heartache and Hope prior to reading this book because First and Forever picks up where the story left off.

Connor and Ava’s relationship was full of ups and downs. There were lots of moment of back and forth in relationship status. It was both frustrating and understandable. As high school students, they lacked the maturity their situations called for at times. I got frustrated with Connor for keeping important secrets. I was irritated with Ava for avoiding everything she should have been facing head on. Even though I thought the characters needed to grow up, I understood their immaturity and struggles. I liked how they shaped the story. They both learned some valuable lessons.

First and Forever made me love Connor even more. I didn’t always get his dedication to Ava, but I loved the way he supported her. He stood by her when others had walked away. He developed an amazing relationship with her mother and it wasn’t just to win Ava over. I loved that he was always looking at his end game.

Ava wasn’t my favorite, but she grew on me. Like I said before, she was good at avoiding. Some of the things I learned in this book helped explain her, and I was able to make some connections with her actions.

I have a couple of things I want to say that don’t really fit well anywhere in this review. The first is that I didn’t like how the whole Peter thing was dealt with. There was a big build up to it, but when it came time to go into it I was told rather than shown. I wish there had been more attention on that moment. Second, Heartache and Hope was definitely YA. First and Forever felt liked it moved from YA to NA. It was definitely a more mature read.

First and Forever was a great ending to the Heartache Duet. It brought Ava and Connor’s story full circle in a way that felt organic to the characters and the story. Jay McLean did a great job with Ava and Connor’s end game.

Download your copy today or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

• Add to TBR: http://bit.ly/2PY7y5U

Heartache and Hope
Amazon Global: mybook.to/JMacHH
Ava Diaz needs saving.
She just doesn’t know it yet.
Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day
of senior year.
He thinks she’s a brat.
She thinks he’s entitled.
Maybe first impressions don’t always last…
Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.
He just doesn’t know why.

First and Forever
Amazon Global: mybook.to/JMacFF

About the Author:
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New
Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing
any of those things, she can be found running after her three little boys, investing
way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make
her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is
loud and laughter is louder.

For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film or television, please contact
her
agent Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.
Writer • Reader • Mom • Wife • Master of Awkward Sarcasm. 
Contact Jay:

Review: Kozart (J. Nathan)

Kozart
Author: J. Nathan
Publication Date: July 10, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Kozart Savage is the world’s biggest rock star.
At twenty-five, he’s got it all. Money. Fame. And the adoration of fans everywhere.
He thought that was enough to make him forget his past.
Enough to transform his distrusting heart.
Turns out that’s not how it works…
Then he meets a bridesmaid hiding out in a hotel bar.
Probably the only girl on the planet who doesn’t know who he is.
But she seems to be the one girl who can give him something no one else can.

Aubrey Prescott just discovered her boyfriend cheating—at her sister’s wedding.
Trying to escape humiliation, she seeks refuge in a hotel bar.
While trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of what was supposed to be an amazing senior year in college, a handsome stranger interrupts her wallowing.
A stranger who quickly makes her forget why she’s there.
One who, after an unforgettable night, disappears without a second glance.

But walking away doesn’t always mean letting someone go.


Rock star romances aren’t always my favorite, but I knew I had to read Kozart for a couple of reasons. One, I love J. Nathan’s writing and new adult romances. Two, there was something about Aubrey meeting Kozart in a hotel bar after finding her boyfriend cheating on her that caught my interest. I think it was partly that she didn’t know who he was. The entire scenario sounded fun. It was, too.

Aubrey and Kozart had a fun chemistry. I loved how they met and the instant connection they had. Things moved a little slowly between them at first and they way their relationship progressed was perfect. They truly got to know each other. I loved the secrets they shared and the excitement of their romance. It didn’t feel like the typical rock star romance other than the very start. It was a sweeter story.

The only thing I could possibly complain about was that the plot twist was slightly predictable. That didn’t bother me, though. I liked being able to figure things out ahead of time because it took some of the angst out of the situation for me. It was had just enough angst to feel believable, but also left me feeling happy.

That’s what this book really did. It made me incredibly happy. I loved every minute of reading Kozart. It’s definitely one of my favorite rock star romances now.

Review: Let Go (Allie Winters)

Let Go
Author: Allie Winters
Publication Date: June 30, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

She keeps her heart locked up tight

Putting yourself out there? Getting close to others? No, thanks, I’ll pass. It’s safer to keep to yourself. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. So when I accidentally tell the muscled hunk I’ve been secretly drooling over all semester how I really feel about him, it’s not like I meant for him to take an interest in me. I don’t want a boyfriend. Not even when it turns out he’s so much more than just brawn.

My goal for so long has been simple – get into grad school. And when I get a dream TA position at the beginning of the new semester that will help me achieve just that, I’ll have to forget about him now that he’s my student. Easy, right?

He wants her to let go of all that control

I can’t get her out of my head – the shy, sexy brunette that’s trying so hard to keep me at a distance. I can be patient, though. Anything to break through that reserve and get under her shields. But just when I thought I’ve succeeded, she’s off-limits. Say hello to my new TA. Even though I’m hot for teacher, there’s no way she would risk this opportunity. Right?


I had a hard time melding all of my thoughts for Let Go into a review, so I’m going to be breaking things down by the good, the bad, and the confusing. Here we go!

The good:

  • Let Go is Allie Winters’ debut novel. Her writing was good. What happened in Let It Go felt like something that could happen in real life. The descriptions were great and she was able to blend both seriousness and humor into one story. It was filled with awkward moments that were priceless. I can imagine that over time Allie Winters’ writing is really going to shine.
  • Charlotte and Luke’s relationship was cute. I liked them together. She was kind of weird and uptight, and he was more relaxed and fun. Luke balanced Charlotte out in a lot of great ways.

The bad:

  • Let Go started out slow. The first couple of chapters are Charlotte’s thoughts and stuff that happens to her without any real interactions from Luke. I found Charlotte annoying in those first couple of chapters. It wasn’t until Luke and Charlotte actually interacted that I became invested. It would have been nice if that would have happened in the first chapter.

The confusing:

  • This felt almost like two books in one. When you read the blurb, it sounds like a student – TA romance. I actually forgot all about that part of the blurb because the first 44% was Charlotte and Luke building up to a relationship. Then at 44% the student – TA thing popped up. It was slighting jarring.
  • The switch at 44% also brought with it a different feel to the book. The only way I can think to describe it is that Charlotte’s character quickly changed a bit. She was more awkward in the first part. In the second she became more mature and adventurous. It’s not that I didn’t like this Charlotte, I just wasn’t completely sold on the change.

Back to the good:

  • Luke was the character who shined. He was the constant in this book. His feelings and thoughts never wavered. I liked how pure his intentions were and how he pushed Charlotte a bit.
  • Looking back on the entire book, I can say I really enjoyed Luke and Charlotte’s relationship. There were so many funny and entertaining things that happened or were said. Like I said before, it was cute.

Overall, I would say I enjoyed reading this book despite feeling a little thrown off by some of it. My favorite thing about it was how humorous and close to real life it was.

Review: Top Secret (Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy)

Top Secret
Authors: Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: May 5, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

LobsterShorts, 21
Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

SinnerThree: All the time. I’m an equal opportunity player. You?

LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21
Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF.

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries…

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing…

Q&A about Top Secret:

Q: Have we met these characters before in another book?
A: No! These guys are brand new, and we can’t wait for you to meet them.

Q: Is this story MM? Or is it a MMF / MFM / menage?
A: This book is MM.

Q: Is this a love triangle story?
A: Not really. You’ll see.


Top Secret his to be the BEST secret release of the year! I mean, who names a secret release Top Secret? That’s so incredibly smart! Everyone has been begging Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to give us another book together and I’m shocked they delivered! (Only because they kept saying they weren’t going to be writing together.) WOOHOO!!!

I hate to admit it, but I did not read the blurb before starting Top Secret. I knew it was a M/M romance, but that was about it. I had no idea there was this whole threesome plot going on. When I got to that part in the beginning, I have to say it made me stop, cringe, and wonder how messy things were going to get. I’m not really a fan of love triangles, so… I just had to put my faith in my favorite collaborators’ hands. I’m so happy I did because Top Secret was an incredibly fun read.

As you can tell by the blurb, LobsterShorts and SinnerThree meet in a chat room where LobsterShorts is trying to set up a threesome at his girlfriend’s request. I absolutely loved the banter that went on in the messages they exchanged. The messages were witty, but they also had depth to them. These two guys got to know each other in an emotionally intimate way prior to meeting, so that the emotional connection was there first. This was really important to the characters and the story…

And that’s all you are getting about the plot. I refuse to give anything away! What I will say is that if you’re a fan of Him and Us, you are going to be a fan of this book. The combination of Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s writing is magic. They know how to combine humor with emotion in the best way. There are a ton of great surprises and characters you’re going to love in Top Secret. I didn’t want this book to end. I adored LobsterShorts and ThreeSinners. I’m so happy Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy graced us with a new book. (Is it too early to beg for another?)