Audiobook Review and Giveaway! GOLD RUSH by Jennifer Comeaux

Gold Rush
by Jennifer Comeaux
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: January 9th 2017

Summary:

Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.

Until she meets Braden Patrick.

He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

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Excerpt:

“Hey, Liza.”

I looked up directly into the smiling face of Braden. He was holding the raffle bucket, and a Sox player stood beside him. I was so unprepared to see him that I couldn’t even get a “hello” to come out of my mouth.

“Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?” he asked.

I felt weird having him talk down to me while I sat, so I sprang to my feet. “Hi. Umm… yeah, I’ll take a couple.”

“Cool. How many?”

I bent to get my wallet and pulled out a five dollar bill. “As many as this will get me?”

The player tore a strip of tickets from the big roll and gave them to Braden before moving on to solicit Em and Dad, who were watching Braden and me with rapt attention. Braden set the bucket down and slowly separated my part of the tickets. Now that there wasn’t a counter between us, I could see his full physique better. The top of my head only reached his chin, so he had to be more than half a foot taller than me. He had a slender build, but he wasn’t scrawny. The short sleeves of his polo showed nicely-defined biceps.

“I remember you,” Quinn said.

Braden laughed. “I remember you, too.”

Quinn might also remember Holly and me discussing Braden’s date potential. I quickly stepped between them so Quinn couldn’t see him.

“I thought you worked concessions,” I said.

“I’m an intern, so I go wherever they tell me. I like doing the raffle better because I get to see more people.”

His eyes held steady on mine in the I’m-only-looking-at-you way they’d done at the concession stand. How was I supposed to come up with witty conversation when my heart was pitter-pattering so loudly I couldn’t even think?

“Were you going to visit me at the concession stand? I’m still waiting for my autograph.” He cocked his head with a sly grin.

“Oh… yeah. I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure if you were really serious.”

“I definitely was. I’ve never met anyone as talented as you. I watched a video of you at the world championships, and you were incredible.”

“You Googled me?”

“What kind of twenty-first century guy would I be if I didn’t?”

I had to break away from his gaze because I felt redness taking over my face. If only I could be incredible and confident right now.

Review:

Such a fun and sweet story!

Even though I can barely stop on skates without an assist from the wall around the rink (this is normal, yes?), for as long as I can remember (every 4 years during the Olympics, at a minimum ;)) I’ ve dreamed of being an ice skater. (Also normal, yes? Everyone plans out skating routines while listening to instrumental music, right? Right??)

So the chance to read a book from the POV of a slightly socially-awkward ice skating Olympic (hopefully) superstar? Sign me up!

I loved both Liza and Braden. Whether it was the beginning, when she practically ran from his flirtiness at the baseball game, when they were going on their first dates, or when they were trying to be just friends (because of her parents and her need to give everything to her skating during the Olympic season), they were just great together. Plus, how many guys will back off immediately when the girl they like tells them they have to devote themselves to their sport instead of dating and be willing to hang out indefinitely in the friend zone in the hopes of someday? (I’m hoping that there are actual guys who will fit that description out there, and not just (darn–is he really just) fictional Braden…)

It was fun seeing the behind-the-scenes life of a top level figure skater–their day-to-day life, training, and competitions–and the fact that Liza reads and writes romantic fiction in her spare time just made me love her even more 🙂

I know I’ll definitely have this book and its characters on my mind the next Winter Olympics…and not just those of The Cutting Edge as per usual… 😉

The audiobook version was nicely done–the narrator has a pleasant voice, and does a great job narrating the story. I’d definitely listen to something else performed by her in the future, even if no figure skating is involved.

Though, hopefully, figure skating will be involved…

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is travelling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers! Visit jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com for contact information and to learn more about her books.

 

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Pre-Release Review! TRUST by Kylie Scott


Synopsis:

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John.

The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

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TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.

Excerpt:

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

Review:

Oh, I really liked this one!

Trust started out with the drama right away, throwing us into the convenience store hold up that will affect Edie and John’s lives for years to come. Ms. Scott made me feel like I was right there with them, and phew, that scene was intense. It wasn’t hard to see why a previously good student like Edie would go off the rails afterwards, at least a little bit. I loved that she stood up for what she thought was right throughout the entire book, whether it resulted in her rethinking lifelong friendships, standing up to policemen and her own mother, or confronting a teacher, this girl has reserves of strength that made me want to stand up and cheer. Or give her a hug. Or both, depending on the specific situation.

And can I just say–a character who thinks of herself as plus-sized, and really is (unlike some heroines, who are like 5 pounds over their ideal weight, cry me a river, ladies) and though she’s often self-conscious about it, still manages to own it at the same time? Three cheers! (And yes, Cool Whip does have magical healing powers. It’s like she read my mind there.)

John is a great character too–first for what he does in that convenience store, and then for the changes he’s determined to make in his life and the way he goes through with them, despite the pushback he gets from several quarters. I loved that he wouldn’t let Edie put herself down, and that he put so much effort into their relationship, both when it was just friendship and later when it was more. Loved.

Ms. Scott does a great job of dealing with some pretty big issues here–the terror of the hold-up, survivor guilt, the disastrous effects of drug abuse–they were handled realistically and not at all glamorized. There is underage drinking and teenage sex as well–I would definitely classify it as a upper-YA novel, best for high school aged readers and up.

(And can I just say, Edie’s mom with the condoms? Cracked. Me. Up. OMG.)

I will definitely sign up for this author’s next YA effort, no question!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! REBEL IN A SMALL TOWN by Kristina Knight (Slippery Rock #2)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Rebel in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #2)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s not giving up his family without a fight

James Calhoun has never been able to resist Mara Tyler, or her knack for mischief. Her reputation as a reckless teenager drove Mara from their hometown. So Slippery Rock is the last place James ever expected to see her, and Mara’s timing couldn’t be worse. With the upcoming election for sheriff, she threatens the squeaky-clean image James needs to win. Because Mara has brought with her the result of their steamy affair: his two-year-old son, Zeke. After the initial shock, James is determined to have both his family and career. He just needs to convince Mara that her home is where it’s always been. With him.

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Review:

Mara and James’ story, the second in the Slippery Rockseries, is a sweet second chance/secret baby romance. I liked James a lot, which isn’t surprising since I liked him in the first book ( Famous in a Small Town ) too, as Collin’s best friend. Here we see him in more detail, learn of his less-than-pristine teenage past, and his secret relationship with the town rebel and Collin’s little sister Mara, who hasn’t been back in town for more than two years. Now he’s running for sheriff, a position formerly held by his father and grandfather, and struggling with wanting to win and wanting to create a life for himself with the town’s former rebel and their son.

Mara was likable too, though her insistence that she was exactly like their parents had been and that her being with James meant that he wouldn’t get the sheriff’s position got to be a bit much at times–it seemed like she should have gotten over it before she did. Still, she was a great mom, and it was nice to see her trying to fix the problems she’d created with her family by leaving so many years ago. Watching her begin to have faith in herself and in the life she could have with James and in Slippery Rock was heartening; their HEA, when it comes, is very sweet. Seeing the rest of their collection of friends once again makes me anxious to see what will be in store for future books in the series, especially Adam and Jenny, Levi, and the mysterious, absent Aiden.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Other Books in the Series:

Famous in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #1)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
May 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

Lifestyles of the small-town famous

Forced to leave Nashville after a scandal, Savannah Walters has come home to Slippery Rock, Missouri, with a bruised ego and her singing career in jeopardy. As if that isn’t humiliating enough, on her way into town she’s rescued by her swoon-worthy childhood crush, Collin Tyler.

His hands are full running the family orchard and dealing with his delinquent teen sister, so Collin doesn’t need to get involved with someone as fiery and unpredictable as Savannah. But the intense attraction between them can’t be denied. And when disaster strikes, they’ll both be surprised by who’s still standing when the dust settles.

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And coming September 2017…Breakup in a Small Town
(Slippery Rock #3)
Kristina Knight
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
September 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

This isn’t the man she married… 

Jenny Buchanan never considered what “for better or for worse” meant when she married Adam Buchanan at nineteen. Six years and two little boys later, “for worse” arrives in the form of a tornado that ravages Slippery Rock and injures Adam. Now he’s a stranger to his family…and love won’t be enough to bring him back.

Only when Jenny asks him to move out does Adam become the husband she needs…but Adam isn’t the only one who’s changed. As their attraction sparks back to life, Jenny and Adam must learn what it is to grow up—and grow together—before this small-town breakup lasts forever.

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About the Author:

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.

Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

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Other Harlequin Superromance Books by the Author:

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a signed copy of Protecting the Quarterback and some fun swag
– US residents only
– Ends July 25th

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Tour Schedule:

July 15th: Launch
July 16th:
Sylv.net
Beck Valley Books
Becky on Books
July 17th:
Hearts & Scribbles
underneath the covers
Thoughts of a Blonde
July 18th:
Mythical Books
Deal Sharing Aunt
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
July 19th:
It’s All About the Romance
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
July 20th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Harlie’s Books
Always Reading
July 21st: Grand Finale

 

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Release Day Review and Giveaway! RESURRECTION by Katie Reus (Redemption Harbor #1)

Today we have the release day blitz of Resurrection by Katie Reus! We’re so excited to share this fantastic new release with you—check out the festivities and grab your copy today!!

About Resurrection:

From USA Today bestselling author Katie Reus comes the ALL NEW Redemption Harbor series where sparks fly and so do bullets…

She faked her own death…

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she’s home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels…only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt.

He’ll cross every line to save her…

When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he’s shocked and hurt, but it doesn’t stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to stop a powerful enemy who will do anything to see the world burn and Skye dead.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Colt banged his fist against the door, fear and the smallest bit of hope punching through him. “Answer the fucking door,” he snarled. “Open, or I kick it in.”

“Maybe you should take it down a notch.” Next to him, Brooks shoved an agitated hand through his hair, his Stetson held loosely at his side.

“And maybe you should be freaking out more.” One of their best friends had been holed up in his home for weeks, refusing to talk to anyone, to see anyone. Colt didn’t know exactly what his friend was going through, but he’d lost a lot of damn friends in the sandbox and the only woman he’d ever loved had died too. Something he couldn’t think about right now. He couldn’t focus on his own pain when he could help his friend, when he had a damn purpose.

Mercer had recently lost his wife, and the man wasn’t handling it. The guy had been in love with Mary Grace since he was fifteen. They’d been each other’s world. And two months ago she’d been killed in Mexico, a victim of cartel violence. Allegedly.

Colt hadn’t been in love with Skye since he was a kid, but eight months with her sure felt like a lifetime. Hell, when she died it felt like he’d lost part of himself. The only part that mattered. He had to force himself out of bed every day, to shove back the emptiness. So on one level, he understood how Mercer felt. He shoved that thought right back inside where it belonged and ignored it. He couldn’t fix his own problem, but he could help out Mercer.

Panic swelled through Colt as the seconds ticked by without any response from inside—until he heard cursing on the other side of the door. Good. If his friend was cursing, he was alive. A solid minute later the lock snicked loudly as it twisted open.

Colt grabbed the handle and shoved it open, pushing past his best friend in case he tried to slam the door closed in his face.

Mercer, wearing boxers and nothing else, had grown a full black beard and his dark eyes were glassy. “What the hell are you doing here this early?”

“First, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon. Second…” Colt hauled off and punched him right in the nose. He needed to wake Mercer the hell up. Violence was pretty much the only way to do that now.

“Ah, hell,” Brooks muttered as Mercer flew back and fell on his ass with a grunt.

He held a hand to his nose, looking more alert than he had in two months as he glared up at Colt and Brooks. “What the hell, man?” His voice was muffled as he tried to stop the bleeding.

“I believe this is called an intervention,” Colt said, stepping into the foyer, cringing at the stench. “God, it smells like old pizza and cow crap in here. Mary Grace would kick your ass if she saw you living like this.”

“Don’t say her name!” Mercer shoved to his feet, letting his hand drop. Blood dripped down his face as he snarled at Colt. His teeth were toothpaste commercial white against his dark brown skin. Right now he looked like a rabid wolf baring his teeth at them.

“I’ll say her name if I want.” Yeah, he knew he was being harsh, but this was what Mercer needed. He needed to feel something, to wake the hell up. And making Mercer angry was the only way Colt knew how. Because the guy sure wasn’t going to talk about his fucking feelings. He needed to get out of this rabbit hole he’d let himself fall into. “We all lost her. Every single one of us.”

Most days Colt couldn’t believe she was gone. They’d all grown up together, and in his case, he’d been friends with Mary Grace since they were five years old. She was like a sister to Colt. Hell, he was still holding on to the hope that she wasn’t actually gone. It was why he was about to get on a plane in two hours and see if the tip he’d received was right. But first he had to make sure one of his best friends didn’t do something stupid while he was gone.

“Mary Grace.”

“Ah, hell,” Brooks said again, clearly not going to intervene. Just muttering his standard curse.

“Fuck you,” Mercer snapped, taking a step toward Colt.

That was it. Get angry, he silently willed his childhood friend. Mercer needed anger to replace the grief. God, or at least mute it. Just for a week. That was all Colt needed. Because if Mary Grace was alive, he was bringing her home to his best friend. He just couldn’t give Mercer the hope she was alive. Because if he did and it turned out she wasn’t… It would destroy him. “Mary. Grace.”

Mercer rushed at him like a bull.

 

Review:

Oh, I really enjoyed this one!

Katie Reus is a new author to me–I’ve been meaning to read her for a while, and figured a brand new series (Redemption Harbor) would be a great place to start 🙂

It did not disappoint!

Resurrection introduces us to Colt, a CIA agent who has been somewhat estranged from his father but has made his own family by choice from a group of close friends, many of whom he’s known since childhood. He’s so tight with them all that Skye, his last partner who also became much more to him than a coworker, knew all of them by name even though she had to fake her own death before ever meeting them in person…and then risked it all to save one of them, for him.

Okay, I know that all sounds kind of complicated. But I promise it all makes sense the way Ms. Reus writes it–and is a heck of a lot of fun to read, too!

Colt and Skye have great chemistry together, and the back and forth between these two is fantastic as well. We meet all of the group members here–some of them more than others–but it’s enough to see that this is going to be a great series. We’re left with some really strong indicators about what’s coming for book two, and I for one can’t wait for its release!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Katie Reus:

Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, and IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her book Avenger’s Heat recently won the Georgia RWA Maggie Award for Excellence in the fantasy/paranormal category.

Connect with Katie:
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Pre-Release Review and Giveaway! MISTER HOCKEY by Lia Riley (Hellion’s Angels #1)

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

MISTER HOCKEY
Hellion’s Angels #1
Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse
Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. . .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?
 
Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.
So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

A librarian meets–and dates–her hockey crush? Yes, please! 🙂

This book was so much fun to read. I absolutely loved the beginning, when Breezy first meets Jed and can barely string two words together…and then, OMG, her costume malfunction. Absolutely too funny! Their relationship progresses along nicely, if a bit quickly, though the specter of her stalker-like “Jed closet” is always hovering in the background (and yikes, it’s more than a little scary how closely I resemble Breezy’s fan persona…funny, but scary. And when she’s talking about where she is in her Goodreads challenge for the year? I’m pretty sure we were separated at birth). Still, they’re really adorable together. Not to mention H-O-T…

Certain parts of the story (Breezy’s mom’s turnaround, for one) seem a little bit too easy, but overall I enjoyed this story too much to really mind. I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with Breezy’s sister Neve and Coach Tor in the next book, especially if Jed and Breezy are going to be hanging around… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands
in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

 

New Release Review! FUEL FOR FIRE by Julie Ann Walker (Black Knights, Inc. #10)

Fuel for Fire
by Julie Ann Walker

 

Synopsis:

A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker’s red-hot BKI series

Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering…what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?

Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It’s just as well that he’s never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives…

 

“The heat between the hero and heroine is hotter than a firecracker lit on both ends… Readers are in for one hell of ride!” —RT Book Reviews for Hell for Leather 4½ Stars

 

Review:

I’ve had this series on my TBR for a while now–I loved Ms. Walker’s Deep Six series–and was beyond excited when I got a chance to read Fuel for Fire! I am happy to report that it definitely did not disappoint, and that even though this one’s pretty far into the series (#10! Whoa :)) I had no problem jumping right into the action with this one. There is previously-known bad guy at play here, but you are given enough information to understand the seriousness of the situation without going into info dump territory.

(And can I just say–that antagonist?–gives me chills.)

Chelsea and Dagan grabbed me from the very first page–I absolutely loved their back and forth when they were at odds…and their explosive chemistry when they weren’t as well. The danger they find themselves in, combined with the camaraderie they share with their fellow teammates and the others they bring in to help them get out of their current situation, make this one heck of a fun read. The story ends a bit in the air as far as Black Knights, Inc. are concerned–the president who commissioned them is leaving office, and his predecessor doesn’t have any interest in keeping them around–but I sincerely that Ms. Walker has plans for them anyway, because there’s at least two couples here who really, really deserve their own books 😉

Oh yeah, and a bad guy who may still be at large…

At least I’ve got a nine-book backlist to keep me busy while I wait!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! A TASTE OF YOU by Teri Anne Stanley (Bourbon Brothers #3)

Her bourbon-flavored kisses threaten his carefully constructed boundaries. 
A TASTE OF YOU
Bourbon Brothers #3
Teri Anne Stanley
Releasing July 3, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Office supply addict Eve McGrath’s meticulously organized life is on the verge of crashing at her feet. Blue Mountain distillery’s new tasting and visitor center has to be finished pronto or her mother will lose her mind. Good thing Eve likes a challenge—which is exactly what she’ll face trying to convince the flaky contractor’s hot son to finish the job.

Nick Baker is back in Kentucky just long enough to get his wayward dad back on his feet. Then he’s gone. Unfortunately, he can’t resist helping Eve, the sexy distiller-in-distress, whose addictive, bourbon-flavored kisses threaten his carefully constructed boundaries. And if he can’t rein himself in, the uncomfortable secrets of past will nail him to the wall…


They were alone. Eve was suddenly nervous. What was the deal? She wanted to ask Nick if the incident in the truck last weekend was a one-shot deal, if he’d decided he really wasn’t that into her, or if there was going to be more, but reminded herself that she was taking things as they came.

Not stressing over the future. The bag with her planner inside banged against her hip as she led Nick down the hall to a door at the end. “Well, this is it,” she told him.

“Your mecca.”

“No. The Office Superstore out on 62 is my mecca. This is just a temple.”

“You really like office supplies, huh?”

“Oh yeah,” she told him. “Those times I get to take the company credit card and go to the office store? All that potential for organization and efficiency? It’s like Christmas and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one.”

“Copy paper.” He said it in a deep, growly voice that could have come from a 1970’s R&B singer. “Thumb tacks.” He waggled his eyebrows at her, and she giggled.

She turned away to grab the door handle, and he stepped closer, so she could feel him almost but not quite touching her from shoulder to butt. No, it wasn’t the thought of file folders that had her nipples tightening and heat pooling low in her belly. She stepped back, bumping into him as she pulled the door open, revealing her stash of office supplies.

“Paper clips.” This was more of a husky whisper. Which did actually send a shiver down her spine, but not because of the words themselves, more about the way he said it. Right into the place where her shoulder met her neck. His hands were on her hips now, and with just a tiny bit of effort, he could have her fully back against him. “Ball point pens.”

Her entire body flushed, and she took a chance asking the question, because leaving this up to fate was no longer an option. “Are you trying to seduce me with sexy language?”

“Is it working?”

“I think it is,” she told him and turned to face him.

 
Such a fun read!

Eve and Nick make one heck of a couple, and an even better team as they worked together to get Eve’s family’s tasting center up and ready to go for her mother’s big charity event. And okay, there were some pretty serious issues being dealt with here too–alcoholism, both from the personal POV and that of their family’s, guilt and abandonment–but even though their treatment was well done and realistic, they didn’t bog the story down. Throughout it all, Ms. Stanley’s writing had me giggling out loud–a lot–and even tearing up at the end. Because, dang. Good ending.

A Taste of You is the third book in the series, but should work fine as a standalone; even though the MCs from books one and two ( Drunk on You and A Shot with You ) make frequent appearances, you don’t have to have read their books to enjoy them here. But given what happens at the end, you’re probably going to want to.

Just sayin’.

Also just sayin’–an office supplies addiction is only a problem if you let it be one. There’s nothing wrong with a healthy appreciation for post-it notes, composition books, and exactly the right size tabs for every project. Nothing. At. All. Plus, everybody counts down the days until the back to school sales start at office supply stores, don’t they? I know Eve has my back here… 😉

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Teri Anne Stanley has been writing since she could hold a crayon–though learning to read was a huge turning point in her growth as a writer. Teri’s first stories involved her favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters, followed by her favorite teen idols. She has also authored a recipe column (The Three Ingredient Gourmet), and scientific articles (Guess which was more interesting!). Now she writes fun, sexy romance populated by strong, smart women and hunky heroes.

Teri currently supplements her writing income as a neuroscience research assistant. In her nearly non-existent spare time, she is the human half of a therapy dog team, an amateur genealogist, and a compulsive crafter (if there are directions on the internet, she can probably make it). Along with a variety of offspring and dogs, she and Mr. Stanley enjoy boating and relaxing at their weekend estate, located in the thriving metropolis of Sugartit, between Beaverlick and Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DUKE OF DEFIANCE by Darcy Burke (The Untouchables #5)

About the Book:

Difficult and defiant as a child, Bran Crowther, Earl of Knighton left England as a young man to pursue independence and adventure. He never expected to inherit the title and when duty calls him home, he still finds Society’s codes constricting and others’ expectations oppressive. Nevertheless, he needs a wife to be a mother to his young daughter, preferably a woman of intelligence and warmth who is, above all, immune to his idiosyncrasies—and to falling in love.
Widow Joanna Shaw isn’t interested in a second marriage, not after the loveless, passionless union she endured. She’d much rather dote on her young niece and nephew since they will likely be the only children in her life…until she meets a precocious girl, in desperate need of a mother. But her father, the so-called Duke of Defiance, is as peculiar as he is handsome, and Jo won’t take another risk with her heart. Their rules, however, are made to be broken, even when the consequences  could destroy them both.
Purchase: AmazonBarnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt:

Oh, he looked magnificent in evening wear, his dark charcoal-colored coat offset by his silver-threaded waistcoat and the snow-white of his cravat. Was he uncomfortable? She wondered how long he’d be able to endure the garments and pictured him stripping them off. The ballroom suddenly seemed overly warm.

He strode right to her and offered a bow, first to Nora as required by her rank, and another to Jo. “Good evening. You look lovely.” His gaze swept over her.

“Thank you.”

“I thought we could discuss the governess interviews,” he said. “My secretary has arranged them for Tuesday.”

Jo nodded. “Good.”

“Lord Knighton, why don’t you ask Jo to waltz? It’s just starting.”

Waltz? At Nora’s insistence, Jo had practiced the steps earlier today, but she’d never actually waltzed. “I’m not certain that’s necessary.”

Lord Knighton held out his arm. “Would you do me the honor?”

Now she was trapped. Although if she could refuse any man and predict that he wouldn’t take offense, it was Knighton. Once she explained her anxiety, she’d no doubt he would understand given his own foibles.

In the end, she simply put her hand on his arm and allowed him to escort her to the dance floor. It could be her only chance.

“I’ve never waltzed,” she said softly.

“Me neither.”

She turned her head sharply to look at him. “Oh dear.”

“How hard can it be?” he asked as they stepped onto the dance floor.

He rested his hand on her waist and clasped her hand. She placed her palm on his shoulder and, despite the layers of clothing, was certain she could feel his muscle.

“See, we’re experts,” he said.

Review:

Jo and Bram might be my favorite couple in this series 🙂

I loved Bram’s idiosyncrasies and his devotion to his daughter–they definitely helped to make him one of the more unique heroes out there. (Though I kept hoping we’d find out something more about why he was that way–even just an author’s note. I’m guessing with the anti-touch tendencies and the way he tensed up in social situations that he’s somewhere on the autism spectrum, maybe? Either way, his need to get out of restrictive clothing ASAP led to some–ahem–interesting moments for him…and Jo ;))

Jo just broke my heart with her awful first marriage and conviction that she couldn’t have children because she hadn’t yet, which was her main argument for why they couldn’t be together. Kudos to Bram for pointing out it wasn’t necessarily her “fault” that she hadn’t; it made for both a frustrating and heartbreaking reason for keeping them apart.

All while not keeping them apart, of course, because yeah. They were all kinds of together when they weren’t supposed to be. 😉

Evie was a fun character, even though towards the end she sometimes acted just a little bit too mature for her age, she was still all kinds of adorable.

It was fun seeing what is going on with the rest of the Untouchables and their wives, though this book could also stand on its own if needed.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 Check out the other books in  The Untouchables series:

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway:

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copy of The Duke of Daring and Swag

*If the chosen winner resides outside of the US, an eBook will be sent instead of the print book.*

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ROAMING WILD by Tracey Devlyn (Steele Ridge #6)

About the Book:

She’s loved him forever…
The last thing traveling nurse Evie Steele expects to find aboard the RV housing her mobile health clinic is her brother’s best friend. As always, Deke’s close proximity stirs her forbidden desires and long-suppressed dreams. But his sudden reappearance in her life and curious interest in her patients makes Evie wonder what he’s hiding.
…but now his secrets could destroy them both.
Special agent Deke Conrad is in big trouble. Not only does he have a thing for his friend’s little sister, but what should be a routine mission is turning into a tour of temptation and survival. He fooled himself into thinking he could keep the beautiful and dynamic Evie in the dark while he used the cover of her Med Mobile to track down a merciless wildlife trafficker. But he didn’t anticipate the lure of her scent or the warmth of her smile…or the string of dead bodies littering their path.
When Evie winds up in his enemy’s crosshairs, Deke must unleash every weapon in his arsenal to save her, including his heart. But will he be too late?
Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Review:

An excellent addition to the series!

As with the other books, Roaming Wild could absolutely work as a standalone, since the main focus is on the primary couple, Evie and Deke, this time around. The other 5 Steele siblings all make appearances, though, and the nonstop suspense and drama of this installment are likely to inspire you to give the others a try, though–just sayin’. 😉

Deke and Evie are a great couple–solid chemistry, and they’ve known each other for years while Deke, her oldest brother’s best friend waited for/dreaded Evie’s growing up. He’s got some hangups–Evie’s so much younger, in addition to the whole younger sister of his best friend issue; and he’s ready for a family when she’s just starting a masters degree–on top of all of that, his (secret, real) job makes relationships difficult (though others in similar situations somehow manage–in his favor, he does realize the contradictions in his hangups even while sticking with them, so there is that).  There’s an excellent suspense story here too, in addition to the relationship one–and both combine to make a book it’s hard to put down. If you’ve read the other series books, you’ll love this one; if you haven’t yet, it’s a great place to start!

One more Steele sibling to go–can’t wait!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Meet the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Tracey Devlyn wanted to be the next Dian Fossey and explore the wilds of Africa, but that was before she met chemistry and calculus and realized a business major, rather than a science degree, might be more up her alley.Tracey writes contemporary and historical romantic suspense, historical mysteries, and mainstream thrillers. An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters.

For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at http://www.TraceyDevlyn.com. Want information about Tracey’s new releases to be delivered to your email inbox? Consider signing up for her newsletter http://traceydevlyn.com/contact. Tracey can also be found at http://Instagram.com/TraceyDevlyn, http://Twitter.com/TraceyDevlyn or http://www.Facebook.com/AuthorTraceyDevlyn.

 

Giveaway:

  • Fitbit Flex and Assorted Goodies – US shipping ONLY

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New Release Review! WHY I LOATHE STERLING LANE by Ingrid Paulson

Why I Loathe Sterling Lane
by Ingrid Paulson
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

 

Synopsis:

Per her 537 rules, Harper Campbell keeps her life tidy—academically and socially. But the moment Sterling Lane transfers into her tiny boarding school, her twin brother gets swept up in Sterling’s pranks and schemes and nearly gets expelled. Harper knows it’s Sterling’s fault, and to protect her brother, she vows to take him down. As she exposes his endless school violations, he keeps striking back, framing her for his own infractions. Worst of all, he’s charmed the administration into thinking he’s harmless, and only Harper sees him for the troublemaker he absolutely is.

As she breaks rule after precious rule in her battle of wits against Sterling and tension between them hits a boiling point, she’s horrified to discover that perhaps the two of them aren’t so different. And maybe she doesn’t entirely hate him after all. Teaming up with Sterling to save her brother might be the only way to keep from breaking the most important rule—protecting Cole.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

Review:

Why I Loathe Sterling Lane was so much fun to read! It’s got everything in it that makes enemies-to-lovers so much fun to read: snarky comebacks, laugh out loud one-upmanship, surprise kisses, and partial public nudity–really, what more could one want? 😉

When Harper and her 537 Rules (yes, she capitalizes it–Every. Time.) meet chronic rule-breaker and smoother-than-a-politician truth stretcher Sterling, brace yourself for impact. Their prank war was absolutely epic (and really makes me want to do some experimenting with a classic British Mini Cooper and Mini Moe #2’s future dorm room–though if that one didn’t work, I’d be beyond bummed. Surely the author did her research there?) I loved that Sterling, Cole, Kendall, and Parker were able to help Harper to finally loosen up and start living her life–almost as much as I adored the fact that his competition with Harper in turn inspired Sterling to start making more of an effort in life. A true example of opposites bringing out the best in each other. As Kendall puts it, “The two of you are just–bizarrely, diametrically opposite, but that makes you fit together somehow.”

Truth.

I will absolutely sign up to see whatever Ms. Paulson has in store for us next! Her unique writing style kept me turning the pages, highlighting passages and reading out loud to random passersby, dying to see what Harper and Sterling Lane were going to do next.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the Author:

Ingrid Paulson does not, in fact, loathe anyone. Although the snarky sense of humor and verbal barbs in Why I Loathe Sterling Lane might suggest otherwise (and shock those who think they know her best).

Ingrid lives in San Francisco with her husband and children and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn’t so short any more. Valkyrie Rising, a paranormal girl power story, was Ingrid’s first novel. Expect another humorous contemporary romance to join the list soon.

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