New Release Review! CHECK MY HEART by Christi Barth


Check My Heart

by Christi Barth

Synopsis:

The death of his little brother turned Kurt Lundquist’s world upside down. He channeled his grief into skating his heart out–and ultimately leading his hockey team to win the championship. Now, all he wants to do is throw a party with the Cup in his brother’s honor. He’s got no clue where to start…until he runs into the gorgeous hospice nurse who took such great care of Jasper. She’s waaay off limits, but he’s desperate, and hires her to help him.

Lisette Broussard’s heart broke a little more every time a patient died. Losing the brave brother of a hockey star was the last straw. Learning a new specialty was supposed to change her life for the better, but it used up her savings. Then the slam dunk job with the New Orleans championship hockey team mysteriously disappears. So she jumps at Kurt’s offer of a job, no matter how temporary. No matter how…dangerous, given how much she’s always crushed on him. No matter how risky it is to fall for Kurt, since he’ll always associate her with the grief of losing his brother.

But the more time they spend together, the deeper they both fall. Kurt’s heart begins to thaw…and then heat. Lisette can’t resist him, and throws caution to the wind. She’ll take whatever time he gives her. Can they move beyond the pain of the past and focus on a future together?

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Excerpt:

God. Why would Lisette want to keep touching such a wallowing, messed-up son of a bitch? The words, the truth that kept him immobilized on this decision ripped from his throat like gravel spraying from his Harley tires. “Tell me how I can turn my back on my team and my friends and still be able to look myself in the mirror.”

She pressed up against his back, arms circling his waist like a life preserver. “How do you do it now? How do you look past your grief to see what’s truly in your reflection?”

“I don’t.”

Her fingers curved into his stomach. “You don’t look in mirrors?”

“Not for a while now.” Trying to make light of it, Kurt rasped a hand across his two-day-old stubble. “I’ve got an electric razor. Makes it so easy I can do it with my eyes shut. I was tired of seeing nothing but a scowl.”

“Oh, I get it, believe me. But feeling good, being happy? It takes practice every bit as much as skating.” Going up on her tiptoes, Lisette murmured into his ear, “I declare that smile practice is now in session.”

Then her fingers splayed, arrowing down to just below the waist of his shorts. Just enough to make him wish they’d damn well keep going. She scraped her teeth along the cords of his neck, then licked a path down to where Kurt knew she could feel his pulse jackrabbiting through the skin. Lisette sucked. Sucked and swirled her tongue. That was all it took to bring his dick into a full-out lunge, trying to meet her fingertips.

Kurt reached back and around to pull her closer. He got two handfuls of the sweetest ass he’d ever touched and squeezed. Kneaded. His hands almost completely covered those taut globes. He couldn’t wait to see how they’d look doing exactly that on her naked skin.

He didn’t care if she gave him a hickey. Didn’t care that the guys would give him a mountain of shit if he walked into the locker room with a love bite like a teenager. The only thing Kurt cared about was the way her tongue lapped at him, sending shivers of sensation straight down to his dick.

They weren’t really kissing. They were fully clothed, in a fucking warehouse. They weren’t even face-to-face. But her assault on his neck was so damn hot, Kurt was ready to shove up her skirt and take her on the floor, with the goddamned goldfish watching.

Whispering, breath feathering against his ear, Lisette ordered, “Look at your reflection in the bowl, Kurt. What do you see?”

He turned his head to catch a smug, satisfied grin curling up the edges of his mouth. Huh. Kurt twisted to see her wet lips and flushed cheeks. Guess she’d enjoyed giving as well as getting. Which turned him on even more. “You think I’m good in a practice session? You should catch me in the real deal.”

 

Review:

Start with an absolutely heartwrenching beginning (have tissues handy!) and an intriguing premise (older brother of cancer patient falls for hospice nurse)–throw in a hockey hero (aforementioned older brother) and you should have a hat trick, right? That was my hope when I started reading Check My Heart, a hope which was only partially fulfilled.

I liked both Kurt and Lisette, the hero and heroine (AKA brother and nurse). Buying into their relationship push-pull was a bit trickier, though–maybe if we’d seen them in the beginning, instead of finding out about it later on? (Especially since their individual accounts of that time don’t quite seem to jive–both claim to be drawn to the other, but neither seems to think that the other is even remotely interested (I get it; the younger brother is dying, etc., but still…)) They also seem to go pretty quickly from Jasper will always come between us to getting over that obstacle (I don’t actually think there was a moment of them getting over it–though maybe I just missed it, somehow? Or promptly forgot all about it?) My biggest issue, though, was with

Spoiler Inside SelectShow
 Even when it was admitted to and moved on from, it still rubbed me wrong.

Altogether this wasn’t a bad way to spend a few hours, though. I mean, there is a hot hockey hero who has the bonus of being a great older brother and a very sympathetic nurse who knows how to plan kick-butt parties, plus the resolution is sweet and fairly believable. It’s not my favorite from Ms Barth, but I’m not sorry I read it, either.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

View all my reviews

 

About the author:

USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

For information on books, new releases and more, visit her Website

 

Author Links:   Website | Twitter | Facebook   | Goodreads

New Release Review! ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL by Jennifer Probst (Billionaire Builders #3)

“Property Brothers meets small-town sexy with a twist of sweet.”

−Publishers Weekly


All or Nothing At All
JENNIFER PROBST

 

“Probst’s final book in her Billionaire Builders Series is a gut-wrenching, intensely emotional, second-chance romance. The fast-paced dialogue vividly details every emotive scene…The stars and little girl costar are unforgettable, and the series tie-up is exceptional.”

RT Book Reviews, 4 star review

 

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst invites readers to spend one last time with the Pierce Brothers in this third volume of the Billionaire Builders series.  ALL OR NOTHING AT ALL (on-sale July 25th; Gallery Books) is an all-new, heart-wrenching, and sexy contemporary romance perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins or Julie James.

Tristan Pierce left the family business to carve out a life of his own, but never forgot his passionate affair with the much younger, inexperienced Sydney Greene, or the hurtful breakup that tore him apart. When he’s forced to return home and face his past, will he be able to carve out a future, or will lies ruin his second chance at love?

Sydney Greene loved Tristan her entire life but when he left, he took not only her heart, but her trust along with him. Now that they’re together again, it’s time they both face the biggest secret of all…

Buy it now:

 

Additional Praise for Jennifer Probst:

“For a sexy, fun-filled, warmhearted read, look no further than Jennifer Probst!”

−Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

“Jennifer Probst knows how to bring the swoons and the sexy. All or Nothing at All wraps up the Billionaire Builders with secrets, second chances, and ALL the heat!”

–Amy Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Review:

This was a tough one to rate. Since the first book in the series, it was pretty clear to the reader that there was something between Tristan and Sydney, and it didn’t take too much mental gymnastics to make the leap to figuring out what Syd’s big secret probably was. Second chance romance can make for a really delicious read, so I was really looking forward to this one.

The first 40% of the book was everything I could have hoped for–angsty, delicious second chance-ness and all. Once Syd’s secret comes out, though, it was hard to get behind the all of choices and decisions that both Syd and Tristan make and demand. The fact that they both work so hard to keep Becca happy is a saving grace, but at times this book was hard to read. I was determined to get to their HEA, though, and kept going. Seeing the couples from the other books (Tristan’s brothers and their coworker) helped to make things better, even at the darkest moments.

So…I ended with mixed feelings on this one. There were parts I liked and parts that made me a little crazy. In the end, though, I really did like Tristan and Syd even if I didn’t agree with everything they did, and was happy to see them end up at a HEA with Becca. It was great to see all the “billionaire builders” get happy endings, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Probst has in store for us next.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer Probst’s novels, novellas, and e-books range from sexy contemporary romance to erotica. She lives in upstate New York. For more about this multitalented New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, visit www.JenniferProbst.com.

New Release Review! CAN’T BUY ME LOVE by Marie Force (Butler, Vermont #2)

BLURB: 

Mary Larkin was hard at work as the office manager at the Green Mountain Country Store when Cameron Murphy brought her dad, Patrick, in to visit. That fateful first meeting, which took place in You’ll Be Mine, sets the stage for Mary and Patrick’s long-awaited romance in Can’t Buy Me Love!

Mary enjoys her predictable, satisfying life in Butler. If it’s a little lacking in excitement, well, that’s okay with her. But after meeting Patrick and getting to know him better at his daughter’s wedding, Mary is intrigued by the well-known, sexy billionaire businessman.

Patrick is equally intrigued. For the first time since he suddenly lost his wife thirty years ago, he has met a woman who makes him feel less lonely, and all he wants is more of his Sweet Mary from Vermont. Flirty phone calls become a weekend away together that takes his relationship with Mary to the next level.

But with six hours and two vastly different lives standing between them, can Mary and Patrick find happily ever after together? And after telling her father to keep his hands and everything else off Mary, will Cameron approve of her father’s new romance?

——

REVIEW:

Can’t Buy Me Love is a sweet romance–a second-chance at love for two older characters–and if you’ve read Cameron’s (Patrick’s daughter) story, especially the story of her wedding, where Patrick and Mary first met, you’re bound to absolutely love this cozy. comfortable romance. There really isn’t a whole lot of conflict–not half as much as the blurb makes it sound like there is–just the rather short story of a gentle wooing by a guy who definitely knows what he wants and the woman who is more than happy to give it to him.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

——

AUTHOR BIO:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary  romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold nearly 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie’s many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website:  http://marieforce.com/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieForce
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New Release Review! ROAR by Cora Carmack (Stromheart #1)

Synopsis:

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

 

Review:

I’m having a hard time rating this one, wavering between 3 and 3 1/2 stars. The world created here is interesting, but even after almost 400 pages of it there’s a whole lot I still don’t “get” about the storms, the stormhearts, the various people who fight/tame/control/call/are destroyed by them. Toward the end some things became more clear, but others? Still not. I’ll freely admit, though, that this could at least partially be me.

We see events from 5 different POVs, which felt like a bit much–especially when so many of the POV switches were so sudden. I found myself having to back up and re-read a sentence or two nearly every time, because it wasn’t immediately obvious that we were seeing a new person’s perspective, and that made the reading experience feel a bit choppy. Again, this could be me, but it made reading the book feel like more work than it had to be.

Aurora/Rora/Roar’s not one, but two instances of insta-love (no, it’s not really a love triangle as I’d originally feared, but might be later? Hard to say for sure) felt a bit silly, and so did her feeling of insta-betrayal from one of them (justified? Maybe. Probably. But honestly, the jury’s still out on that one, as far as I’m concerned–I have a feeling there’s more good in him than not…though yes, I could be totally wrong here. Actually, I’m not a huge fan of either of the love interests at this point, so…) I did like how she tried to take things into her own hands, but from the beginning I couldn’t help but feel that there had to be a better way to do it. Given what we learn toward the end, that feeling appears to be justified, so…

Gah. I just don’t know. Honestly right now the two things that are most likely to have me picking up the next book in the series are wanting to see what will happen with Nova (Rora’s childhood friend whose POV we didn’t see nearly enough of) and the fact that things got really interesting at the very end. It’s not a cliffhanger, per se, but it does leave you at a point where you want to find out more. So…we’ll see. A definite…probably.

Maybe?

Rating: 3 stars / C+?

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

New Release Review! WITHOUT WORDS by Delancey Stewart



About WITHOUT WORDS:

Sometimes love speaks for itself…

After an accident in the line of duty, firefighter Roberto DeRosa’s life is turned upside down. His career fighting fires is over, and he’s left with an uncertain future and an injury that makes communicating difficult for him. The only time words flow easily is when they’re lyrics and he has a guitar in his hands. Talking to women is definitely out, especially if they have bright blue eyes that seem to see right into his soul.

Dani Hodge is on the brink of realizing her dream of opening a small combination wine and book store in San Diego’s funky Ocean Beach neighborhood. But before she can open the doors, there’s work to be done, more work than she can do herself.

When the tattooed guy who completely ignored her at a bar walks by and offers her a hand wrangling a tile saw, Dani can’t afford to say no—and why would she say no to Mr. Strong and Silent when his stare conveys more than words could?

Add WITHOUT WORDS to your Goodreads TBR list here!

withoutwords

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Excerpt:

I caught Trent’s attention at the bar, putting my back to the girl and focusing on getting my heart to slow down, letting my blood cool.

And just when I’d gotten control of myself again, she was right fucking next to me, and my mind went blank.

Or most parts of my mind, at least. The parts in charge of caveman stuff—the parts that screamed at me to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and find a wall to fuck her against—those parts were working fine. Unfortunately.

“Hi,” she said.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

I stared at her. I was blank. I reached for a word to give her and my mind was empty. Even the one word she’d said would have been fine. I could have parroted it back to her. But it had fluttered up into the noise and light inside the bar and evaporated. Even that one simple word was out of my reach.

I watched her expression change. She’d said “hi” like she was extending a bridge, a thin filament I might just be able to risk stepping onto. But as she waited for me to return her greeting, to say fucking anything at all, the bridge dissolved.

And her face closed up. The sparkle in her bright eyes faded, and her energy pulled back inside her, leaving me cold again. A mixture of fear and surprise replaced the glow on her face, and I felt both guilty and monstrous as I watched what it did to her. She let other words fall between us. Nonsense, really. I’d made her uncomfortable, unhappy. And I already knew she was a girl I never wanted to see unhappy.

Finally, she turned around and went back to her table, pulled the other girl toward the door, and disappeared into the night beyond. And the strange light that had filled the club was extinguished.

 

Review:

Without Words is a sweet story about starting over. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, and Rob and Dani are likable characters. The way they’d get out of actual communication, though, made me more than a little nuts. Some miscommunication/hesitation to speak can work. And yes, I know it’s called Without Words and that Rob’s traumatic brain injury affects his speech, but still, it goes way too far here. I spent a good 50% of the book shouting jeez, would you two just talk it out already? every time the two of them got close and then (often literally) ran away from each other.

Still, it did keep me turning the pages. I could definitely see myself trying another book from this author in the future.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Delancey Stewart

Delancey Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She’s been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a wine seller. Despite lots of other interests, she has always been a writer.

A military spouse and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler, story reader, and tech writer. She tackles all these efforts from her current home outside Washington DC.

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New Release Review! KNOCKED UP by Christine Bell


Knocked Up

by Christine Bell

Synopsis:

Luke Anderson had exactly two things on his mind: Getting the f&%k out of Alhouette, Louisiana, and opening his own bike shop. But when he meets sweet little Tawny Mitchell at a bonfire by the lake, things get so hot, he’s almost tempted to stay in town a while longer.

Almost.

Tawny Mitchell has her life perfectly planned now that she’s graduated college. Become a school nurse, form some roots in a small town and, eventually, find a kind, hard-working man to start a family with. The type of loving, close-knit family she never had growing up. But when her best friend convinces her to go to a party and let her hair down, just this once, she never dreams that the consequences of that steamy summer night will change everything…

 

Review:

Cute story! Likable characters and a feel-good HEA make this quick read an enjoyable one.

The first 25% or so seemed a bit extraneous, though, given the title–we all knew what was coming, and were just waiting for the characters to get caught up. Once they did–well, Tawny did anyway; we had to wade through a period of non-communication on her part, a trend she continued for much of the book–things picked up fast. Luke, for all of his I-gotta-get-out-of-this-town-ASAP, was a really stand up guy, and easy to root for. Tawny had a few more issues, which were fairly understandable even if her tendency to OTT react on her own was the main cause of their conflict.

She came around when it counted, though, which made their ending all the much sweeter.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


View all my reviews

New Release Review and Giveaway! THE DOCTOR’S REDEMPTION by Victoria James (Shadow Creek, Montana #3)

 

About the Book:

Gwen Bailey has been busy taking care of everyone but herself. After a tragedy tore her family apart, she put her dreams aside to be with family. Now that her life is getting back on track, and her new Chocolaterie is open, she can concentrate on snagging the handsome, mysterious customer who has her dreaming about her own happily-ever-after…

Doctor Luke Thomson has spent the last five years filled with guilt. He hopes to make amends in Shadow Creek, however he doesn’t count on falling for the adorable and gorgeous Gwen Bailey. He vows to not get involved with her, but she’s too sweet to resist. It’s only a matter of time, though, before the truth comes out. Luke knows there’s no way Gwen will look at him the same way once she discovers his secret…

Review:

Gwen finally gets her muffin man!

This was a cute story, though it wasn’t without its issues. Both Gwen and Luke’s obsessions with the past had a tendency to overwhelm the romantic plot, which was unfortunate. It was a lot of fun to see the couples from books 1 and 2 again, though (plus Maggie!) and there were a lot of cute bits, especially in the beginning, that made me smile.

Here’s hoping Ms. James takes us back to Shadow Creek again–I’ll be there!

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Check out the other books in the Shadow Creek, Montana series:

Meet the Author:

Victoria James is a romance writer living near Toronto. She is a mother to two young children, one very disorderly feline, and wife to her very own hero. Victoria attended Queen’s University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. She then earned a degree in Interior Design. After the birth of herVi first child she began pursuing her life-long passion of writing. Her dream of being a published romance author was realized by Entangled in 2012. Victoria is living her dream— staying home with her children and conjuring up happy endings for her characters. Victoria would love to hear from her readers! You can visit her at www.victoriajames.ca or Twitter @vicjames101 or send her an email at Victoria@victoriajames.ca.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! CASK STRENGTH by Layla Reyne (Irish & Whiskey #2)

Title: CASK STRENGTH
Author: Layla Reyne
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Agents Irish & Whiskey
Genres: M/M Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 61,000
Format: Digital
ISBN: 9781488024399

 

Synopsis:

The heart’s a resilient beast…

Professionally, the FBI team of Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker is as good as it gets, closing cases faster than any team at the Bureau. Personally, it’s a different story. Aidan’s feelings for Jamie scare the hell out of him: he won’t risk losing another love no matter how heart-tripping the intimacy between them. And loss is a grim reality with the terrorist Renaud still on their trail, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake.

Going undercover on a new case gets them out of town and off the killer’s radar. They’re assigned to investigate an identity theft ring involving a college basketball team in Jamie’s home state, where Jamie’s past makes him perfect for the role of coach. But returning to the court brings more than old memories.

As secrets and shocking betrayals abound, none may be more dangerous than the one Jamie’s been keeping: a secret about the death of Aidan’s husband that could blow his partner’s world apart and destroy forever the fragile bonds of trust and love building between them.

Find out more at: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N | Goodreads

Excerpt:

“I know our schedule’s fucked, but that face of yours is awfully grim.”

Startling at the full-blast Irish accent, Jamie’s head shot up and the phone slipped from his fingers, clattering to the ground. Pick it up, some instinct ordered, but he was too busy losing the rest of his fucking mind. The veneer of calm shattered and any hope of patience took a flying leap out the window.

Because standing in front of him was his stylishly dressed partner, a messenger bag over one shoulder, a coat tossed over the other, and silver-rimmed aviators nestled in waves of auburn hair. More times than he could count, Jamie had imagined Aidan with his natural hair color, and damn if the reality didn’t surpass each and every one of his fantasies.

Mouth dry, heart racing, cheeks burning, Jamie’s fingers twitched with the urge to weave through the long red strands. Reaching down instead, he grabbed his phone, held it between his palms, and wedged his clasped hands between his knees, forestalling his impulse. He tried to force out a “hello,” but his brain refused to cooperate, all the blood in his body having raced south where his jeans became painfully tight.

Fuck.

He was gone. So far gone. Past casual, past a crush, past simple attraction.

This was Aidan, sans disguises, and Jamie wanted him more than he’d ever wanted anything.

“Is it that bad a dye job?” Aidan asked, interrupting his mental breakdown.

“Ai—” he started, only to be corrected with a brogue-laced, “Ian.”

Jamie blinked, reminded that this was a disguise. It sure as hell didn’t feel like one. “I wasn’t expecting this.” His eyes raked over Aidan again, taking it all in. Dressed in jeans and a navy V-neck sweater, the dark blues set off his pale skin, the freckles, his autumn eyes, that hair…

“Fuck,” he muttered out loud.

Aidan shifted on his feet in front of him. “I said I was making a few more changes.”

“Yeah, but this—” he spread his arms wide, the motion totally inadequate “—is more than a fucking few.”

Their gazes locked, heat sparking. “Problem, Jamie?” Aidan’s eyes flickered down to the very obvious problem.

“You gotta stop that.”

He dropped his messenger bag and shrugged the coat off his shoulder. “Stop what?”

“Saying my name in that accent.”

“Mr. Walker, then,” he said with a smirk.

Way too smooth.

Jamie propped his elbows on this knees and covered his face with his hands. “God no,” he groaned. “Not that either.”

Aidan laughed as the buzzer went off on the conveyor behind them.

Leather smacked the backs of Jamie’s hands, and he snagged Aidan’s coat before it hit the ground.

Leather?

“Cover that up,” Aidan said, eyeing his crotch. “And get yourself together. Debrief in the car.” Turning, he headed for the spinning luggage carousel, giving Jamie a prime view of his sinfully fitted jeans.

Get himself together…

Yeah, right.

Copyright © 2017 Layla Reyne

Review:

I enjoyed the suspense of Cask Strength–definitely had me on the edge of my seat, especially for the last 20% or so–couldn’t put it down! Though Irish and Whiskey are mainly dealing with their new undercover case here, a major plot thread from book one ( Single Malt ) is also still a pretty big deal (and continues to be into the next book) so if you haven’t read the first book, you’re definitely going to be behind. I liked both Jamie (Whiskey) and Aidan (Irish) a lot and loved them together, though Aidan’s behavior for much of the book was pretty frustrating. It was more understandable when we saw things from his POV, but still…hopefully they’ll manage to stay in the place they are at the end of this book and not make a backward slide relationship-wise like they did between 1 and 2.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Other books in the Agents Irish & Whiskey series:

 

SINGLE MALT

Available Now: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N| Goodreads

“Sexy, smart and suspenseful – this book has it all.”—HelenKay Dimon, author of MR. & MR. SMITH

 

“SINGLE MALT is full of explosive chemistry, captivating characters, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. A must read for any romantic suspense fan!”—Megan Erickson, USA Today Bestselling Author

 

BARREL PROOF

On Sale August 7, 2017: Carina Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Google Play | Goodreads

 

About Layla Reyne:

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist, Layla Reyne, was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Connect with Layla: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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May 12th Romance Playlist

5 Things Readers Should Know About Dawn Alteri, Author of BURN (with a new release review and giveaway!)

5 Things Readers Should Know About Author Dawn Alteri

  1. I’ve been writing romance since I was way too young to be writing romance. When I was barely a teenager, I started scribbling age-inappropriate stories in notebooks and in three ring binders, then I’d borrow my dad’s typewriter (I’m showing my age–we didn’t have a computer yet!) to type them up in the hopes of getting them published. I never submitted them anywhere. Looking back on them now, it was probably for the best.

 

  1. I love chocolate. Like, REALLY love chocolate. From M&Ms to Godiva dark chocolate raspberry truffles to chocolate mousse, chocolate cake and even chocolate tea. There’s a chocolatier in Denmark who makes a 70% Valrhona cacao dark chocolate truffle with a French black truffle inside. It sells for $250. I’m saving up for a dozen.

 

  1. I volunteer as an animal rescue transporter, moving animals from high-kill shelters to foster homes and safe adoption centers. Although I don’t have time to do nearly as much as I’d like to, it is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. These animals know they’ve finally found a haven after facing a devastatingly uncertain future, and they look up at you with such gratitude in their eyes, it truly warms your heart. Ugh. I’m getting all weepy just thinking about it!

 

  1. I may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with Charlie Hunnam. Specifically, Charlie Hunnam as Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy, Season 4, Episode 10. He was the inspiration for Ryan Monroe, the hero in my debut novel Burn, with his shaggy/spikey dirty blond hair, his blue-gray eyes, his fiercely protective nature concerning the woman he loved… And now I have to go watch it again.

 

  1. I’m really mad at myself for taking this long to start writing seriously! But the saying is true, better late than never. And now, I’m really, REALLY glad I finally did it.

 

Meet the Author:

A lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, Dawn Altieri has been scribbling stories practically since birth. After reaching a milestone birthday (she won’t say which one), she figured it was about time she took a shot at writing professionally.

With an overactive imagination and a slightly twisted mind, she enjoys reading dark and dangerous tales almost as much as writing them. When she’s not curled up on the sofa with her laptop, her latest story, a box of chocolates and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day), she can be found volunteering in the world of animal rescue. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and a menagerie of rescued fur-babies.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

About the Book:

 

Chloe Addison is on the verge of a promising career in real estate development until an explosion destroys her first major project and casts suspicion on her in an arson investigation. Her career is suddenly at risk—and possibly her life.

Firefighter Ryan Monroe wants a spot on the arson team, and getting close to Chloe might be the best way to solve his first investigation. Despite a painful past of his own, Ryan has dedicated himself to saving people, and when he realizes Chloe is in danger, she’s no exception. He just might be the perfect guy to rescue her, but their attraction could bring them both down in flames.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Review:

Burn is a solid first effort. The suspense is decent–I definitely didn’t know the whole time who was behind the fires, and there’s a few red herrings thrown in to keep it interesting–and the romance is sweet, if a bit on the instalove side. I especially enjoyed the first 60% if the book–a hunky firefighter with a protective streak a mile wide? What’s not to love? 😉 It lost me a little bit after that point, though, with the continued secret keeping and Chloe and Ryan only revealing select parts of their pasts to each other but then holding the exact thing they themselves did against the other person when the truth came out–very frustrating. The climax is suitably suspenseful and dramatic, though, and the ending is cute despite it’s being rushed. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from this author in the future.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Giveaway:

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release Review! WHATEVER YOU NEED by Barbara Longley (The Haneys #2)

Whatever You Need
by Barbara Longley

Synopsis:

In the second novel in award-winning author Barbara Longley’s sweet and sexy Haneys series, an introverted electrician rewires a young widow’s apartment—and attempts to mend her heart.

Painfully shy electrician Wyatt Haney is a pro at complex wiring jobs, but when it comes to women, he just can’t seem to make a lasting connection. If he had even half the courage of the superhero he penned for his comic book series, he’d finally be able to talk to his beautiful neighbor, Kayla—and stop hiding behind a hoodie. When an electrical fire breaks out in Kayla’s apartment, Wyatt comes to the rescue, sparking an attraction neither of them expected.

Kayla Malone has had enough surprises. First an unplanned pregnancy at eighteen, then losing her husband in war, and now a fire in her apartment. Thank God her hot neighbor has the skills to help. As Wyatt repairs Kayla’s apartment and forges a relationship with her son, he also makes inroads to her heart. It’s clear that Wyatt has fallen for Kayla, but is she willing to risk another heartbreak—or will she ignore the electricity between them and miss her happy ending?


Review:

Whatever You Need was a cute story and very sweet–the heroine’s little boy especially was a show stealer. (He’s almost too good, but manages to have a few mini-meltdowns that make him a tad bit more real.) This was the second in the series, but I didn’t have any problem at all not having read the first yet.

There were a few aspects that stretched credibility a bit thin–the amount of time the heroine’s misconception about the hero’s relationship status went on for, the virgin who has amazing sex and gives incredible Os the very first time (even with “research” I found it highly unlikely), the rather quick and painless way some pretty big issues were resolved toward the end–but for some light, easy reading with likable characters, you could do a lot worse. Having Wyatt draw comics in his free time was a nice touch, and Kayla putting herself through school with VA benefits made the horrible first husband storyline easier to take.

Though this won’t make it on to any of my favorite lists, there was enough that was enjoyable here; I’d probably give another book from this author a try.

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


View all my reviews