Blog Tour & Review: Commander in Chief by Katy Evans

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Commander in Chief (White House, #2)

Commander in Chief
(White House #2)
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Katy Evans
Published: January 5, 2017
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

The sizzling second installment of the White House series, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.

We fell in love during the campaign.
The stakes were high.
Reputations could have been ruined.
Scandal hovered over us like a cloud.
Now the man I love is the President of the United States of America.
And its not my vote he is after.
He wants it all.
My heart. My body. My soul.
He wants me by his side.
In the White House.
Normalcy will be gone from my life, privacy forgotten.
I am only twenty three. I just wanted to play a part in history. But it seems like history wasn’t done with me. The part where I lost my heart to Matthew Hamilton? It was only the beginning…

my thoughts new

“I want you. I want you indefinitely– and eventually, baby, you’re going to need to own up to the fact that the man you’re in love with is the president, and you helped put me here.”

(I buddyread this book with my lovely sis Bea. Click her name to read her awesome review!)

Katy Evans manages each time to suck me into the story she writes. I loved Mr. President and now after finishing this conclusion of Matthew and Charlotte’s story, I am so happy because of their satisfying ending.

In this book, the hot and super swoon-worthy Matthew “Matt” Hamilton is already the President-elect of the United States. Charlotte flew to Europe to stay away from him and try to move on after he won the presidency. But when she returned to witness his first day as a ruler in the States, she wasn’t able to deny the fact that her feelings toward him still remain. And when their paths crossed once again, she did not expect him to pull such a shocking proposal to her– to become his acting First Lady of the United States.

I loved most parts in this book– especially the scenes where Matt was trying to win Charlotte back and woo her. Despite his busy schedule, he was still able to make time for her, doing his best to make her feel that she’s the most beautiful, most worthy First Lady in his heart.

The thing that has awed me most was the loyalty they had for each other. I loved how strong they were together and how tough they were despite some political issues that surround them. Over the course of Matt’s presidency, I was afraid that he’s going to be destructed while being in love with Charlotte but omg, I was so wrong. He is the man! The best President ever.

Maybe I was looking for a little bit more angst and depth that’s why I rated it 4 out 5 but otherwise, I loved how the story turned out in the end. There was a resolution regarding the crime of Matt’s father. The final chapters also brought me a whirlwind of emotions as well as the ending which just made me grin from ear to ear. Matt and Charlotte’s love story, as a whole, was more than beautiful. They said their lives aren’t fairytale. Um, I don’t think so. There could never be any more perfect than their love for each other.

“I shed more than my clothes when I’m with her. I shed every preconceived notion of who I should be. My last name, the presidency, everything is gone– only I remain. A man, flesh and blood, not perfect, but trying his damn best to be, and a man who wants her. Bad.”

An ARC was provided by Katy Evans and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:

4

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Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

Deep (Stage Dive, #4)

Deep
(Stage Dive #4)
Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: March 10, 2015
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Don’t miss a beat with the fourth and final novel in the USA Today bestselling Stage Dive series from Kylie Scott.

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible… but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

my thoughts new

“Good girls don’t fall for rock stars.”

Oh man. These rock stars rock my world. Deep is the last installment of Stage Dive series and I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad because all the characters (David, Ev, Mal, Anne, Jimmy, Lena, Ben, and Lizzy) have grown on me. How can I not?

In Deep, we finally get to have the story of Ben Nicholson, Stage Dive’s bass player, and Elizabeth “Lizzy” Rollins, Anne’s sister. Ever since Lizzy set her eyes on Ben, she has been crushing and sort of ‘obsessing’ over him. To the point where she texted him and basically flirted with him. Much as Ben tried, he wasn’t able to resist Lizzy so he flirted her back in secret. But because Mal warned him to stay away from Lizzy, and because there was a huge gap between their age, he tried to ignore her– to no avail. One night in Vegas though, the two of them had a drunken sex which later on resulted to Lizzy’s pregnancy.

“So I’d been knocked up by a rock star. Big time.”

I love unexpected pregnancy love stories. These tropes are my weakness, so I wasn’t surprised when I found myself so smitten with this book. Apart from Lizzy’s entertaining POV which made me crack up every time, I also enjoyed the push-and-pull relationship between her and Ben. It was sweet in a way that swoons and sort of frustrates you at the same. Their story wasn’t built to be perfect as each of them has flaws (especially Ben who acted immaturely in the first half of the book). But I loved how both of them became well-developed characters in the end. Especially how Ben’s principles in life slowly changed as he got to know Liz and shared a complicated relationship with her.

Yes, there were lots of bumps in the road for them but those things gave them the opportunity to explore their feelings. I also loved how the other Stage Dive characters helped them figure out their issues. (Let’s not forget Sam who’s always been there haha!) These characters are literally SQUAD GOALS!

The ending was of course, a joy to read. All of them have their piece of happy endings and I loved it. I just felt kind of emotional because the series already ended. I am looking forward to reading more Kylie Scott books, though. 🙂

Rating:

4 stars

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Review: Womanizer by Katy Evans

Womanizer (Manwhore, #4)

Womanizer
(Manwhore #4)
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Katy Evans
Published: December 5, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans comes a brand new contemporary romance. WOMANIZER is a full standalone, and no other books in the series need to be read.

You’ve seen the headlines: Womanizing billionaire player! Watch out! Stay away!

We were just two strangers. Facing a forbidden attraction, a chemical connection. Neither of us expected or wanted it to amount to more.
But I had never been drawn to a guy the way I was drawn to this one: my brother’s best friend, and CEO of the company where I interned.
Even knowing I should stay away, I proved to be too human, after all.
The chemistry was amazing.
The laughs were incredible.
I opened up to him in more ways than I’d opened up to anyone before.
But sex was as far as I’d go.
Just sex because he was too irresistible.
Just sex because I wouldn’t be falling for him.
Just sex because I’d leave in three months, and I’d like for my brother not to kill me, and for nobody to find out he was my wicked little secret.
He wasn’t the One.
He was just a womanizer.
But for a time, he would be mine.

my thoughts new

“Life sometimes doesn’t run in the cycles it’s expected to. We are all here for a blink. Life changes in a blink. We fall in love, sometimes, in a blink.”

Forever in love with Katy Evans’ books!

Callan and Olivia. Gaaah!!! I couldn’t even begin to describe the sexual tension and overflowing steamy scenes between these two. I was so rooting for them from start to finish.

Olivia “Livvy” Roth was introduced in the previous Manwhore book Ladies Man and we’ve known her as Tahoe’s little sister. When Tahoe endorsed her to his best friend’s huge company to work as an intern, Olivia expected to meet a ruthless business mogul in the name of Callan Carmichael. While working there, she had an encounter with a literally hot smoker guy whom she thought as an ordinary employee (a mailman) and whom she shared smoking sessions every day and even had a one night stand with. Little did she know that the smoker guy was in fact, the very owner of the company– Callan.

The book was basically steeped in steamy scenes after steamy scenes. Classic Katy Evans. Aaand I loved every bit of it. Callan and Olivia’s chemistry was off the charts. They’re both hot, success-driven, and they both understand each other’s wants. To simply put, they’re made for each other.

I loved that their story was not heavy on the angst and how the scenes were created to make the reader smile and swoon. It basically kept me on my toes. If you are looking for an office romance with over-the-top sensual scenes with less dramas, I believe you will love this book. You don’t have to read the previous books in this series (although I recommend you to read them too because they are equally amazing!) because it is a standalone. All in all, Womanizer was another enjoyable book to devour. I’m excited about Wynn’s story!

Rating:

4 stars

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Review: Hooked by Brenda Rothert

Hooked

Hooked
Author: Brenda Rothert
Publisher: Loveswept
Published: December 6, 2016
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

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Synopsis new

From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?

Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.

> Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

my thoughts new

I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just say Hooked really hooked me. It was cute, sexy, and angsty in equal measure.

Miranda Carr and Jake Birch‘s story is one that you can categorize as a fairytale kind of love story. Miranda is unlike any other girl. She’s hardworking and goal-driven. Working in housekeeping at Dupont Tower as well as at Lucky’s nightclub while studying at the same time to pursue a business degree is such a tough thing to do. For her, her dreams and ambitions are more important than relationships. Until she met the super hot but grumpy ice hockey player Jake Birch. She wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him, but their connection was too strong to deny so it wasn’t easy for her to resist him.

I totally loved the chemistry between these two. It was too apparent and strong. There was no moment in this book where I didn’t find myself swooning over how cute they are as a couple. Both Jake and Miranda were likable characters and despite some of their flaws, it wasn’t difficult for me to connect with them. Jake had issues and personal baggage but he was easily redeemable which I really loved. I also loved the way Miranda cared about Jake and supported him all the way until he was emotionally healed.

The story was well-balanced in a way and the sports aspect was also on-point. Although the romantic development between the characters moved a little faster than I anticipated, it was understandable since the story’s pacing was also fast. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves New Adult sports romance!

(An ARC was provided by Loveswept publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4

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Review: Heat Wave by Karina Halle

Heat Wave

Heat Wave
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Karina Halle
Published: November 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

~~~

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

Note: this is a standalone novel, unrelated to any previous books. It does NOT contain cheating of any kind.

my thoughts new

“Because I should have been with you, Ronnie. It’s always been you.”

Heat Wave is my second Karina Halle read. Although I loved some of its parts, it fell short of my expectations. It didn’t wow me as much as Smut did.

Veronica “Ronnie” Locke became attracted to Logan Shephard when they met at a fundraising event which was hosted by her mom. With their instant connection, they’re supposed to start going out and fall in love. It didn’t happen, though. Because Logan’s attention shifted to her sister Juliet right when he saw her for the first time. Eventually, Logan and Juliet dated and got married. Now seven years later, Juliet’s already dead and Ronnie and Logan reunited in Hawaii– the place where Logan’s hotel is located and where Ronnie is going to work as the hotel’s chef.

I loved that there was an angst. Angst is good. However, the forbidden love story didn’t quite amaze me because the characters lacked some depth. I wasn’t also convinced when it comes to Logan’s feelings to Ronnie. How come he married Juliet but deep down inside he’s in love with Ronnie? His reason was too shallow and I didn’t buy it.

The pacing of the book was also a let-down for me. It was too slow and too many scenes that are unnecessary should’ve never been included.

It’s good that the book promised a mild entertainment in the first few chapters but it kinda lost its momentum in the second half with Ronnie and Logan’s romantic development moving a little too fast.

The thing that somehow made this book redeemable was the writing of Karina Halle which was hands down beautiful and poetic. I loved how it was written with an air of melancholy. The setting was also beyond captivating. For me, this book is a really great summer read. You can read this when you’re staying on a tropical island, sipping a mojito or something. This was a good angsty romance book as a whole, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I expected. I believe there are a lot of Karina Halle’s books that are better than this. For now, Smut remains my favorite.

“There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know.”

Rating:

3 Stars

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Review: Color Me Yours by Diana T. Scott

Color Me Yours (Half of Me, #3)

Color Me Yours
(Half of Me #3)
Author: Diana T. Scott
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 8, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

What happens if you wake up one morning and you don’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror? When you throw yourself into a relationship so deeply, it swallows you whole and spits you out a totally different person? A person you don’t particularly like… For Paige, it takes ten minutes to decide she needs to go back to Chicago, the first place she ever called home and the last she felt like herself in. The place where she’ll find a purpose and friends she never knew she needed.
But what if her best friend starts to see her before she sees herself? Can she trust him to search between scattered pieces and handpick the ones that belong only to her?

my thoughts new

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The medical residents of Half of Me series are back and this time the story focuses on the adorable couple Miles and Paige. I’ve been a fan of these lovebirds ever since Our Demons, Best Friends and Love Me While I’m Gone so you could imagine how happy I was when Diana announced that they’re going to have their own story.

Paige and Miles meet at the hospital where they’re training as medical residents. They both came from different cities and they both have something in common… a hope that the new environment will change their lives for the better. What started off as friendship turned to something else when they became not just workmates but also roommates at their rented apartment. How can they resist each other when the attraction is mutual and they seem to have a real connection?

First of all, I loved Miles. He’s one of the sweetest male leads I’ve read about. I couldn’t help but swoon every time he does some sweet gestures to Paige. And Paige is one funny woman. I loved her guts and her determination to follow her dreams. These characters are so perfect for each other and that’s also because of their chemistry which was off the charts.

Although Ava and Sebastian remain my favorite couple in this series, I adored Paige and Miles and how cute they were all throughout the book. The relationship development– from being friends, to best friends, to lovers –was amazing. *sigh I also loved how their story was written in an easy and carefree way. Sure, there was a conflict but I loved how it was resolved immediately without getting into lots of drama.

Color Me Yours is the final book of this series and I’m sure I’m going to miss these characters. I feel like they’re already part of my life. If you want to read light romance books with less drama and more swoon-worthy moments, then I highly recommend this series! 🙂

(Thank you to Diana T. Scott for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂 )

Rating:

4

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Review: Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

Pull Me Close (The Panic, #1)

Pull Me Close
(Panic #1)
Author: Sidney Halston
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of Publication: October 25, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for “a magnificent story full of deep emotion” (Sawyer Bennett).

Katherine: I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.

Nick: When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.

Advance praise for Pull Me Close

“Pull Me Close is a heart-gripping story about one of the most beautiful things in the world: the power of love.”—New York Times bestselling author Aurora Rose Reynolds

“Pull Me Close is a magnificent story full of deep emotion that will get you straight in the feels. Sidney Halston nailed it with this one.”—New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett

“An intriguing tale of anxiety and depression so authentic that readers will feel as if they are in the story with the characters. The plot is fresh and tackles a fascinating topic. The relationship between the main characters is very intense and consuming. . . . A great read!”—RT Book Reviews

Praise for Sidney Halston’s Worth the Fight series

“Against the Cage is funny, steamy, scorching—and holy hot MMA fighter, I wanted more. Five stars all the way!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo

“A steamy and fun romance that will leave readers begging for more. Sidney Halston is an author to watch!”—New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair, on Against the Cage

“Halston’s new series opener creates an organic and sensual dynamic between Jack and Chrissy that makes an easy buy-in for readers.”—Library Journal (starred review), on Against the Cage

“Sidney Halston has another knockout with her latest release in the Worth the Fight series. Full Contact is a heavyweight contender in the world of MMA romances.”—Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

“If you love cracktastic drama and sexy times, this is for you!”—RT Book Reviews, on Fighting Dirty

my thoughts new

“I’m falling in love with the man who saved me from myself.”

What a real surprise. This book is a gem!

There are so many reasons to love Pull Me Close. One of these is the writing which was absolutely good! It’s my first time to read a Sidney Halston book and wow, I was hooked. I loved how she nicely delivered a story that has a very challenging theme which is battling the mental illness known as PTSD.

The story started when Katherine “Katie” Wilson woke up in the arms of Nico “Nick” Moreno, the owner of the popular Miami Beach Night Club named Panic. She lost consciousness after having a panic attack right when she stepped into the club. Katie is claustrophobic. In her younger years, she experienced a traumatic experience that changed her life and made her became scared to face the outside world. While her friendship with Nico developed and her feelings toward him progressed, her fears also became stronger. But she has no choice but to conquer those fears in order to have a normal relationship with Nico and in order to give herself a chance to live a normal life again.

“You pull me close and hold me tight, and I’ll be okay.”

What impressed me most was how the PTSD aspect was well-researched. The details were so accurate. This issue actually hits home because I, myself, am one of the people who experienced panic attacks in the past. This is not an easy condition to carry. I still can remember the nerves, the fast heartbeats, the feeling of not being able to control the situation, the feeling of helplessness, and the anticipation that something worst is about to happen at any moment. All these were experienced by Katie in this book and I can say that they really do happen to someone who has panic attacks.

The book was powerful not only because of its realistic storyline but also because of the sincere and believable romance between Katie and Nico. I found myself unable to resist these characters– especially Nico because of his assertiveness and willingness to help Katie get over her condition and face her fears. Their story was not only about falling in love with each other but also about building mutual trust, understanding each other’s differences, and overcoming bad situations by simply being there for each other.

Pull Me Close was as deep and rich as it was emotional and romantic. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a romance book that has enough substance to move and melt your heart in the end.

“You’re my kind of crazy.”

Rating:

4 stars

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ARC Review: His to Cherish by Stacey Lynn

His to Cherish (Fireside, #3)

His to Cherish
(Fireside #3)
Author: Stacey Lynn
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of Publication: November 15, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Can two hearts entwined by hardship move on to form a healthy bond? From the author of His to Love and His to Protect, this tender, bittersweet romance brings together a man who loses everything—and a woman with everything to give.

Chelsea Dwyer arrives home from her job at the middle-school library in Latham Hills, Michigan, expecting another quiet evening—until she hears the screams for help through her living room window. As the first witness to a terrible accident involving two local students, Chelsea doesn’t anticipate how her own life will be irrevocably changed by the father of one of the boys. In the wake of tragedy, she’s the only one who seems to understand his grief. Chelsea’s a survivor, too—and she knows that there are brighter days ahead.

As a single father, Aidan Deveraux worked his entire life to provide a stable home for his son, Derrick. Without him, Aidan feels the deepest despair imaginable. The one thing that keeps him going is his connection with the woman who tried to save his son. Hard as he tries, Aidan just can’t stay away. Chelsea’s warm embrace is the comforting solace he desperately craves—and it doesn’t hurt that Aidan had noticed the beautiful librarian and wanted to ask her out for years. Now that she’s in his life, he doesn’t ever want to let go.

my thoughts new

You know what’s so wonderful about this book? It’s the way I felt the raw emotions of the characters. The way the story weaved not just romance but also an element of family drama which I became emotionally involved with.

His to Cherish started when Chelsea Dwyer witnessed the death of Aidan Deveraux‘s son Derrick from a skateboarding accident. Since Aidan’s loss, she has been there for him, comforting him and giving him her company with no expectations. Despite the fact that she’s attracted to him and she’s completely single after her divorce with her ex-husband, she didn’t entertain the idea of them falling in love with each other. But what if Aidan is also secretly into her but is just not ready to commit to a relationship because of his grief and depression?

It’s my first time to read a book by Stacey Lynn and I must say she writes beautifully. Her characters are well fleshed-out and the narration was tightly constructed. I became invested in the story mostly because of the feels I’ve had while reading the book. Aidan and Chelsea’s chemistry was spot-on and the sexual tension was there all the time.

I especially loved the characters’ romantic development. It wasn’t hurried. And I loved the fact that they didn’t immediately jump to the sex after a series of conversations and encounters. Their mutual respect for each other amazed me to no end.

Can I also say I loved Aidan and Chelsea’s group of friends? I swear they’re all very supportive when it comes to their love affair. Friendship goals!

So, why 4 stars? I wished there weren’t unnecessary scenes. They kind of ruined the overall beauty of this book. I have nothing against slow burn romance but at times I felt the book’s pace was overstretched because of those fillers. Nevertheless, I did love this book. It was a bittersweet, emotionally-driven story but certainly with a HEA that made me smile. And oh, did I mention that Aidan Deveraux is such a perfect male lead? Gaaaah!

(An ARC was provided by Loveswept and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4

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Review: Heartbreaker by Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion

Heartbreaker (Unbreakable, #1)

Heartbreaker
(Unbreakable #1)
Author: Kat Bastion, Stone Bastion
Publisher: Kat Bastion, Stone Bastion
Date of Publication: March 22, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Kiki Michaelson wants one wild night to forget her starving-artist worries. Simple.

Only instead of Darren Cole becoming her one-night stand, he taunts her with a challenge. Then while she’s trying to best him at his own game, he turns out to be the last thing she’s prepared for: someone she wants to keep.

Which means all he can ever be…is a friend.

Darren Cole never allows a girl to get close—not close enough to matter.

Then storms in Kiki Michaelson, a beautiful, fearless temptation that rocks his world off-balance. But he fights their attraction, unwilling to gamble something physical with their close ties. Until the passionate sculptor exposes her heart and breaks his wide open.

In that moment it becomes clear: she could never be just a friend.

Sometimes what you run from…is exactly what you need.

***HEARTBREAKER is a standalone, full-length new adult romance told in dual POV. Due to mature themes and adult language, this book is for those 18 and older.***

my thoughts new

First off, I didn’t know this is a spin-off and I think I could’ve enjoyed Heartbreaker more if I’ve read the previous series first. Anyways, the characters, the storyline, the writing style… they are all good! My only real (and perhaps biggest) concern is that there were so many things that confused me. The characters kept mentioning about these things and that but I found myself having no such clue what they’re all talking about.

Despite my problem though, it wasn’t difficult for me to like the main characters Kiki Michaelson and Darren Cole. They have real and special connection. And how can one not praise their chemistry that is so apparent from the first page to the last?

And for someone like me who has a penchant for angst-driven love stories, I was sold by how their romance was coated with a little bit of drama and (just mild) family conflicts. Not to mention the sweet slow burn of their romantic development which just added a little spice to the story. And oh, did I mention that Darren Cole is such a sweetheart? He’s one responsible and *sigh boyfriend material guy. Despite his baggage, he didn’t set Kiki aside. She’s one of the persons that always come first, and that’s just something.

Trust and relationship issues… these are things that very much highlight Heartbreaker. I really do think, despite the issue that I mentioned, that it is still a lovable and possibly an all-consuming romance book as a whole.

“Whenever I care too much about something-” I sucked in a shaking breath– “it gets ripped away.”

“I know.” His tone quieted. “Me too.”

“So… how do we get past that?”

He trailed his fingers along my jaw, then cupped the side of my face with his hand. “We fight harder to keep what we want.”

Rating:

three point five

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ARC Review: Her Unexpected Engagement by Kyra Jacobs

Her Unexpected Engagement (Checkerberry Inn, #2)

Her Unexpected Engagement
(Checkerberry Inn #2)
Author: Kyra Jacobs
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Date of Publication: November 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Sometimes you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it…

Stephanie Fitzpatrick wanted out of the spotlight after her pro-golfer husband was caught on camera cheating. But when she returns to Michigan for a job interview and some much-needed R&R, a fib told by her well-meaning sister has her looking for a temporary fiancé, or she can kiss her new start good-bye.

Desperate to hide the truth, she goes to the one man who can help—her former best friend.

Miles Masterson is relieved to see the Checkerberry Inn beginning to thrive once more. Not only does it ease his mind about his grandmother’s financial future, but also about his decision to finally escape town. But then one all grown up and sexy as hell friend from the past shows up needing rescue. Now the temptation to change the “temporary” arrangement into something more is making it harder to think about leaving.

Each book in the Checkerberry Inn series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

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I finished this book with a smile on my face.

Her Unexpected Engagement was an enjoyable light-spirited romance read. The kind of book that gives you warm and fuzzy feelings all because of its sweet portrayal of second chance romance. I’ve never read anything by Kyra Jacobs prior to this book but her way of writing captivated me. It was so Harlequin-ish and it certainly brought out nostalgic feels.

The story started when Stephanie Fitzpatrick‘s famous golf player ex-husband cheated on her in public. Fresh from heartache, she went back to her roots in Michigan to start a new life. By going back there, however, her heart got confused when she reunited with her college best friend Miles Masterson who also happened to be someone she secretly loved before she fell for her ex.

The setting was one of the things that made me fall in love with this book. Checkerberry Inn was beautifully described and living in this romantic place through the pages made me feel so comfortable. I also loved both the main characters and how their romantic development was built up. They certainly have that chemistry.

All throughout the book I found myself swooning, smiling, and laughing over how sweet their reunion was. There were of course scenes that I consider my favorite especially the one where Stephanie cooked a baked ziti that ended up in a disaster lol.

This book, as a whole, was a pleasure to read. Fast-paced, heartfelt, and with a little pinch of humor, this was one of the beautiful reunion romance books I’ve ever read! 🙂

(An ARC was provided by Entangled: Bliss and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

4

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ARC Review: Crazy Pucking Love by Cindi Madsen

Crazy Pucking Love (Taking Shots, #3)

Crazy Pucking Love
(Taking Shots #3)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Date of Publication: November 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

I just met the girl of my dreams.

Megan Davenport is funny and smart, and she’s as much of an insomniac as I am. She’s also my team captain’s little sister, which I only found out after our passionate kiss.

Megan is completely off-limits—her brother makes that very clear—and I know better than to think I can keep a relationship going during hockey season anyway. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be late-night friends, right?

The only problem is, love makes you do crazy things, like breaking all the rules.

my thoughts new

“I saw you, I wanted you, and I ignored everything else. I knew I was crossing a line I shouldn’t, but crossing it felt so damn good.”

Another potentially lovable NA sports romance that was well-written but unfortunately suffered a number of flaws.

We met Megan Davenport in Getting Lucky Number Seven as Beck’s little sister who was quite a rebel that time. Now she is already a freshman at Boston College and is about to have an exciting college life with the help of her “Fresh Start Checklist” that contains all her goals. In a college drunken party, she meets a gorgeous guy named Dane Kowalski and sort of forms an instant friendship with him. She doesn’t know that Dane is actually an ice hockey star and a co-player of her brother, which is quite a conflict since Beck is such a protective brother and she’s already attracted with Dane. Plus, Dane seems to feel the same way, too.

You know what’s the obvious similarity of this book to the previous books of this series? The characters, the storyline, the dramas.. same old same old. It’s the repetitive idea by which the male lead carries heavier baggage, thus he cannot give his “all” to the heroine because he’s not capable enough to give it. Ugh.

What’s with these hockey men and their never ending issues?

Now onto the good side.

I still found this book swoon-worthy despite my complaints. I felt the strong connection shared by the characters as well as the angst. Both characters were okay. I thought Dane was such a hot mess but he was a sweet person with a soft heart nonetheless. The sexy scenes, on the other hand, were burning hawt. There was certainly a chemistry between Dane and Megan and for that, I was at least happy. You just have to prepare for that cheesy ending though.

All in all, it was an okay read. Just another typical college sports romance with cliché tropes such as friends-to-lovers and friends-with-benefits. I wasn’t completely drawn but I think other readers may find this book enjoyable and may love it more than I did.

(An ARC was provided to me by Entangled: Embrace and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

3 Stars

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Review: Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen

Anatomy of a Player (Taking Shots, #2)

Anatomy of a Player
(Taking Shots #2)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Published: January 25, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

This bad boy is about to get played…

After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.

With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker’s looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn’t an option. One thing’s for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.

my thoughts new

Anatomy of a Player is much better compared to the first book of the series. However, it took me a while to warm up to the story.

The book follows journalism student Whitney Porter and ice hockey player Hudson Decker. After getting Whitney’s heart broken by her cheating ex, she swore to never fall in love again with guys– most especially athletes. When she met hockey star Hudson though, her plans to avoid athletes failed. It’s difficult to resist a sexy, tatted, and packed-with-abs guy who knows how to treat her right. When she knew she’s about to fall for him, that’s the time when conflict began. Dating him is not an option because she’s also secretly working for an article that may destroy Hudson’s hockey life.

The writing once again especially awed me. It was good! There was also an angst here which made me like it. However, Whitney turned me off. She was weak for a character. And she didn’t fail to annoy me most of the time. For once, she was so full of drama and the way she treated Hudson at the first few chapters was immature.

While I loved that there were also conflicts, I found the story packed with too many issues and problems and that’s just so frustrating.

1. Hudson has mommy issues.
2. Hudson is having academic problems.
3. Hudson has a bet with his teammates that he can get Whitney to sleep with him.
4. Whitney has relationship issues.
5. Whitney is secretly writing an article that may hurt Hudson.

Yep, too many issues.

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As a whole, The Anatomy of a Player was just okay. It could have been a lovable NA romance book if there weren’t too many issues that ruined my enjoyment.

Rating:

3 Stars

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Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow
Published: August 29, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary

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Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

What a perfect combination of cute and sexy. I kept seeing The Hating Game on my Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads timeline and since it’s been gathering high ratings, of course my curiosity was piqued.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman, both executive assistants to the co-owners of Bexley & Gamin, have always been at a clash with each other. They share an office room together but they don’t get along well. When their respective bosses announced that one of them will be promoted as the other boss, their competitive drive became stronger and of course, they hated each other more. If Lucy loses the job position to Joshua, she has to resign. Is she gets it, then she’ll rule over Joshua. But everything turned to chaos when their daily banters slowly converted into strange attraction and irresistible sexual tension.

Despite the usual tropes — office romance and enemies to lovers, the author Sally Thorne was able to bring life to the story through her fun and quirky characters. Lucy’s narration was all kind of hilarious. I found myself unable to stop laughing with the way she described her working relationship with Joshua and the rest of the employees of Bexley & Gamin. I also loved how the author painted Joshua’s character in a hot and adorable executive kind of way.

The daily bickering was the one that truly stood out here. It was so entertaining to see them exchange witty dialogues that just make their chemistry more apparent. The only complaint I had in this book was the inconsistency of the plotline. I admit I was a bit unsatisfied with their hating game. I thought the romantic development (enemies to lovers) progressed real quick. I kind of wished their hate relationship was longer and that it lasted at least until the middle part of the book. It would be fun to see more of them acting like a cat and a dog in a box. lol.

As a whole, this book was a nice, sweet, and enjoyable story. Nothing extravagant when it comes to angst and conflicts but just an entertaining romantic comedy book that I’m sure everyone will enjoy. For fans of contemporary books and rom-coms, give this book a chance!

Rating:

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Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

Lead (Stage Dive, #3)

Lead
(Stage Dive #3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Published: July 29, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

Stay up all night with the sexy rockers in Stage Dive, the epic New Adult series from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott, author of Lick and Play.

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it’s booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

my thoughts new

“God damn mother-f*cking rock stars.”

I honestly didn’t think I would love Jimmy Ferris because he was such a douche in the previous books. But my oh my. This book totally changed my opinion and feelings for him.

James Dylan “Jimmy” Ferris, Stage Dive’s lead singer, is a difficult man to understand. He comes full of baggage. Spoiled, vain, and sensitive, the way he manages his issues changed when Lena Morrissey came into his life as his personal live-in assistant. Lena is a different girl. She doesn’t put up with Jimmy’s crap, thus they were like a cat and a dog who are always at clash with each other. But because they seriously have this strange connection between them and a chemistry that is so apparent, Lena slowly became infatuated with him. However, relationship is not in Jimmy’s vocabulary so she has to hide her feelings.

“Whatever he might be, Jimmy Ferris was special and complicated, beautiful and beastly, all rolled into one.”

I loved how their relationship had no insta-love. The build-up was done so well and it was packed with sexual tension and frustration. lol. I especially loved their banters and those parts where Jimmy tried so hard to control his jealousy each time Lena is with another guy. You can expect to find a push and pull kind of romance here which I found really entertaining. All throughout the book, all I was ever hoping for was for them to say those magic words and finally be together as a couple.

I guess what truly made this book stand out was the way Jimmy’s character was fleshed out and how his family issues were highlighted. I finally understood why he’s acting like a jerk. It’s because of this book that I realized he’s more than just a tortured hero. He’s a man who’s also capable to care for someone as good as Lena. Another thing that made me appreciate this book was Lena’s patience to Jimmy and her acceptance to his issues. It was quite remarkable. I just wished this book highlighted Jimmy’s performance on stage. I would have loved to see him singing on stage together with his bandmates. Also, I wished the resolution to their conflict wasn’t that rushed.

All in all, Lead was a knock-my-socks-off kind of book. There was certainly A LOT to love about it. Definitely one of the entertaining and wonderfully written sequels ever!

“Love came in all sorts of shapes and size, but if it wasn’t based upon doing what was right for the one you loved, then what was it worth, really?”

Rating:

4 stars

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Blog Tour & Review: Mr. President by Katy Evans

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Mr. President (White House, #1)

Mr. President
(White House #1)
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Katy Evans
Published: October 31, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans comes a sizzling new contemporary romance.

He’s won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I’m determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I’m helpless to resist.

We’re stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt’s chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

my thoughts new

 

(I’ve read this book together with my lovely sis Bea. Click her name to read her wonderful review.)

You can always count on Katy Evans delivering such a novel complete with a perfect mix of angst and steam. I’ve been a fan of her works since her Manwhore series because of her way of writing that is simply addicting and her Alpha male men that are hot and irresistible.

Apparently Mr. President has rendered me utterly amazed. It was an all-consuming novel, so different compared to her previous works. As what the blurb says, this book tells a story about two characters living in a political world, Matthew “Matt” Hamilton and Chralotte Wells. Matt is the son of an ex US President while Charlotte is the daughter of an ex Senator. They first met when Charlotte was 11 years old and Matt and her father went to her family’s house for a visit. She has been crushing on Matt ever since that day and she even promised to support him if he ever runs for presidency in the future. Now after 11 years, they met again and this time, Matt is already a candidate for President and Charlotte is working for his campaign.

“You will not be the reason for me losing. If anything, you’ll be the reason for me winning.”

What made this book stand out for me was the off-the-charts chemistry between Charlotte and Matt. They simply hit it off! I loved how their relationship was built up from a simple crush to a deep attraction which later on bloomed into sexual tension and frustration and yes– white-hot love.

“She grounds me. She obsesses me. She fuels me. This woman not only makes me want to be a great man, she makes me want to be the best goddamn president that ever lived.”

Both characters are also likeable. Matt is such a sweet and passionate person. The way he looks at Charlotte like he’s the last woman on earth even when there are tons of people around. Oh MY GOD. And don’t even get me started on his irresistible charm that wins millions of people. On the other hand, I adore Charlotte’s character. She’s a natural. She has a soft heart for the place where she grew up and she’s a down to earth person despite the fact that she belongs to a well-endowed family.

What’s even great about Charlotte’s character is the way she loves Matt in a selfless way. She doesn’t set expectations right when they started their secret love affair. She knows what’s bound to happen and that their relationship is about to fall when America chooses Matt as the next president. She’s not whiny and needy and these qualities made me love her.

“I don’t care about more. I don’t care that there is no future for us if he wins. I won’t deny us both this moment. He said he needs me. And I need him.”

As for the ending, well, this was me after that ending…

description

…a hot mess. A steaming pile of mess.

It’s not yet a happily-ever-after for Charlotte and Matt but the ending promised all kinds of feels and goodness in the upcoming sequel. And I so need the next installment so bad it hurts!

A real page-turner, this book is no doubt one of the best romance novels I’ve read this year and possibly one of the most beautiful political romance books ever written. The story was brought out in a passionate and intoxicating way. The angst was overwhelming and the love the characters both share for each other made this book a keeper. Yet another book added to my favorites shelf!

“Love has no place in the White House.”

(An ARC was provided by the author Katy Evans in exchange for an honest review)

Rating:

5 stars new

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ARC Review: Beautiful Crazy by Kasey Lane

Beautiful Crazy (Rock 'n' Ink, #1)

Beautiful Crazy
(Rock ‘n’ Ink #1)
Author: Kasey Lane
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

“Vibrant and sexy! The chemistry between Kevan and Mason is explosive and I was cheering for their happy ever after from page one.” -Stefanie London, USA Today bestselling author of the Dangerous Bachelors Club series

“You confound me. You’re all these maddening contradictions that don’t make any sense… And I can’t get enough of your special brand of beautiful crazy.”

She’s a rocker with attitude and ink…
He’s a sexy suit who gets what he wants

Kevan Landry is trying to keep her life on track and her brother in rehab. If her fledgling marketing firm can sign the hot new band, Manix Curse, it will make a world of difference. Mason Dillon heads the most successful music PR firm in Portland. He’s desperate to breathe new life into the company by signing Manix Curse.

The last thing either one needs is a one-night stand with a smoldering stranger…

The stakes are high when a battle for the band-in the bedroom and the boardroom-becomes a battle of the heart. But if these two can set aside their differences, they may find they’re the right mix of sexy savvy to conquer both their worlds.

“Get ready for your new auto-buy author! Kasey Lane’s debut hits all the high notes in this rock-infused love story! I loved it!” -Megan Crane, USA Today bestselling author of Edge of Control and Devil’s Honor

“Beautiful Crazy is like driving a vintage convertible in August-hot to the touch and sexy as hell!” -Kaylie Newell, author of the Wolfe Creek series

my thoughts new

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “kick-ass”. Tatted and with punk personality, our heroine Kevan Landry is on a mission and that is to sign the coolest metal band known as “Manix Curse” as her first major entertainment marketing client. However, someone is ruining her chances and that is Mason Dillon— CEO of Global Entertainment Marketing who happens to also pursue Manix Curse for the same project. Worse, he also happens to be the guy she had a one-night-stand with at a club.

While Beautiful Crazy didn’t capture me like I wish it would, there were still parts that I enjoyed. Like Kevan and Mason’s push and pull romance. I loved that these two were able to bring out the best in them by simply having that tight competition they were up against each other. At first I thought I wouldn’t like Kevan’s street-smart personality (I envisioned her to be somewhat sarcastic) but I was wrong. She was indeed a likeable character. She’s responsible and success-driven– things that I like about a character.

The only thing that made this book quite a drawback was Mason. His character wasn’t that consistent. When he was introduced at the first chapter during their club scene, he appeared to be like all-Alpha and panty-dropping dominant but later on his character did change and as I went through the pages, I no longer saw any glimpse of his Alpha personality. Instead I saw a man with playful, carefree playboy personality. Where did that Mason-from-the-club go???

The romance was good. There were of course tons of hot and smexy scenes in places and the chemistry was also palpable. There was also a conflict but the resolution was fairly predictable. I found the writing also promising, although I wish this book was written in a 1st person POV. I don’t know but reading it in a 3rd person POV sounds a bit awkward. As a whole, it was a good romance book but it didn’t really knock my socks off. I would recommend it to fans of romance books with one-night-stand tropes.

(An ARC was provided to me by Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

3 Stars

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Review: A Place in the Sun by R.S. Grey

A Place in the Sun

A Place in the Sun
Author: R.S. Grey
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Published: October 24, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Synopsis new

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.

Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away… that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.

Gianluca.

After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.

But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.

After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

my thoughts new

I’m afraid I’ll be steering myself away from R.S. Grey books for a while. It just doesn’t work for now. I think With This Heart will always remain my favorite book written by her. It was so much better. *sigh

A Place in the Sun opens when Georgie Archibald abruptly packed her things up for a trip to Vernazza, Italy due to her mom’s incessant lecture on how she should take time for a relationship. In Vernazza she met two Italian cousins namely Massimo and the hot incarnate Gianluca/”Luca”. Georgie instantly got intrigued and became attracted to Luca but the Italian man wasn’t that into her because up to that moment, he still hasn’t moved on from the death of his late wife.

The setting was so enchanting and the way the tourist spots were described was well-detailed and I think that’s the only thing I found fascinating here. I didn’t particularly connect with the characters and their story. The fact that Georgie was obsessing over Luca for almost every part of the book also didn’t help. It really frustrates me when heroines force themselves to guys who don’t even consider throwing the attention back.

“To me, Gianluca is the sun.”

Both characters lacked chemistry and spark and at times I felt the romance was forced. I wasn’t also convinced when it comes to the ending. And that certain thing that happened to Georgie which changed everything in the end… it was unnecessary. A Place in the Sun, as whole, was difficult for me to like. If you love romance books that are set in beautiful places like Italy though, I think you still have to try this book. 🙂

Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Getting Lucky Number Seven (Taking Shots, #1)

Getting Lucky Number Seven
(Taking Shots #1)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Published: April 28, 2015
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Synopsis new

What’s your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she’s played it “safe” quite enough, thank you. So she creates a “College Bucket List”―with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex…

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla’s transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he’s not careful, he’ll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7…

my thoughts new

I am not against books with cliché themes and storylines as long as they’re well-delivered and written in an alluring way, but this book just didn’t do it. The best friends turned lovers and friends with benefits tropes weren’t done in a way that made me swoon or fall in love with the characters.

Getting Lucky Number Seven follows the characters Lyla Wilder and Beck Davemport, both chemistry students of the same university and class. Their friendship started when they became lab partners. Even if they’re completely different when it comes to their school statuses (Beck being a popular ice hockey star and Lyla as a weird and geeky student), their friendship clicked. But when Lyla realized one day that she needs to change herself completely and transform into a typical party college girl, she asked Beck to help her. She wrote a “College Bucket List” and one of them is to get laid which is the #7 on the list. Their friendship soon turned into something else when Beck suggested that he will be the one to fulfill the #7.

I have to say that I was particularly less of a fan of Lyla. I thought she was trying real hard to fit in a group and was overdoing things. Even if she’s doing it to improve herself, I hate to say that it just ruins her academics. And oh my, don’t even get me started on the way she constantly bites her lips (like she’s doing it all the time!) which kind of annoys me.

However, I liked Beck. I connected with his character. He’s an amazing and sweet person. Not to mention that he cares deeply about her little sister.

As much as I loved the writing which was really good, the absence of chemistry and the forced connection between the characters ruined its promising appeal to me. I’ll still read the sequel of this book because I found Whitney’s love story interesting. 🙂

Rating:

2 Stars smile

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Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1)

All Lined Up
(Rusk University #1)
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: May 13, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

4

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Synopsis new

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.
In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

my thoughts new

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My expectations were met when I thought I would love a Cora Carmack book. Her books have been on my radar since 2014, but because too many books too little time, it was only two days ago when I had my first taste of her work. And it certainly did not fail.

“Do you ever think that maybe that’s all people do? Fix some things and break others? And we all just live in this giant cycle where we screw things up and hurt people we love, and then we turn around and try to atone for that by fixing other things. And maybe we’re all just waiting on our turn for a broken heart and the person who will fix it.”

All Lined Up‘s plot revolves around two characters Dallas Cole and Carson McClain. Both students of Rusk University in Texas, their attraction started when they met in very strange situation while they were at a college party. However, no matter how strong their connection is, their booming relationship is bound to doom since Carson is one of the football players of Rusk where Dallas’s father is the coach. Since Carson has a goal of becoming a full scholar at the University, he vowed to never let Dallas become a distraction for his plans. But their chemistry is of course so strong that they find it hard to resist each other.

I am generally a sucker for college romance that has sports element so basically I expected this book to knock me off my feet. I ended up adoring it because Cora Carmack’s writing matches my taste. There was absolutely something beautiful about the way she writes a sweet book with a bit of an angst and mild steam. At first I was afraid that I would end up disliking it since the storyline is already worn out. The book reminds me of Whatever Life Throws at You and Moonshot where the heroines’ dads are heads of a certain sports team. But even if All Lined Up has a similarity to those books, it differs when it comes to the characterizations.

Dallas is one likeable character. I love that she knows what she wants to pursue in life which is dancing and how she’s very determined to attain it. Her relationship with her dad is so genuine that at times I was teary-eyed. Even when she’s growing up without a mom, she turned out such a strong girl. Carson, on the other hand, is also a character that’s worthy of admiration. He is not a typical sports hero who gets all the attention of the girls on campus. He is so down to earth. Growing up in a family who lacks sufficient money to support him in his education made him become a responsible, goal-driven person and that makes him my favorite character.

“I can’t walk away from you because I don’t want to. There are a thousand things I want and need to do, but you trump all of them You drive me to distraction, and all I want to do is get lost in you. All I want to do is make you lose it, too.”

The romantic development in this book is one of my most favorites. Dallas and Carson’s relationship was not forced. It developed so naturally. I loved how they shared each moment even if they were just stolen. I also loved that they are both family-oriented and that they learn lessons from each other as their relationship progressed.

All in all, it was a sweet and cute college sports romance. I couldn’t agree more with everyone who attest that Cora Carmack is a great story-teller. It’s proven. I can’t wait to read the next books in this series and the author’s other works.

Rating:

4

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Review: Locked Box by Eve Dangerfield

Locked Box

Locked Box
Author: Eve Dangerfield
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Published: March 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

3 Stars

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Synopsis new

Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day. Funding for her video game is low, her day job is sucking her dry, and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs. Max Connor isn’t having a great year. He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his house, and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting way out of hand. And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room. Surrounded by three decades’ worth of drugs, guns, and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny, and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.

my thoughts new

You got to give it to Eve Dangerfield when it comes to writing the steamiest novel, so steamy that just picking up the book will guarantee to make you blush.

It’s my second time to read a book written by Eve Dangerfield. The first one was Degrees of Control which was yet again, another sex-filled romance erotica that was a pleasure to read. Locked Box is a story that tells about the characters Max Connor and Julia Bennett. These characters had a one-time hook-up years ago when Julia was still 18 and Max was 26. Now after 6 years, they met again and wow, things started to heat up once again when they were both locked in a police station.

This book was well-written. I’ve always loved Eve Dangerfield’s delicious writing. The smut was very well delivered, but I wish there is enough depth in the characters and the overall story. The story wasn’t really that engaging because it was overlapped by lots and lots of sex. I wish there were more dialogues and the platonic side of their relationship was also paid attention to. I also had a problem with Julia. Not to be judgy, I get that she loves sex but I couldn’t get the reason why she seems to be sexually pre-occupied most of the time and whenever Max is around, all she ever thinks about is getting him laid. Max’s feelings to her was very apparent and I knew it’s more than just sex, but Julia? I thought her feelings to Max were more lust than love.

Anyways, this was still an enjoyable read. A certified guilty-pleasure book. If you want to read a light erotic romance with hot and sexy characters to blow your mind, consider diving into this book. 🙂

(Thank you to the author Eve Dangerfield for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating:

3 Stars

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