Release Day Review and Giveaway! IRRESISTIBLE YOU by Kate Meader (The Chicago Rebels #1)

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise 

and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, 

and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

 

IRRESISTIBLE YOU

Chicago Rebels #1

Kate Meader

Releasing Aug 14, 2017

PocketStar

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times).

Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to
lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

**Special release week price of just $1.99 **

He looked uncomfortable standing there, balancing on his skates, ready to spring for the door. But she knew he wouldn’t sit while she stood because his mother had raised him to respect women. Something fluttered in her chest at that notion. DuPre might be a lot of things—ladies’ man, good ol’ boy, thorn in her side—but she suspected he would never hurt someone weaker than himself.

“You’ve got three minutes, Harper.”

“Do you remember what I told you in Boston, DuPre?”

“Somethin’ about needin’ me to instill leadership and help these boys get to the playoffs.” Warm honey flowed through her veins at the timbre of his voice. She could have sworn her panties slipped an inch.

“I did say that. I meant it. And I thought you understood.”

He rubbed his chin, the scrape against stubble delicious to her ears. All he was missing was a Stetson, a blade of grass, and some flighty piece in a cropped tank and Daisy Dukes. “I understood the words because you’d put them together in a highly entertainin’ way, and to certain ears, they might make sense. Then I told you what needed to happen to ensure my cooperation.”

This nonsense stopped here. “Is that why you’re playing like you can barely walk, much less skate? What’s wrong, old man? Feeling a touch of arthritis in your joints?”

For a brief moment, she thought she might have found his weakness: vanity. But no. He merely threaded his arms over his chest—over the Rebels logo of a big C with a hockey stick and a cutlass crossed behind it—and cocked his head.

“You’re gonna have to use a little more finesse, Harper.”

More surprising than the fact Remy had used the word finesse correctly in a sentence was that he didn’t seem annoyed with her. He seemed . . . amused. As if she were a toy he could happily bat around like a kitten would a semiconscious mouse.

Applause sounded, signifying the beginning of the final period. Neither of them moved, hands metaphorically hovering at their hips like Old West gunfighters.

“The trade deadline,” she said, feeling livid and helpless. “Give me that.”

“The all-star game.”

Three months. The all-star game, held in late January, was traditionally viewed as the halfway point of the season. On the cusp of the busy trade period, it led into a month of bartering and haggling as everyone lined up their teams for the big push to the playoffs.

At her hesitation, he leaned in, those cobalt blues flashing. It wasn’t enough to unholster her gun; she should have already taken her shot, and that delay was her undoing.

“Would you rather three months of my full effort or a whole season of my skatin’ like I’m playin’ squirt hockey?”

“You can’t seriously be reducing this to a game of ‘would you rather’?”

His voice dropped to an intimate tone, her panties another inch with it. “If you shake on it now, I’ll begin that full effort tonight.”

The siren blared in the distance, followed by the home crowd’s roar. Five zip. Harper didn’t enjoy being blackmailed, but she enjoyed losing even less.

She thrust her hand forward impatiently. He took it in his firm grasp. That electricity setting her skin aflame was her body telling her she’d made the right decision. Nothing else.

“You have a game to finish.”

He held on, and now he inclined his head so close she could count each and every one of those pretty-boy eyelashes. Her pulse rate spiked, and she was certain he could sense it. Sense her heart thumping rabbit kicks, her vein pulsing in her throat.

“We’ve shaken on it now, minou, so don’t you dare think about welshing. I might sound like I spend my spare time spitballin’ from the rockin’ chair on my porch, but don’t let my accent fool you none. I’m not the kind of man you want for an enemy. We clear?”

She might have rolled her eyes if she wasn’t just a wee bit impressed by his chutzpah. Still, he needed to be informed that while he might have won this battle, the war was far from over.

“Try not to trip on your way to the rink, DuPre.”

He laughed, deep and robust, clearly delighted with himself. Idiot. His thumb pressed against her inner wrist, and a crackle of energy leeched from him into her body.

“You feel that, Harper?”

She snatched back her hand. “If you mean my goodwill evaporating with every second you’re standing here, then, yeah, I feel it.”

“I think we’re havin’ a thing.”

They were. Oh, God, they were. “Why are you still here again?”

His mouth curved. “Lady, I got the distinct feelin’ these next few months are gonna be fun.”

He picked up his stick and, with more grace than a six-foot-two brute wearing skates on dry land should possess, he left the locker room.

OMG, this book!

I loved Kate Meader’s Hot in Chicago series and really liked her prequel novella for this one ( In Skates Trouble ) and was looking forward to seeing what Remy and Harper’s story would bring, but the story itself? Blew my expectations right out of the water!

I absolutely loved both Harper and Remy. Ms. Meader did a great job of showing their POVs and giving very realistic reasons why they shouldn’t be together, all while proving that staying apart shouldn’t even be an option. When it looks like they really won’t be able to have a life together, when Harper takes Remy’s words and says they’re not enough? I swear I stopped breathing, it was so hard to read. Even knowing there HAD to be an HEA in the end didn’t make it any less devastating to get through…how would she ever manage to make things okay again?

Of course she did, and did so brilliantly, I’m happy to report. And now we have middle sister Isobel’s book to look forward to next…can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. 

Originally from Ireland, USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! HOLIDAY IN THE HAMPTONS by Sarah Morgan (From Manhattan with Love #5)

Title: HOLIDAY IN THE HAMPTONS
Author: Sarah Morgan
Pub. Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Pages: 384
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

 

The perfect summer escape? 

Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him–too gorgeous, and still too good for her–and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in the Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the ideal way to escape her past.

Their relationship might have lasted only a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss–if she’s run away to the Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog, Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…

Sarah Morgan delights with more love and laughter in her acclaimed series From Manhattan with Love, which Publishers Weekly calls “engaging…a classic sweep-you-off-your-feet romantic experience.”

Find it: AmazonAudibleBarnes&NobleiBooksTBDGoodreads

Review:

Loved!

Okay, so Fliss did get on my nerves a bit–her inability to see herself and her relationships as they truly were was aggravating. Her reasons for this were absolutely understandable, which is why I stuck with her, but still…aggravating. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hug her or shake her more. Her HEA, though? Totally earned.

And Seth…Seth. He cooks. He’s good with animals. And especially once the fear of (not going to say who here, that would give it away) someone is put into him, he absolutely sees Fliss for who she is and gives her that one last chance that they both need.

Le sigh. Pretty sure this is my favorite of the series so far…although I somehow missed Daniel’s book, something I plan to remedy ASAP 😉

Harriet’s next–can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Sarah:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘a magician with words’ by RT Book Reviews, she has sold over 15 million copies of her books. She has been nominated five times for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times; in 2012 for her book ‘Doukakis’s Apprentice’, 2013 for ‘A Night of No Return’, and 2017 for ‘Miracle on 5th Avenue’. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick’ slot.

As a child Sarah dreamed of being a writer and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream.

Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a Kate Spade Beach Themed Prize Pack, US/Canada Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/7/2017- YA Book Nerd– Review

8/8/2017- Romantic Reviews– Excerpt

8/9/2017- Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews– Review

8/10/2017- Becky on Books– Review

8/11/2017- Bookish in Texas– Review

 

Week Two:

8/14/2017– Books and Readers– Review

8/15/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

8/16/2017- Vox Libris– Review

8/17/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review

8/18/2017- ChickLit Club– Review

 

Week Three:

8/21/2017- Lattes & Paperbacks– Review

8/22/2017- Fire and Ice– Review

8/23/2017- Celluloid Diaries– Excerpt

8/24/2017- Bibliobakes– Review

8/25/2017- Eli to the nth– Review

 

 

New Release Review! SCANDALOUS EVER AFTER by Theresa Romain (Romance of the Turf #2)

Did you see my guest post from Theresa Romain here? She talks about her favorite summer activities–and Scandalous Ever After!

Scandalous Ever After
by Theresa Romain

Does love really heal all wounds?

After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband’s debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband’s roguish friend―whom she hasn’t seen since the day of his lordship’s mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he’s always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart―and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

 

Romance of the Turf Series:
The Sport of Baronets (Book .5)
A Gentleman’s Game (Book 1)
Scandalous Ever After (Book 2)

 

Review:

This one took a while to get into–I couldn’t quite grasp what was up with Kate’s ‘tude, and since I was a member of Team Evan pretty much since page 1, her back-and-forth where he was considered was aggravating. I kept shaking my head–what was her deal? The story gradually drew me in, though, and somewhere around the 50% mark I found myself pretty much unable to put the book down until I got to the end. And Kate? Totally redeemed herself in the end 🙂

I really need to read more of Ms. Romain’s books, because each time I do they’re rife with highlighted bits by the time I’m done–romantic bits, funny bits, ways with words that I wish I had–so many highlights. This time they’re almost all Evan’s, and they run the gamut from LOL:

For God’s sake. Sometimes a man just wanted to dig up an ancient cock sculpture and show it about. Was that too much to ask from life?

(For the record, no, I don’t think it is.)

to OMG, yes:

What was there to want in life for than someone who said I miss you when you’re across a room?

to HOW? HOW CAN SHE RESIST HIM?

“I want more than a half measure of you. And I deserve someone who wants more than a half measure of me.”

Sigh. Seriously, how???

Fortunately, she manages to see the light before the final pages. And the path they take to get there? Makes this book one heck of a read.

(Second in the Romance of the Turf series, but worked just fine as a standalone. Though you’d better believe book 1 and book .5 were on my TBR pile by the time I was about 51% of the way into this one.)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

New Release Review! DELTA: REDEMPTION by Cristin Harber

ABOUT DELTA: REDEMPTION

“My name’s Victoria–No last name. Don’t ask.”

That was all that the woman would share when Delta team’s expert trigger man, an Australian named Ryder, pulled her from the pits of a human trafficking nightmare and took the gun from her hand.

He didn’t mean to steal her revenge but survival was the priority. Now that Victoria’s home? She had a past he was trying to understand while keeping a secret from her that might tear her apart.

But he’s not the only one. When she goes missing, Delta team discovers that Victoria No Name was a one-woman vigilante force, taking on whoever crossed her path, from gun runners to a drug pushing motorcycle club.

She was exactly who Ryder thought she might be, and now he was coming in to help–whether she wanted backup or not.

 

Get your hands on DELTA: REDEMPTION now:

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Kobo

Add DELTA: REDEMPTION to Goodreads!

Review:

Every time I read a Cristin Harber book, I wonder why don’t I read more Cristin Harber books? because…day-um, they’re good!

I absolutely loved Victoria and Ryder, and didn’t want their story to end…all while frantically trying to get them to their HEA ASAP! It’s a conundrum, I know, but jeesh, it’s just that good. (His Aussie accent, her kick-butt heroine-ery, their chemistry, the romance, the suspense–it’s all here…) Now I really need to go back and read the two books that are apparently loosely connected to this one–Locke and Key and Delta: Rescue–A Mackenzie Family novellaheck, I probably should read all the rest of the Titan and Delta series while I’m at it and shorten up by TBR considerably! 😉

Victoria’s BFF Seven’s getting a story in there somewhere too, yes? Just sayin’…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

 

 

ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER:

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

New Release Review and Giveaway! WILDFIRE by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3)

In the thrilling conclusion to the Hidden Legacy series, Nevada and Rogan 
grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…

WILDFIRE
Hidden Legacy #3
Ilona Andrews
Releasing July 25, 2017
Avon Books
From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…
 
Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating — harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.
Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?

I opened my mouth. Nothing came out.

Mom made big eyes at me and nodded toward the table. I dropped my bag on the floor and sat.

“Drink your tea.” Grandma Frida pushed a steaming mug toward Rynda.

Rynda picked up and drank it, but her gaze was fixed on me. Desperation in her eyes turned to near panic. Right.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath from the stomach all the way up, held it, and let it out slowly. One . . . two . . . Calm . . . calm . . .

“Nevada?” Grandma Frida asked.

“She’s an empath Prime,” I said. “I’m upset, so it’s affecting her.”

Rynda gave a short laugh, and I heard Olivia Charles in her voice. “Oh, that’s rich.”

Five . . . six . . . Breathe in, breathe out . . . Ten. Good enough.

I opened my eyes and looked at Rynda. I had to keep my voice and my emotions under control. “Your mother killed an entire crew of Rogan’s soldiers and four lawyers, including two women your age. It was an unprovoked slaughter. Their husbands are now widowers and their children are motherless because of her.”

“A person is never just one thing,” Rynda said, putting the mug down. “To you she might have been a monster, but to me she was my mother. She was a wonderful grandmother to my children. She loved them so much. My mother-in- law doesn’t care for them. They have no grandparents now.”

“I’m sorry for your and their loss. I regret that things went the way they did. But it was a justified kill.” Dear God, I sounded like my mother.

“I don’t even know how she died.” Rynda clenched her hands into a single fist. “They only gave me back her bones. How did my mother die, Nevada?”

I took a deep breath. “It wasn’t an easy or a quick death.”

“I deserve to know.” There was steel in her voice. “Tell me.”

“No. You said you needed my help. Something terrible must’ve happened. Let’s talk about that.”

Her hand shook, and the mug danced a little as she brought it to her lips. She took another swallow of her tea. “My husband is missing.”

Okay. Missing husband. Familiar territory. “When was the last time you saw . . .” Rogan had said his name one time, what was it? “. . . Brian?”

“Three days ago. He went to work on Thursday and didn’t come back. He doesn’t answer his phone. Brian likes his routine. He’s always home by dinner. It’s almost Christmas. He wouldn’t miss it.” A note of hysteria crept into her voice. “I know what you’ll ask: does he have a mistress, did we have a good marriage, does he disappear on drunken binges? No. No, he doesn’t. He takes care of me and the kids. He comes home!”

She must’ve spoken to the Houston PD. “Did you fill out a missing person report?”

“Yes. They’re not going to look for him.” Her voice turned bitter. She was getting more agitated by the minute. “He’s a Prime. It’s House business. Except House Sherwood is convinced that Brian is okay and

he’s just taking a break. Nobody is looking for him, except me. Nobody is returning my calls. Even Rogan refuses to see me.”

That didn’t sound right. Rogan would never turn her away, even if I pitched a huge fit about it. I’d watched the two of them talking before. He liked her and he cared about her. “What did Rogan say exactly?”

“I came to him on Friday. His people told me he was out. He was out on Saturday. I asked to wait, and they told me it was a waste of time. They didn’t know when he would be back. I may be naive, but I’m not an idiot. I know what that means. Two weeks ago, I had friends. I had my mother’s friends, powerful, respected, and always so eager to do Olivia Charles a favor. Two weeks ago, one phone call and half of the city would be out looking for Brian. They would be putting pressure on the police, on the mayor, on the Texas Rangers. But now, everyone is out. Everyone is too busy to see me. There is an invisible wall around me. No matter how loud I scream, nobody can hear me. People just nod and offer platitudes.”

“He didn’t stonewall you,” I said. “He was out of state. With me.

She stopped. “You’re together?”

There was no point in lying. “Yes.”

“The thing with my mother, it wasn’t just a job for you?”

“No. She killed the wife of a man I consider a friend. He works here now.”

Rynda put her hand over her mouth. Silence fell, heavy and tense.

“I shouldn’t have come here,” she said. “I’ll get the children and go.”

“That’s right,” Grandma Frida said.

“No,” Mom said. I knew that voice. That was Sergeant Mom voice. Rynda knew that voice too, because she sat up straighter. Olivia Charles was never in the military, but three minutes of talking to her had told me that she had ruled her household with an iron fist and had very low tolerance for nonsense.

“You’re here now,” Mom said. “You came to us for help, because you had nowhere to turn and because you’re scared for your husband and your children. You came to the right place. Nevada is very good at tracking missing people. Either she’ll help you, or she will recommend someone who will.”

Grandma Frida turned and looked at Mom as if she had sprouted a pineapple on her head.

“Right,” I said. I may not have personally murdered Rynda’s mother, but I made that death possible. And now she was a pariah, alone and scared. She had lost her mother, her husband, and all of the people she thought were her friends. I had to help her. I had to at least get her started in the right direction.

Wow! The ride that began with the first book in the series (Burn for Me) continues here…and then some! Though there is some explanation given in books 2 and 3 of things that happened before that you should know/remember, you’re really better off reading the entire series in order. Now that all 3 books have been released, I am planning on reading the series back-to-back on audio, just to get the complete experience. I definitely recommend! 😉
There is just so much to like with this series–the world is imaginative, the story is a great blend of mystery and action, and the characters are awesome. The relationships are great–not only Nevada and Ronan, but also Nevada and her whole family, Nevada and Cornelius–I could go on and on. The threads of humor that hold it all together (I love, love, love the giant, especially bred-for-war, pacifist bear Sgt. Teddy!) make this one series I’m going to go back to read again and again.
Wildfire has been touted as the final book in the trilogy, but there’s definitely room for continuation with that ending. Fingers crossed that there is more to come, because I still have questions (and want to see more of…well, pretty much everyone!)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Start the Trilogy at the beginning!
“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

 

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New Release Review! ON SECOND THOUGHT by Kristan Higgins


On Second Thought

by Kristan Higgins

Synopsis:

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

 

Review:

So, so good!

I was slightly worried, for about a milisecond, that Kristan Higgins was going to use my widow plot point pet peeve, but I should have known better. This is Kristan Higgins. It’s her second widow story (sorry, Leo, I’m not counting you here since we didn’t hear your story from your POV) and yep, she knows her stuff and how to do widows right.

So, so good. Wait, did I say that already? 😉

Like her previous book (), On Second Thought is the story of two sisters, and the audiobook version once again uses two different narrators to tell their story–I love this trend! (Though when listening in the car, Kate’s parts had to be turned way, way up. With headphones, however, everything was fine at the same volume. Weird.) Mini Moe #2 and I started listening to this one in the car, driving to and from our family vacation, and had so much fun while not listening speculating about what was coming for the characters. I totally called both the HEAs for Kate and Ainsley–go, me!–but couldn’t have even began to guess how much awesomeness (a impossible yet probable mixture of crises, awkwardness, embarrassment, sadness, and joy) Ms. Higgins was going to bring to the two of them while on their journey.

So. Much. Awesomeness.

We’re back in Cambry-on-Hudson again, and it was nice to see glimpses of Jenny and Leo from time to time here. There was a mention of Rachel, but we don’t actually get to see her. You definitely don’t need to have read If You Only Knew to enjoy On Second Thought, though if you have, you’ll especially appreciate seeing Leo at Kate’s grief group. (And yeah, you’ll probably want to find out the rest of his story as well; consider yourself warned!)

As always, relationships are the focus here, and nobody does them like Kristan Higgins–those of family and friends as well as romantic ones. Kate and Ainsley’s relationship is even more of a focus of the book than their romances, actually. Don’t worry, though–the romances are plenty swoony too. And that epilogue? OMG, I was all but sobbing as I read. So, so good.

Write faster, Kristan! I need more of your books, pronto 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2…

View all my reviews

New Release Review! SOME KIND OF HERO by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #17)

Some Kind of Hero
by Suzanne Brockmann

Synopsis:

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

 

Review:

The Troubleshooters are back!

Oh, I loved this one so much–there were actual tears during the epilogue! It had everything that is so awesome about the Troubleshooters series: fantastic main characters (both single parents! Of teens! Older woman/romantic suspense author + SEAL!), great camaraderie between them and the secondary characters (many of them a fun selection of previous Troubleshooter series MCs), edge-of-your-seat suspense, and smoking hot romance 🙂

I loved how Shay’s profession (romantic suspense author) was such a part of her life (occasionally talking to her own fictional character out loud, LOL! Does she ever explain those random comments to Peter, I wonder?) and how her particular skill set helped her to help Peter defeat the bad guys in the end. Although I loved this one cover to cover, the last 25% was truly unputdownable.

Please tell me that there’s going to be more to this series! I need me some more Shay and Peter…

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

New Release Review! JILTED by Sawyer Bennett (Love Hurts #2)

Hollywood hath no fury like a woman scorned. In this fun, flirty second-chance romance from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett, an aspiring starlet reconnects with her first love.

“Sawyer Bennett never fails to deliver heroes I fall hard for and heroines I adore.”—Violet Duke

Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.

Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be.

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Review:

Loved!

Whether we were glimpsing the Eden and Coop of 14 years earlier, seeing their feud at the beginning of the present portion of the book, or enjoying their “friendship” and “rebound sex” later on (ha! as if it was ever just either of those things), Eden and Coop are absolutely magic together. There wasn’t a single time when I would have entertained the possibility of them not having an HEA, no matter where their lives and careers wanted to take them.

Though I know this series (Love Hurts) is a series of standalone books, I absolutely would not complain if we went back for a second visit to Newberry–Missy could use an HEA, after all (sure, she was with a hot fireman when her lousy ex returned that one time, but no mention of him was made other than that, so…) and I’d really, really, REALLY like to see someone give Ashley a much deserved b!tch slap.

Just sayin’.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

 

 

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released more than 30 books and has been featured on both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists on multiple occasions.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active toddler, as well as full-time servant to two adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or a combination of the two.

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New Release Review! WICKED INTENTIONS by J.T. Geissinger (Wicked Games #3)

wickedintentions About WICKED INTENTIONS:

In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar. Their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.

But when Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door, he realizes their meeting wasn’t accidental and becomes determined to find her.

A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora has one final job to complete before she’s free from the oath that bound her to a life of crime, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.

When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Ryan’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.

 

Get your hands on WICKED INTENTIONS:

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Review:

Gah, this book! It gave me all the feels. Snarky banter between a cocky but sWicked Sexyweet hero and a resourceful heroine used to going it alone–plus, a heartbreaking backstory, moments of intense drama and danger, and a reunion that practically had me in tears–yeah, this one had it all. I love, love, loved Ryan and Mariana and both needed to get to the end ASAP to get them to their HEA and never wanted this book to end!

Favorite lines:

“That’s what heroes do, baby. We save the motherf-ing day.”

“Basically, this plan should be called If Anything Goes Wrong, Everyone Dies.”

“This sh!t is so much easier in the movies.”

“I discovered love is nothing like a fairy tale. It was more like a bad poem written in indecipherable meter by a drunken poet who couldn’t keep a job, so he lived with his mother his whole life while writing the most outrageous roadblocks and outcomes, based on nothing but the whims of his own inebriated brain. It had an awkward beginning, a wildly improbable middle, and an awful, painful end. And nothing rhymed. Love was the worst. Inconveniently, it was also the best.”

and, best for last:

“Whether you believe in love or not, it believes in you.”

Truth.

Wicked Intentions is the third book in the Wicked Gamesseries, but worked just fine as a standalone (though now I absolutely have to go back and read Connor and Tabby’s story in Wicked Sexy , and it only makes sense go ahead and read Wicked Beautiful too…;)) If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, I definitely recommend J.T. Geissinger–this was my first book from her, but absolutely won’t be my last!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Want to read the other standalones in the Wicked Games series? Find out more about WICKED BEAUTIFUL and WICKED SEXY below!

WickedBeautiful.Ebook.v4.AmazonAbout WICKED BEAUTIFUL:

Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have—and doesn’t want—is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she’d never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.

Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he’s willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn’t know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.

Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?

Get your hands on WICKED BEAUTIFUL:

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WickedEbook.v3.Amazon

About WICKED SEXY:

A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.

Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.

Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.

But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.

When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?

Get your hands on WICKED SEXY:

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About J.T. Geissinger:

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE RUIN OF A RAKE by Cat Sebastian

Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love. 
 
 
THE RUIN OF A RAKE
Cat Sebastian
Releasing July 4, 2017
Avon Impulse

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.


London, 1817

Julian pursed his lips as he gazed at the symmetrical brick façade of his sister’s house. It was every bit as bad as he had feared. He could hear the racket from the street, for God’s sake. He pulled the brim of his hat lower on his forehead, as if concealing his face would go any distance toward mitigating the damage done by his sister having turned her house into a veritable brothel. Right in the middle of Mayfair, and at eleven in the morning, when the entire ton was on hand to bear witness to her degradation, no less. Say what one wanted about Eleanor—and at this moment Julian could only imagine what was being said—but she did not do things by halves.

As he climbed the steps to her door, the low rumble of masculine voices drifted from an open second story window. Somebody was playing a pianoforte—badly—and a lady was singing out of key.

No, not a lady. Julian suppressed a sigh. Whoever these women were in his sister’s house, they were not ladies. No lady in her right mind would consort with the sort of men Eleanor had been entertaining lately. Every young buck with a taste for vice had made his way to her house over these last weeks, along with their mistresses or courtesans or whatever one was meant to call them. And the worst of them, the blackguard who had started Eleanor on her path to becoming a byword for scandal, was Lord Courtenay.

A shiver trickled down Julian’s spine at the thought of encountering the man, and he could not decide whether it was from simple, honest loathing or something much, much worse.

The door swung open before Julian had raised his hand to the knocker.

“Mr. Medlock, thank goodness.” The look of abject relief on the face of Eleanor’s butler might have struck Julian as vaguely inappropriate under any other circumstance. But considering the tableau that presented itself in Eleanor’s vestibule, the butler’s informality hardly registered.

Propped against the elegantly papered wall, a man in full evening dress snored peacefully, a bottle of brandy cradled in his arms and a swath of bright crimson silk draped across his leg. A lady’s gown, Julian gathered. The original wearer of the garment was, mercifully, not present.

“I came as soon as I received your message.” Julian had not been best pleased to receive a letter from his sister’s butler, of all people, begging that he return to London ahead of schedule. Having secured a coveted invitation to a very promising house party, he was loath to leave early in order to evict a set of bohemians and reprobates from his sister’s house.

“The cook is threatening to quit, sir,” said the butler. Tilbury, a man of over fifty who had been with Eleanor since she and Julian had arrived in England, had gray circles under his eyes. No doubt the revels had interrupted his sleep. “And I’ve already sent all but the—ah—hardiest of the housemaids to the country. It wouldn’t do for them to be imposed upon. I’d never forgive myself.”

Julian nodded. “You were quite right to send for me. Where is my sister?” Several unmatched slippers were scattered along the stairs that led toward the drawing room and bedchambers. He gritted his teeth.

“Lady Standish is in her study, sir.”

Julian’s eyebrows shot up. “Her study,” he repeated. Eleanor was hosting an orgy—really, there was no use in pretending it was anything else—but ducked out to conduct an experiment. Truly, the experiments were bad enough, but Julian had always managed to conceal their existence. But to combine scientific pursuits with actual orgies struck Julian as excessive in all directions.

“You,” he said, nudging the sleeping man with the toe of his boot. He was not climbing over drunken bodies, not today, not any day. “Wake up.” The man opened his eyes with what seemed a great deal of effort. “Who are you? No, never mind, I can’t be bothered to care.” The man wasn’t any older than Julian himself, certainly not yet five and twenty, but Julian felt as old as time and as irritable as a school mistress compared to this specimen of self-indulgence. “Get up, restore that gown to its owner, and be gone before I decide to let your father know what you’ve been up to.” As so often happened when Julian ordered people about, this fellow complied.

Julian made his way to Eleanor’s study, and found her furiously scribbling at her writing table, a mass of wires and tubes arranged before her. She didn’t look up at the sound of the door opening, nor when he pointedly closed it behind him. Eleanor, once she was busy working, was utterly unreachable. She had been like this since they were children. He felt a rush of affection for her despite how much trouble she was causing him.

“Eleanor?” Nothing. He stooped to gather an empty wine bottle and a few abandoned goblets, letting them clink noisily together as he deposited them onto a table. Still no response. “Nora?” It almost physically hurt to say his childhood name for her when things felt so awkward and strained between them.

“It won’t work,” came a low drawl. “I’ve been sitting here these past two hours and I haven’t gotten a response.”

Banishing any evidence of surprise from his countenance, Julian turned to see Lord Courtenay himself sprawled in a low chair in a shadowy corner. There oughtn’t to have been any shadows in the middle of the day in a bright room, but trust Lord Courtenay to find one to lurk in.

Julian quickly schooled his face into some semblance of indifference. No, that was a reach; his face was simply not going to let him pretend indifference to Courtenay. He doubted whether anyone had ever shared space with Lord Courtenay without being very much aware of that fact. And it wasn’t only his preposterous good looks that made him so . . . noticeable. The man served as a sort of magnet for other people’s attention, and Julian hated himself for being one of those people. As far as he could tell, the man’s entire problem was that people paid a good deal too much attention to him. But one could hardly help it, not when he looked like that.

 

OMG, this series. (As an aside, it really needs to be classified as a series, Ms. Sebastian–it’ll be much easier to say, “You really need to read that ___ series by Cat Sebastian” instead of “You really need to read those interconnected m/m Regency romance books by Cat Sebastian…they’re called The Soldier’s Scoundrel , The Lawrence Browne Affair , and The Ruin of a Rake.” Because OMG I want to tell everyone to read them ASAP.)

(Just sayin’.)

I have no idea how she does it, but Ms. Sebastian once again gave us a group of characters here that I absolutely dare you not to fall hard and fast for. Admittedly, at first I wasn’t too sure about these two–the labels “prickly and difficult” doesn’t even begin to describe, well, both of them, to an extent and at various times–and I honestly don’t even know when it is that I went from thinking, Ugh, these two… to thinking, Oh! These two… 🙂 but at some point I just knew they had to find a way to be together or….I don’t know what. It wasn’t going to be pretty, though. Fortunately, both Ms. Sebastian and her heroes came through for us on that one, and she did it with style.

Favorite line:

“Missing you is profoundly inconvenient, I’ll have you know. I have things to do and places to be, and all the while I feel like I’ve mislaid a piece of my soul and I won’t get it back until I see you again. That can’t be normal.”

See? Sigh…

So now I’m left anxiously awaiting whatever Ms. Sebastian writes next, and seriously contemplating a binge-reading of all three books, just so I can enjoy the interconnected awesomeness of these characters and their stories.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.