Review: Down Too Deep (J. Daniels)

Down Too Deep
Series: Dirty Deeds, #4
Author: J. Daniels
Publication Date: October 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Following the sudden death of his wife, Nathan Bell has spent nearly two years burying himself in work and neglecting his biggest responsibility: his daughter. Overcome with guilt, he wants to connect with little Marley, but he doesn’t know how to do it alone. And then Jenna Savage throws him a lifeline.

A single mom of twins, Jenna is more than capable of taking care of Nate’s adorable two-year-old, and wants to help Nathan however she can. Soon, attachments are made, forcing Jenna and her kids into new territory. And the closer everyone becomes, the more right it feels.

Falling in love forces Nathan to face his biggest fear, and when hearts, both big and little, are on the line, the only thing scarier than needing someone is losing them all.


Down Too Deep was everything I was hoping it would be. I’ve been waiting for Nate to get a book forever and pairing him up with Jenna was perfect. It was especially fun because I already knew I loved both of these characters from previous books in the series. Nate is the owner of Whitecaps where both Syd and Tori worked and Jenna is Brian’s younger sister. These characters being surrounded by those special characters just made things that much better.

Jenna and Nate were so stinking adorable together. I could go on and on about how much I loved them together. It was cool to explore the things Jenna and Nate had in common. They were both single parents who loved their children deeply. They had different paths to becoming single parents, and both had some issues with that to work out, but it connected them in a way they wouldn’t have been otherwise. That was a really cool thing because it made this book not only about a romance but about family as well.

If you like kids in books, Down Too Deep has some incredibly adorable ones. Jenna’s twins Olivia and Oliver were part of what made this book shine. They had such great little personalities for kids. Same goes for Nate’s daughter Marley. She was such a cute toddler. I especially loved her for the way she adored Oliver. Combine the three of these kids and it’s cuteness overload.

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way for J. Daniels to end the Dirty Deeds series than with Nate and Jenna. The only thing better would be if the series didn’t have to end.

Review: Justified (Jay Crownover)

Justified
Series: Loveless, Texas, #1
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy…

Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he’s determined to do everything by the book–until he’s called to Aspen Barlow’s office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn’t the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge…

Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she’ll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there’s a thin line between love and hate… because there’s nothing Case wouldn’t do to keep her safe.


Justified was one of those solid romantic reads. Aspen and Case were enemies at the start and their dramatic interactions were perfect. I loved how Case hated her while Aspen wished he didn’t. They way their walls came down when they were forced to share space and trust each other was fun to read. Things went quickly between them, but it felt natural with all that was going on.

And there was a ton going on! I’m not normally into romantic suspense, but Justified had just the right kind and amount of it. I was very curious to know who had it out for Aspen and why. I have to admit I was shocked who was behind everything. I didn’t see it coming at all!

One of my favorite things about this book was Case’s relationship with his son, Hayes. It really showed what a great man Case was. I liked how he supported his son when it came to his mother and relationships with girls. I also liked how Aspen fit into that relationship.

Justified was another great romance by Jay Crownover. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about it. I truly enjoyed every minute I spent with it. I can’t wait to read what’s next in this series!

Review: Fixing Us (Miranda Elaine)

Fixing Us
Series: Fixing, #3
Author: Miranda Elaine
Publication Date: May 16, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Gabriel Starr is the love of my life, even if he breaks my heart time and time again.

Like a fool, I keep going back, so I’ve made a promise to myself—one final night and then I’m done.

One night of passion.
No pressure. Most importantly, no future.

One month later, a positive pregnancy test tells me different.

Our only option is to raise this baby as friends, but how can we make it work when we can’t even keep our hands off each other?

We finally have the chance to be the family we never imagined we could be.
But first we need to focus on Fixing Us.


Fixing Us is the third book in the Fixing series by Miranda Elaine, but it’s the first book I have read by this author. What originally drew my attention and made me want to read Fixing Us was the blurb. I was very interested how things were going to work out for high school sweethearts turned exes turned hook ups to have a baby together and, of course, fall back in love. As you can tell by my 5 star rating, it worked out well for them and me.

Leigh Ann and Gabe were high school sweethearts until Gabe ruined their plans for a life together after graduation. Despite their breakup, Leigh Ann and Gabe have had a hard time staying away from each other — it’s a small town and all that. They have never been able to work out their differences, but that doesn’t stop them from hooking up when the need arises. That is what has finally got them into trouble 10+ years after high school. One night of passion has turned into an unplanned pregnancy. It’s life changing for both Leigh Ann and Gabe, but in different ways. Leigh Ann was ready to move on. Now she’s tied to Gabe for at least 18 years. Gabe never planned to have a family. Now he has to come to terms with the fact that he will. Leigh and Gabe have a lot to figure out in the 9 months before their baby is born.

I was fascinated by Leigh Ann and Gabe’s relationship. It had this air of sadness. It was easy to tell they both truly loved each other, but they had different ideas and plans for life. I felt bad that Gabe thought about himself the way he did, but I also applauded him for trying to do what he thought was right. I loved the moments where he learned and grew. Leigh Ann I just felt horrible for. That woman was trapped by her love for Gabe. I could empathize with her about trying to move on. Despite what he said or did at times, Gabe didn’t really allow for it. That didn’t mean that Leigh Ann didn’t have strength. She was an incredibly strong, smart woman. I was actually impressed by the way she handled everything — especially her unplanned pregnancy. Leigh Ann and Gabe were just in this weird, uncomfortable non-relationship that was complicated even more by the pregnancy. It all felt true to a real life relationship and situation. I loved how their relationship evolved and how everything worked out in the end.

I was super impressed with Fixing Us. This is Miranda Elaine’s third book, but her writing feels more seasoned than that. She made each of her characters shine with their distinctive voices. The story moved smoothly and kept me enthralled. The biggest compliment I can give this book is that it made me feel everything the characters were feeling. When a book can do that, I’m impressed. I will definitely be going back and reading the first two books in this series. I am excited to learn more about those characters.

If you’re interested in reading Fixing Us, it can be read as a standalone novel. Characters from the previous books show up, but I wasn’t confused by that. This book had a story of its own.

Mini Reviews: Naked Love & Look the Part

Today I have two mini reviews for you. They are both for books by Jewel E. Ann and were recommended to me by Daisy Gal over at DG Book Blog.

Naked Love
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Publication Date: February 28, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

What happens when a high-heeled diva goes camping with her sister’s dog?

Avery Montgomery, fashionista and preacher’s daughter, needs a ride from Milwaukee to Los Angeles.

“Make my death quick, and please don’t tie me up. I’m claustrophobic.”

Jake Matthews, diva-hater, agrees to let her tag along on his annual but primitive trek to the West Coast.

“Okay, Princess, I’ll take you to L.A., but your crown won’t make it there in one piece.”

She’s desperate and out of options.
He’s ruthless and out of patience.

Don’t miss this sexy, hilarious, and heart-warming journey of self-discovery and raw … naked love.

My thoughts:

I have some big mixed feelings on Naked Love. I started off not liking it so much because Avery is this materialistic, clueless woman who wants a sugar daddy to take care of her. I was really turned off by the fact that she felt so slighted. Then she meets Jake. Jake is pretty much her opposite and hates Avery from the moment he meets her. Things got fun at the part with all their animosity and banter. Where things got messy for me were when they started having a sexual relationship and falling for each other. They taught each other some things about themselves, which I liked. Then everything goes sideways and they were learning some new things. I wasn’t sure what to make of Avery’s new conclusions. Part of me liked it, but part of me felt like maybe she was backsliding. I don’t know. In the end, I wasn’t completely sold on Avery and Jake’s relationship. It was a fun book to read, though.

Look the Part
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Flint Hopkins finds the perfect tenant to rent the space above his Minneapolis-based law office.

All the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted on Ellen’s application. Her references are good. And she’s easy on the eyes.

Until …

Flint discovers Ellen Rodgers, Board-Certified Music Therapist, plays music. Bongos, guitars, singing—not Beethoven administered through noise-cancelling headphones.

The cut-throat attorney serves up an eviction notice to the bubbly, constantly humming redhead who’s too sexy for her own good. But luck is on Ellen’s side when Flint’s autistic son, Harrison, takes an instant liking to her. A single dad can’t compete with guitars—and rats. Yes, she has pet rats.

This woman …

She’s annoyingly happy with a constant need to touch him—adjust his tie, button his shirt, invade his space, and mess with his mind.

Still …

She must go.

My thoughts:

I loved Look the Part. It was a really sweet romance between two people trying to move on from their pasts. Ellen was almost there when she met Flint, but Flint had a lot of growth and realization coming his way. I loved how Ellen pushed in him the ways he needed. I also loved how Ellen was with Flint’s autistic son. Harrison was such a special character. Look the Part was just one of those special romances that are so fun to read.

Review: Eleanor & Grey (Brittainy C. Cherry)

E&G - BT banner.jpg

Eleanor & Grey
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publication Date: April 8, 2019

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Greyson East left his mark on me.

As the young girl who first fell for him, I didn’t know much about life. I did know about his smiles, though, and his laughs, and the strange way my stomach flipped when he was near.

Life was perfect…until it wasn’t, and when we were forced to go our separate ways, I held on to our memories, let go of my first crush, and wished for the day I’d find him again.

When my wish came true, it was nothing like I imagined.

I couldn’t have known when I took the nanny position that it would be his children I looked after, that my new boss would be that boy I used to know, that boy who was now a man—a cold, lonely, detached man.

The smile and laugh I had loved so much were gone, now distant memories. Every part of him was covered in a fresh pain.

When he realized who I was, he made me promise to do my job and my job only.
He made me promise not to try to get to know him, not to recall the memories I’d treasured all this time.

But, sometimes, I saw the boy I’d once known in his stormy eyes. I saw the Greyson who smiled and laughed, who had stolen a young girl’s heart, and there was no doubt in my mind that this boy was worth fighting for.

I was given a second chance with the one who’d left his mark on me. All I hoped was that somehow I’d leave a mark on his soul, too.

**Eleanor & Grey is a complete Standalone novel**


If you haven’t yet read one of Brittainy C. Cherry’s books, I cannot even begin to explain how mesmerizing her writing is. She’s in a league with very few writers whose words come to life in the most beautiful, touching way. The only way I can think to describe it is to compare it to music that brings chills to your skin or tears to your eyes. Ms. Cherry’s words make me feel so much. While I am reading her words, I feel like her story is growing and taking place all around me. I felt this way while reading Eleanor & Grey.

Eleanor & Grey should have been named How Many Times Can Brittainy C. Cherry Make Me Cry in One Book? The emotions in this book! It’s a second chance romance, but Eleanor and Grey’s relationship is rooted in loss. All of that loss and grief hit me hard. Imaging myself in their places was so painful. It broke my heart over and over and over. Is it weird to say I enjoyed every minute of that? I shouldn’t have, but I did.

When Eleanor and Grey originally meet, there is an instant connection and understanding between the two of them. They have been in similar places in life. I adored the way Grey supported Eleanor. Their teenage like for each other is sweet and innocent. It was so adorable! I really wanted their relationship to keep progressing, but the loss of each other feels like a natural progression. I was sad for this change, but knew it was coming so I wasn’t mad.

Even reading the blurb, it was hard to know that Grey and Eleanor had lives apart for years. It felt a little weird to read about Grey’s relationship with someone else and his two daughters at first. I was surprised he wasn’t pining for Eleanor all of those years. Or maybe that’s just what I wanted him to be doing. The more I reflected on Eleanor and Grey’s time together, the easier it was to come to terms with that.

It wasn’t just Grey’s past I had a hard time imagining either. It was Eleanor’s, too. I could guess some of the reasons she grew as a person, but I really wanted more of a snapshot of what happened to her during all those times apart. Even though Eleanor mentioned some of the things that happened, I felt like I was missing a piece of her story.

I really liked that when Eleanor and Grey’s paths collide again, things have flip-flopped. It’s now Eleanor’s turn to support Grey. She brought in this breath of fresh air neither Grey nor I knew was missing. What developed from there was… Well, I’ll let you read the book and find out.

There were a ton of other amazing characters in Eleanor & Grey. Eleanor’s parents were too cute. I adored Claire and her supportive but suggestive ways. Grey’s daughters were perfect. Karla was that angsty teenager I like reading about, but hope I never have. Lorelei stole the show with her utter cuteness. The strength of all of these characters helped make this book the emotional masterpiece it was.

There was something so magical about this book. I mean, I feel that way about all of Ms. Cherry’s books, but this one really resonated with me. I felt Eleanor and Grey’s heartache and loss so deeply. I didn’t want to imagine being in their shoes, but that’s what I was doing. I was happy-sad when Eleanor & Grey ended. I was happy because I loved the book, but I was sad because I wanted more. I wasn’t done with Eleanor and Grey. It’s my favorite book by Brittainy C. Cherry yet.

E&G - AN

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About Brittainy:
Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.

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Review: Hook Shot (Kennedy Ryan)

Hook Shot - BT banner.jpg

Hook Shot
Series: Hoops, #3
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Publication Date: March 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A deeply emotional standalone romance set in the worlds of professional basketball and high fashion.

Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad.
Cheated on, betrayed, exposed.
My perfect life blew up in my face and I’m still picking up the pieces.
The last thing I need is her.
A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can’t resist.
Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans
from the moment our eyes meet.
I promised myself I wouldn’t trust a woman again,
but I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want Lo.
She’s not the plan I made, but she’s the risk I have to take.

A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.
Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met.
The last thing I need is him.
I’m working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.
I’ve seen what trusting a man gets you.
I. Don’t. Have. Time. For. This.
But he just keeps coming for me.
Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses
one by one.
He never gives up, and now…I’m not sure I want him to.


I adore Kennedy Ryan’s writing, but I have to admit I am always a little nervous to pick up one of her books. I know from experience that my heart and mind are going to be slayed by what I read. I also know that I’m going to love whatever story and lesson Ms. Ryan is dealing out.

Hook Shot was rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs. I think the author was trying to give me a heart attack at times. She took these two amazing characters and threw them into some gorgeous and some troubling situations. There were moments when I wanted to cry from both happiness and sadness. There were moments I was shocked by the twists thrown my way. Ms. Ryan put so much heart and soul into this book. She made Hook Shot is my favorite book in this series

Lotus was as magical as I hoped she would be. I didn’t always love her in the previous HOOPS novels, but I think I was just missing some pieces. I knew Lotus’ story, but didn’t know everything. Her past was devastating and shaped her in important ways. Lotus’ past gave her this hard exterior that I loved seeing Kenan crack. Inside, she had this softness that was beautiful.

What I liked most about Kenan was that he could have been a real person. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a guy who strove to be the best person he could be. I loved how he approached situations with caution and wanted to do good to those closest to him. I loved his relationship with his teenage daughter, Simone. Their relationship wasn’t smooth sailing, but I liked how Kenan’s reactions proved the type of person he was. I also liked that Kenan didn’t let his basketball fame change him. He was just really cool, a good partner, and a good dad.

Kenan and Lotus together — GAH! That chemistry was so dang hot! They got each other on this basic level that made them connect in the coolest way. I don’t even know how to describe them except for that they were made for each other. They were undeniable soul mates. It was so, so beautiful the way they supported each other in all of the ups and downs that orchestrated by their creator. I just loved them together.

One of the things I loved and hated about this book was Kenan’s ex-wife, Bridget. Grrr… She was a great character, but that woman made me so mad! She hurt everyone around her to try to get what she wanted. Her point of view wasn’t necessary, but I wish it would have been included in a couple of places. I would have liked to have been in her mind to know what was driving her decisions. I don’t feel like I ever got the answer on some of her whys.

Hook Shot was an outstanding read by one of my favorite authors. No one does relationships and drama like Kennedy Ryan. The heart she gives her characters and their stories is something to be experienced. She had some wonderful surprises in store for her readers with this book.

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Hook Shot, a deeply emotional standalone set in the worlds of professional basketball and high fashion from Kennedy Ryan, is available now and FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Audiobook Release: April 30th

baller binge hoops 99 cents

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About Kennedy

A Top 25 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism. KR W Bckg Verti

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Review: Fumbled (Alexa Martin)

Fumbled
Series: Playbook, #2
Author: Alexa Martin
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.


Alexa Martin’s début novel, Intercepted, was one of my favorite books of 2018. I was very impressed with her writing and story telling abilities. Her characters and their story was so much fun. I have been eagerly awaiting her next book from the moment I finished the first one. I’m happy to report that Fumbled was just as good as Intercepted — if not even better!!! That crazy because of how amazing Intercepted was.

Fumbled is the story of a single mother (Poppy) who is trying to make ends meat as a waitress at cabaret club. One night, her table contains the last man she ever wants to see again. TK is a famous football player and the father of her child — a child he didn’t want. Poppy wants nothing to do with TK, but he feels the exact opposite. Poppy has a hard time fighting her feelings for TK, and knows it’s only time before she has to tell TK about the son they share.

This book had my attention from the get go. Poppy was such a fun character. I loved how strong and resilient she was. Poppy made the best out of the hand she was dealt and didn’t complain. Her emotions were real and raw. I would have felt the same way she did. I could totally identify with how she put her son first.

As for Poppy’s relationship with TK, it was filled with some great ups and downs. They not only had to navigate getting to know each other all over again, they had to learn to trust again. Add in learning to share a child, and there was a lot going on for them. I found their second chance romance very cute. I did wish a couple of times that I had TK’s point of view. It would have been nice to know what he was thinking sometimes.

In case you have read Intercepted, I feel the need to point out that there were not any hashtags in this book. (There were a plethora in that one and they drove me nuts after a while.) There was only one small thing that bothered me with this book. I don’t know if it’s just a me thing or if others will make more notice of it with the foreshadowing. One of the big problems towards the end surprised me a bit. Like I said, it was foreshadowed, but I think it didn’t hit as hard for me because I didn’t get to know these characters before present day. I think if I had some previous knowledge of personality I might have felt a little more invested in this part of the story. Sorry to be vague. I don’t want to give it away.

Overall, I adored Fumbled. It was one of those reads that made me not want to put the book down. I’m happy to have read it, but sad that I have to wait for the third book in this series.

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.

Series Review: Between the Lines (Tammara Webber)

Once again, I’m working on my backlist. Between the Lines is a series I’ve wanted to read since I fell in love with Tammara Webber’s Contours of the Heart series. I was excited to finally get around to reading it. Here are my thoughts on each of the four books in the series.


Between the Lines (#1) ★ ★ ★

I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t dislike it either. Between the Lines is told in two perspectives. The first was Emma’s. She was an almost eighteen year old who was cast in a movie along side Reid, one of the hottest young stars of the moment. I liked Emma a lot. She seemed like a teenager trying to figure life out. The other perspective was Reid’s. I hated Reid. He was a tool and a jerk. It was really hard reading his thoughts and choices. He is what made me not love this book — along with the fact that there is a third player in this story. Emma also has a developing “friendship” with another actor names Graham that makes a love triangle out of this book. As this book comes to an end, big secrets are exposed and the triangle is sorted out. I’m glad it didn’t leave me hanging. In the end, this one felt a big set up for the rest of the series to me. I am going to keep reading because I’m curious and have the rest of the books.

Where You Are (#2) – ★ ★ ★

The Reid – Emma – Graham triangle continues! Well, it becomes a love square as Brooke jumps in on the action and increases the drama. I still hated Reid, but he did do one thing I respected. I loved Emma. Graham turned out to be a total sweetheart. Brooke…I loved her last book, but now I feel as good about her as I do Reid. Where you Are was a wild ride.

Good for You (#3) ★ ★ ★

I really, really didn’t want a book about Reid falling in love. I mean, the guy is a total turd. I didn’t want it to be a woman who changed him because that wouldn’t be real life. I wanted him to change himself. That being said, I liked who Reid became. He grew up. It was refreshing to see him come to some conclusions about himself. Dori was okay. I liked all the stuff she had to go through.

Here Without You (#4) ★ ★ ★ ★

This, in my opinion, was the best book of the series. Everything came full circle for the remaining cast of characters. I loved how it was done. I also really loved how Tammara Webber wrote River. This ended up being an interesting celebrity coming of age series. It’s worth a read if you’re a fan of the author.