Review: Hollywood Playboy (Natasha Madison)

 Hollywood Playboy
Series: Hollywood Royalty, #1
Author: Natasha Madison
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Behind the “lights, camera, action” of Hollywood lies a world of deception, love, and seduction.

Are you ready for Hollywood Royalty?
Jessica

An entertainment journalist was the last thing I thought I would be doing.
I thought once I got my degree, I would be reporting on stories that made a difference, but now all I do is report on who broke up with who and who is dating who.
I was over it.
Then I got my next assignment.

He’s Hollywood’s bad boy.
He works hard, and he plays even harder.
He’s rude, he’s condescending, and he’s made it known he doesn’t want me on the tour.

With one month on the road with him, two things might happen
One, I may never work in this industry again.
Two, I may just be like everyone else and fall for Hollywood’s Playboy.


I am a huge fan of Natasha Madison’s Something So series and some of her other standalone novels. Her most recent series/books were good, but not my favorites. I was kind of wondering if something had changed with her writing or if I outgrown it or something. I debated reading Hollywood Playboy, but I am extremely happy I did. Hollywood Playboy read and felt more like her previous works that I loved.

Hollywood Playboy is written in dual, first person point of view. I loved that. It made it easy to understand why Jessica and Tyler didn’t like each other at first and then fell for each other. The way their jobs as celebrity reporter and actor conflicted very interesting. It added another layer to the enemies to lovers trope. Jessica or Tyler could have been egotistical, cocky, or a jerk, but they weren’t. They were both nice, down to earth people despite their careers. That was refreshing. I loved every minute of their love story.

Even though I absolutely adored everything about the romance in this book, there were a few things that bugged me a little. One was the clothing descriptions. Every piece of clothing for every event was described down to the brand name. I know brands are probably a big deal in Hollywood, but it distracted me a bit from the story. Another thing that bothered me was the whole “Hollywood Playboy” thing. Tyler didn’t really seem to be a playboy. There was only a couple mentions of other women. That just didn’t fit to me with how secretive he was.The last thing that I thought I should point out, but didn’t truly bug me, was that I could tell where the book was going from pretty early on. I knew (and hated) the person who was going to cause all the trouble. What saved thing was that I liked the plot.

I’m so happy that I am back to being in love with Natasha Madison’s writing! I was sad to finish Hollywood Playboy because now I’m stuck waiting for Hollywood Princess.

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Review: If I Only Knew (Corinne Michaels)

If I Only Knew
Author: Corinne Michaels
Publication Date:  January 28, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new heartwarming and sexy standalone romance novel.

My life was perfect – until a shocking tragedy pulled the rug out from underneath me.

My children were left without a father. I was without a husband and a provider. Instead of wallowing in my grief, I buried myself in my work at Dovetail Enterprises. Landing the promotion as the CEO’s right hand was exactly what I needed.

Getting saddled with Milo Huxley as an assistant is exactly the opposite.

I can’t stand him.

He’s arrogant, irresponsible, and out for my job. As if that’s not bad enough, he has to be devastatingly sexy, and have a posh English accent that makes me squirm on top of it all. I’ve had enough unpredictability for one lifetime, thank you.

But soon enough, we’re fighting less and laughing more. He’s there for me when no one else is. And those good looks aren’t the only panty-dropping thing about him.

If I only knew what to do about it . . .


To start, If I Only Knew is the fourth and final book about a circle of friends: Heather, Kristin, Nicole, and Danielle. Heather’s story was told in We Own Tonight, Kristin’s in One Last Time, and Nicole’s in Not Until You. If I Only Knew is Danielle’s story. These are all standalone novels, but they do build a little on each other. You get the relationship dynamics between the friends and pieces of their past. I recommend reading them in order (the way I listed them here) to get the full experience.

Kristin was the character I was probably least interested in throughout the series. Probably because she was in a relationship until the last book. I didn’t even think she would get a book of her own like this. I thought it would be in relation to her relationship with her husband. That changed last book, though. I was surprised to find how much I liked Kristin. She was going through a lot and her feelings were raw and real. The way she fell for Milo felt natural. I loved their connection and how things started off rocky between them because of their jobs. It was a lot of fun.

The part of this story that I didn’t quite buy was how quickly Milo went from womanizer who wanted Danielle’s job to devoted to her. Milo ended up being a way better guy than I thought he would be. He had his moments at the beginning, but his change of character was fast. I expected a more gradual transition or Milo to put up more of a fight against his feelings. That was what I thought would be the major problem in this book, but it wasn’t. Not at all. It was a big surprise. I liked what ended up being the issue, but feel like Milo’s character and his demons could have used more focus.

Despite that, I did love Milo and Danielle’s story. They fit in a way that I wouldn’t have expected after reading the previous books. Milo and Danielle were cute together, and I loved how her kids made their story even sweeter. Overall, this was a great addition to this series of books.

Review: I Want You Back (Lorelei James)

I Want You Back
Series: Need You, #5
Author: Lorelei James
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James kicks-off her Want You Series with a Lund family cousin hot enough to melt the ice and mend a broken heart.

Former NHL star Jaxson Lund has returned to the Twin Cities, but he’s at loose ends, unsure if he belongs at Lund Industries, or where he stands with Lucy, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Mimi. Despite the signs she’d like to leave him in the penalty box, the attraction burning between them reinforces his determination to prove that he deserves a second chance…

Lucy Quade is in a good place with a steady job, a nice apartment, and a well-adjusted daughter, which is why she’s hesitant when Jax insists on co-parenting. It’s not that Lucy doesn’t trust Jax…she’s just unconvinced he can handle multiple responsibilities when he’s been singularly focused on playing hockey. But when issues arise with Mimi, Lucy’s shocked at how levelheaded and paternal he acts, giving her a glimpse of the Jax she used to know, the sexy, sweet man she fell for years ago.

Once Lucy lets her guard down, Jax goes all in to show her how good they are together, but will their past remain too large an obstacle to ever overcome?


If you have read the Need You series like I have, you have probably been curious about Jaxson Lund and Lucy Quade’s relationship. Well, we are finally getting their book!

I Want You Back is a second chance romance. Jaxson Lund has retired from hockey. He’s determined to turn his life around. He is no longer the alcoholic womanizer he used to be. Jaxson has come to recognize what a horrible boyfriend, father, and person he was while he drank. He wants to make that up to the two most important people: his daughter and her mother. Lucy is not sure what to make of the changes in Jaxson. He’s trying so hard to be a father to her daughter. She loves what she sees, but she’s not sure she can ever trust him enough to let him back in completely.

I went back and forth on what to rate this book. I enjoyed reading it, but it was a little slow at times. I guess that might not have bugged me if I wasn’t expecting a slow burn romance, but I wasn’t with the chemistry these two had. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks of Lucy and Jaxson’s prior relationship. I think it was because it was only the good times and none of the bad? I liked getting to know how they fell in love, but I also wanted to know more about how they fell apart. It was also a little jarring to go from present to past and back in this book for some reason. I’m not sure why.

What I did love was the way Jaxson worked to show Lucy that he was back for good and in all the ways that mattered. I loved the way they worked through the hard parts of co-parenting. I loved how Lorelei James dealt with Jaxson’s issues with alcoholism, infidelity, and safe sex. That whole mixture really surprised me. I have never read a romance that touched on those topics all together. It made me think it should in more books. I wish more time would have spent on it in this book even though I thought it was well done.

Oh! I can’t leave out that I liked that Lucy wasn’t perfect either. She may have been wronged by Jaxson, but she had some issues of her own. I loved that Jaxson didn’t let those things slide, and that they worked together to both make changes.

Obviously, this book had a couple of ups and downs for me, but over all was a great read.

Mini Reviews: Tangled Like Us & The Consequence of Falling

Tangled Like Us
Series: Like Us, #4
Authors: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Publication Date: January 17, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

How to protect your heart:
Let your bodyguard have it.

Jane Cobalt is an American princess. The loyal and painfully curious twenty-three-year-old has inherited immense pressure to preserve the Cobalt legacy. But for Jane — sex, love, and life have been a series of royal failures.

After a friends-with-benefits ended in disaster, she’s sworn to a “no sex” hiatus for, well, eternity — and she has no intention of letting anyone in her bed and definitely not her heart.

Twenty-eight-year-old Thatcher Moretti is painfully professional. As the stern 24/7 bodyguard to Jane, thinking about unbridled sex with his sweet client is a sin. One that he keeps committing.

But the real act is a hard line he’d never cross.

When a family member betrays Jane’s trust, the media becomes obsessed with matchmaking the perpetually “single” Jane Cobalt and unwanted attention suddenly compromises her safety.

Thatcher would do anything to protect her, and one solution may level the threats:

Become the fake boyfriend to an American princess.

Entwined together with boiling chemistry, new “professional” parameters, and an oath, unsaid feelings threaten to rise and change everything.

​​The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them.

The Like Us Series Reading Order:
1. Damaged Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
2. Lovers Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
3. Alphas Like Us (Maximoff & Farrow)
4. Tangled Like Us (Jane & Thatcher)
Book 5 (Jane & Thatcher)
Book 6 (Maximoff & Farrow)
Book 7 (Oscar & Jack)
Book 8 (Akara & Sulli)

My thoughts:

Tangled Like Us is one of those books I absolutely loved while reading it, but also felt like it was missing something. I really liked Jane and Thatcher together. I loved their chemistry and the sweetness of their relationship. The only way I can think of describing the something that was missing is more fire. There were some great revelations and build up, but the end fell a little flat for me. It definitely set up for the next book, but didn’t have the dramatic cliffhanger I was expecting. Overall, it was an addition to the series I wouldn’t want to miss and it made me excited to find out what comes next.


The Consequence of Falling
Author: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: January 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The list of things I hate is short. Not even my soon-to-be ex-husband is on that list. Nope. I save only the worst of the worst, the crème de la crème, the absolute I cannot even for this list . . .

1. Black coffee
2. Rude people
3. Nathaniel Bradley

Which is why when my father informs me that he’s making Nathaniel Bradley his new business partner, and in turn, my boss, I flip out.

1. He’s an annoying know-it-all.
2. He calls me a spoiled princess every chance he gets.
3. He disapproves of everything I do.

I go into this knowing I’ll hate every second in his presence. Except the longer he’s around, the more I find myself staring at his lips and remembering the one time they were on mine. I randomly find myself looking at his hands and wondering how they’d feel on my skin.
I try to snap out of it, but I guess I’m not as smart as I thought I was. No matter how many times I remind myself of the times I’ve practically thrown myself at him and he’s pushed me away, I keep falling little by little.

I’d always heard that it was a bad idea to mix business with pleasure and if that’s the case, this thing with Nathaniel has demise written all over it.

My thoughts:

I basically loved almost everything about this book. It was a great enemies to lovers story, if you like those. Nathaniel and Presley’s banter was really fun and their chemistry was off the charts. There was also a great emotional aspect to the story, which is exactly what I would expect from a Claire Contreras book. The Consequence of Falling is my favorite book she’s released in the past couple of years.

Review: Only a Breath Apart (Katie McGarry)

Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…


There’s something seriously magical about Katie McGarry’s writing. I don’t know how to describe it other than she makes me feel everything she writes. Only a Breath Apart is probably the heaviest book she’s written to date. The characters have to fight hard for themselves. It wasn’t an easy read. I felt every minute of Jesse and Scarlett’s pain, fear, and angst. All the negative emotions I felt didn’t make me love this book any less. It actually made me love it more because, once I got past those hard emotions, there were some other really beautiful ones like love, forgiveness, and determination. Jesse and Scarlet didn’t have it easy, but they had each other to weather the storm with.

Only a Breath Apart is one of those books I want to save and have my daughter read when she’s older. It had some messages that I believe are extremely important for young adults (and adults!) to learn regarding relationships and life in general. I am so happy I got the opportunity to read this book. It is one I will think about for a long time to come.

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Excerpt:

~SCARLETT~

My entire body seizes. “You’re supposed to give me a ride home.”

Glory ends the call and offers me an apologetic expression. “I forgot I had a phone meeting. I’ll take you home, after the call, but this will be a lengthy session.”

Meaning I won’t be home by curfew. “Reschedule.”

Glory has a thoughtful look as she approaches me. One that makes me feel like I should run. She leans forward and says in my ear, “You felt something when you saw the Chariot.”

The moment she placed that card on the table I felt as if I had sprinted headfirst into a wall. It was a stunned feeling, as if I were lost in a fog, but I won’t admit that. Not to her, not to anybody.

“You’ve been asleep for a very long time,” she whispers. “It’s time to wake up, Scarlett. There’s a whole word of possibility waiting for you.”

I step back from her because this lady is insane. “I need you to take me home.”

“I can’t, but I’m sure Jesse can lead the way.”

Um…no. I spin on my toes, and I’m out the door, down the stairs and I head east for home. Seconds later, the screen door slams shut again, and there are heavy footfalls on the wooden steps.

“Wait up!” Jesse calls out.

Nope. Not going to happen. I enter the tree line and curse the sky above that there’s no moon. This is the country, which means that besides the fading light from Glory’s house, I’m in complete darkness.

“Scarlett!” Jesse tries again. “Wait!”

But I don’t. I walked this land hundreds of times with Jesse, sometimes by myself so I could find him when I needed a friend. I can do this on my own.

“Let me find you so I can walk you home,” Jesse says.

He’s to my right, and I hurry because I don’t want to be found. My pulse pounds in my ears, and my blood tingles with this need to stay hidden, to stay alone.

Once upon a time, Jesse was my best friend, and then one day he froze me out. He stopped answering the door when I knocked, he ran away when he saw me coming across the field and then when we were forced into the same space on the first day of our freshman year, he humiliated me in front of the entire school.

Jesse Lachlin crushed me, and while I feel sorry for him because his grandmother died, I don’t forgive him for leaving a scar on my soul.

“Dammit, Scarlett, stop being so stubborn.”

My jaw clenches, and it takes an immeasurable amount of self-control to not explain to Jesse in a very loud tone that he’s the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Doing so will inform him where I’m located, and I need him to leave me alone.

I push forward, faster this time, but then my foot snags on a root. My balance is thrown and my arms swing wildly in the air. I attempt to reach for something to break my fall, but my fingers catch air. The sensation is like the first massive hill of a roller coaster as my stomach lifts, and I brace myself for impact with the ground.

I close my eyes, tense my muscles and I’m caught. Strong, warm arms weave around me from behind and then my back is pressed flush against a solid chest. My heart leaps, and my lungs are robbed of air.

“You okay?” Jesse’s mouth is incredibly close to my ear, and his hot breath tickles my skin. I tremble because of the adrenaline or because of this achingly beautiful intimacy, I don’t know.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, and this time his arms tenderly squeeze me as if he’s offering comfort, as if he honestly cares. It’s been so long since anyone has hugged me that a part of me melts into the embrace as if I’m dry ground welcoming a warm rain.

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A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

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Adventures in Writing – Review

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  Katie McGarry Bio:

 Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.      

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Review: Overnight Sensation (Sarina Bowen)

Overnight Sensation
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #5
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Let’s say you’re a rookie who had a great year…until the final game of the playoffs, when it’s your shot that bounces off the post, allowing the rivals to win. You have a lot to answer for the following season. You need hard practices and clean living. You don’t need a hookup with the league commissioner’s daughter and a widely misunderstood paparazzi shot.

Jason Castro, ladies and gentlemen. It’s hard work becoming an overnight sensation…


Okay, people! Sarina Bowen is back with another hockey romance, and you’re not going to want to miss reading it. Overnight Sensation might just be my favorite Brooklyn Bruisers hockey romance yet. That’s saying A LOT because Brooklynaire, Nate and Becca’s story, was spectacular. I didn’t think it could be topped, but I think I might have been wrong because Castro and Heidi… Seriously, their story was so swoon worthy. I don’t know that I can truly articulate how awesome it was. I. Could. Not. Get. Enough. I don’t know how to do anything but gush about Overnight Sensation. I loved this book so much. Gah! I don’t even know how I can articulate how special it was.

I liked Jason Castro in the previous Brooklyn Bruisers books, but I had no idea he was going to be the guy he was. He took care of the people he loved and was a bit of a tortured soul. Heidi Pepper was everything Castro needed. She was young and trying to figure out her life, but she was doing it on her terms. While Castro felt like a serious guy, Heidi felt more light-hearted and a little comical. That made for some of the best sexual tension I’ve read in a long time! It also made them balance each other out really well.

Castro and Heidi weren’t the only ones who made Overnight Sensation special. The whole Brooklyn Bruisers team was back in action. It was fun reading about their interactions off and on the ice. I loved getting to see some old character around contributing to the fun. It was also good to get to know a tiny bit more about Silas and Bayer. I am really, really, really hoping Sarina Bowen gives them books. (Pretty please…)

I honestly don’t have one bad thing to say about this book. Well, maybe I should complain that it wasn’t long enough? I wasn’t ready to be done reading it. It could have gone on for another few hundred pages in my opinion. I’m extremely sad to be finished reading it because that means I’m going to have to wait a while for one of my favorite contemporary romance authors to grace me with another book. So, yeah, I recommend reading Overnight Sensation. You won’t be disappointed. 😉

Review: The Hail Mary (Ginger Scott)

The Hail Mary
Series: Waiting on the Sidelines, #3
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: January 18, 2019
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.

It can be cruel.

With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.

But there’s more than a game at stake now.

Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.

There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.

This is their hail Mary.

This is win or lose.

(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)


Back in 2015, I read Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long. I loved both of those books, and I thought Nolan and Reed had gotten a good, strong ending. I didn’t look back at them and wish for just one more book. Maybe I should have, though. I guess I’m going to be happy that I didn’t know how much I wanted or needed more to their story. I’m so happy Ginger Scott envisioned something more for Nolan and Reed because The Hail Mary was a book I didn’t know I desperately needed until I started reading it.

In The Hail Mary, Nolan and Reed are all grown up. They are the same lovable characters I originally met, just a lot older and more mature. Nolan and Reed are dealing with life as a married couple constantly separated in a multitude of ways by a professional sport. I really respected the way in which Ginger Scott tackled all of the components of Nolan and Reed’s lives on and off the football field. There was this rawness and honesty to their feelings and what they were going through. As married woman near their age, it was so easy to relate to some of the ideas that were in their heads.

Another thing I appreciated was the way Ginger Scott wrote this story. It’s in dual point of view so we get both Nolan and Reed’s thoughts and feelings. It also includes some great flashbacks to earlier days and times the reader has missed in the 15+ years that have passed. While the characters were in their late thirties, The Hail Mary still felt like reading a new adult romance. I have to point this out because I loved that. So many times characters this age end up feeling older than I would expect them to. I may be “old”, but I don’t feel “old”. I don’t like when my characters feel older than I feel. I also liked the angst and emotion infused throughout the book rivaled some of that Ginger Scott’s NA novels.

I really, truly loved every minute I spent reading The Hail Mary. Ginger Scott brought Nolan and Reed’s story full circle in a very lovely way. I loved being back in a world I didn’t realize I missed so much. I know other fans of this series will feel the same way.

 
One-Click this amazing series today!
 
 
(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)

Read the first two books in the series today!

 

Start with Waiting on the Sidelines here-https://amzn.to/2pU4JXy
Going Long is book 2, and find it here –https://amzn.to/2yk3lSC

 
About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Review: Deal with the Devil (Meghan March)

Deal with the Devil
Series: Forge Trilogy, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Red Dress Press
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“You can put that man in a suit, but he’ll never be tame.”
One look at Jericho Forge and I knew the rumors were true. He was a predator, and he had set his sights on me.
I knew better than to bet more than I could afford to lose that night. I knew better than to bet myself. But desperation leads to bad decisions, and I thought there was no way I could lose.
I was wrong.
Now I have no choice but to make a deal with the devil.


The review for this book is going to be kind of lame. I’m truly sorry about that, BUT I CANNOT TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT THIS STORY OR I WILL RUIN IT FOR YOU! Can you tell how frustrated I am by that? Because all I want to do is TELL YOU ALL THE THINGS! It’s so unfair, but completely necessary.

What can I tell you then? I wasn’t expecting the setting or the nature of the story or the characters or anything. (I loved all of those things!!!) The only thing I was expecting was Jericho Forge to be some rich alpha male. He was totally that, but of course there is more to him than those two details (which I can’t tell you anything about…). His life is fascinating  and so is the woman who steals his heart. Their story is fabulous and I cannot wait to find out what’s next for them because Ms. March left us with what might just be her most shocking cliffhanger yet! (I’m still not over it.)

Meghan March upped her game with Deal with the Devil — just like she does with each book she releases. She made me fall in love with a fascinating and exciting world of new characters. I’m so frustrated that I have to wait a month to find of what’s next for Jericho Forge.

BOOK LINKS

Book 1 FB Spoiler Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/790140534687700/

Book 1 Buy Links:

 

Official Trilogy Landing Pages:

RELEASE BLITZ & TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY

Giveaway Details: Enter for your chance to win one of five signed copies of Deal with the Devil!

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ABOUT MEGHAN MARCH

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

You can find her online at: MeghanMarch.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Review: On Thin Ice (Julie Cross)

On Thin Ice
Series: Juniper Falls, #3
Author: Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Brooke Parker never expected to find herself in the tiny town of Juniper Falls, Minnesota. Of course, she also never expected to lose her dad. Or for her mom to lose herself. Brooke feels like she’s losing it…until she finds Juniper Falls hockey. Juniper Falls girls’ hockey, that is.

Jake Hammond, current prince of Juniper Falls, captain of the hockey team, and player with the best chance of scoring it big, is on top of the world. Until one hazing ritual gone wrong lands him injured, sitting on the sidelines, and―shocking even to him―finding himself enjoying his “punishment” as assistant coach for the girls’ team.

As Jake and Brooke grow closer, he finds the quiet new girl is hiding a persona full of life, ideas, and experiences bigger and broader than anything he’s ever known. But to Jake, hockey’s never just been a game. It’s his whole life. And leveraging the game for a shot at their future might be more than he can give.


Can I just start by saying how disappointed I am in myself for not reading a book by Julie Cross until now? I have seen several rave reviews for her Juniper Falls series in the past. I always wanted to read one of those books, but never did. Shame on me! I absolutely adored On Thin Ice. On Thin Ice is one of those young adult novels that digs deep, but leaves you feeling all happy and bubbly inside. Or at least that is how it  made me feel.

Brooke is a quiet sophomore new to Juniper Falls. She’s had a rough couple of years, and she longs to take back her life in a new town. On a calculated whim, she joins the new high school girls’ hockey team. Joining the team puts Brooke in direct contact with the boys’ teams hockey star, Jake. Being around the cute and charismatic senior is tough enough as it is, but the two share a secret. The more the two get to know each other, the harder it is to stay away from each other and the truths they have to deal with.

Brooke and Jake were characters I couldn’t help but love. Brooke was intense and sweet. She was also a mess. Jake was strong and had the best of intentions, but he was also a mess. Somehow their individuals messes faded when they were together. They were the support system the other needed to make the big, important changes in their lives. I loved them as a couple and as individuals.

I greatly respected where Julie Cross took this story when it came to the hazing incident. There have been so many gone wrong in the news in the past couple of years, and it’s never close to home until it is. On Thin Ice tackled it in a way that gave young readers options to look at if they ever encounter a similar situation. I liked that it wasn’t a quick and easy decision or fix for the characters.

I have a feeling Julie Cross is going to be joining my list of go-to YA authors like Kasie West, Katie McGarry, Emery Lord, and Morgan Matson (just to name a few). I am so excited to go back and read the rest of the Juniper Falls series.

Review: The Kiss Thief (L.J. Shen)

   The Kiss Thief
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: January 9, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.


When I decided to read The Kiss Thief I hadn’t read the synopsis. I just saw that gorgeous cover with L.J. Shen’s name on it. I have been a fan of her writing for while now, and I was content to pick up anything she writes. That being said, I might have hesitated more had I realized there was a love triangle aspect to this one. I am not really a fan of that trope, but I’ll come back to that more later. Anyway. I went into this one blind, for the most part, and I am glad I did. I ended up enjoying The Kiss Thief. I might have missed out on reading it had I read the blurb first.

The Kiss Thief is the story of an arranged marriage between a mobster’s daughter and a senator. It’s not that simple, though. Said daughter was supposed to marry someone entirely different until the senator barges into the picture. The daughter is not thrilled with the change, nor is the original suitor. The betrothal of the daughter and senator starts a series of events that will change the three lives involved forever. (Pretty much what the blurb says, yeah?)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the arranged marriage part of The Kiss Thief. Francesca and Wolfe started out at odds and I loved seeing their resolve slowly melt away. Francesca was young and a little delusional when it came to how life works, but I could forgive her that based on how she was brought up. It allowed for her to be filled with wonder at the perfect times in the story. Wolfe was an alpha jerk. He had his reasons, but he was hard to stomach at times. What else would you expect from L.J. Shen, though? Francesca would become the one crack in his armor, and I loved the way she chipped away at it. I only had one problem with their relationship. That problem is a spoiler, so I’ll just say there was a scene I couldn’t forgive Wolfe for. It made me mad and uncomfortable.

But wait, you say. Isn’t this a love triangle? Yep. Like I said before, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I wouldn’t say this one read like a true triangle, but close enough to irritate me at times. Mostly because I wasn’t an Angelo fan. Angelo is the man Francesca should have married. He’s the man she’s loved, the man willing to put everything on the line for her. There is a tenderness between them that Francesca doesn’t have with Wolfe. Angelo is everything Francesca has wanted. He causes problems for her with her husband to be, and makes Francesca question who she should be with despite what her father has arranged. I liked what Angelo added to the story, but I cringed a lot when he was involved. I just wanted him to go away so I could get back to Francesca and Wolfe. I picked my hero early despite his disposition.

The mob aspect of this love story added some interesting fun and even more intensity to this story. I loved how Wolfe became involved with Francesca’s father. It was entertaining to see how it all played out.

Overall, I found The Kiss Thief to be an addicting, dark romance. It is exactly what I have to come to expect from L.J. Shen. She manages to make me fall in love with characters I should hate.

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   About the Author

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with L.J. Shen

Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorljshen/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lj_shen
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorljshen
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorljshen/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/l-j-shen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13531492.L_J_Shen
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KSFkad