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

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.

 

Release Day! THE SIN BIN by Nikky Kaye

 

BECKETT

Lucy Solomon showed up to watch a hockey game in a luxury box wearing jeans and a hoodie, and she didn’t give a puck who I was. Now the hotter it gets between us the better my team does on the ice, and I’m getting superstitious. I’m not skating around my feelings–I want to win the playoffs, and I want Lucy. But something’s gotta give.

LUCY

After being in a grad school cave for two years, it made sense that I’d be drawn to a caveman. I melted for Beckett Hallstrom’s brazen moves and boyish charm when we first met, but things exploded when I found out who he really was. Beck wants me to be his good luck charm, but the press is relentless and now my career is in jeopardy. Every competition has a loser and I’m afraid it’s going to be me losing my heart.

Amazon

“I’m not letting you walk home alone, Lucy.” Which would be true even if I let her get away. How long would it take for her to crack and admit she wanted me? When she let out a huff of exasperation, I wiped my hand over my mouth to cover my smirk.

“Beckett Hallstrom.” She unfolded her arms and used them to poke me in the chest.

“Ow.”

With her fingers prodding me, I let her push me back to the concrete wall behind us. Her cheeks flooded with color.
She narrowed her hazel eyes, which almost looked the same color as her hair in the glow of the streetlight. “I want to go to your hotel. I want to go up the elevator with you. I want to go into your room, and then I want to get naked. With you. Is that clear?”

I frowned, scratching the side of my head. “So no dessert?”
“I am dessert, you moron! Seriously, how many pucks did you take to the head?”
At that, I lost it. Shit, this girl made me laugh. First she didn’t know who I was, or had the slightest clue about anything hockey-related, and now she was operating without a filter. I fucking loved it. As soon as she saw my expression, she shoved me hard. Or at least she tried—I had nearly a foot and a hundred pounds on her.
“Argh!”
“Okay, okay. Don’t get your panties in a twist—unless it’s around your ankles.” This time I didn’t bother to hide my grin.
“At this rate, you’ll never see them.”
Before she could roll her eyes, I grabbed her wrists and spun us around, crowding her against the wall. My gaze roamed over her body, but just admiring her wasn’t enough for me. Needing to touch her, I splayed my hands out above her breasts, where her dress framed her upper chest. Gooseflesh broke out against my palms and fingertips as I spread my hands to the sides, seeking out the skinny straps under the shoulders of her little granny sweater.
“Beck…” It was a warning and a plea.
She looked up at me, her mouth a little closer than our previous encounter, thanks to the heels she was wobbling in. Her eyes were wide and dark with want, but also tight with anxiety. I wanted to do whatever I could to relieve her stress.
I heard orgasms were good for that.
“Lucy, just so we’re clear, I am taking you back to my room, where I am going to take that dress off you.”
She nodded. “Then what?” she whispered.
I took a deep breath, tilting my head. “Then, I’m going to see what color your panties are. And to be honest, I haven’t decided what I want to do first—eat your pussy or suck on your gorgeous tits.”
Her gasp surprised me a little. Did she think we were going to play naked board games? Then I realized she wasn’t shocked—she was turned on. As I spoke, my face moved closer to hers but didn’t connect, like opposite magnets. My arousal grew as well, my dick stiff and aching in my slacks. The hotel was only a block or so away, but there had to be a quicker way to get there than just hoofing it.
“Do I get a choice?” she asked.
“Of course.” I straightened, adjusting myself not so discreetly. “You have a choice to come on my cock, my fingers, or in my mouth. The order is up to you. But before tonight is over, I’m going to score that hat trick.”
“Hat trick? Is that some kinky sex thing?” She looked at me suspiciously, clearly ignorant of hockey parlance for scoring three goals in one game.
“You are too fucking cute.”
Nikky Kaye is almost my real name. I’m a former Film professor who likes more than her movies to be black and white. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. I have worked with movie stars, Ivy League brainiacs, and the United Nations—all of which means that I’m familiar with ass-kissing, power struggles, greed and faking it. In my spare time I parent 5 year-old twin boys, serve on the board of an independent cinema, and run a medical consulting company.

 

 

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY by Cindi Madsen (Taking Shots #4)

Today we have the stop for Cindi Madsen’s Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny. Check out this fantastic new romance and grab your copy today!

About Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny:

Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.

Get Your Copy Today!

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Review:

OMG, I loved, loved, loved this book! Lindsay is totally my fictional sister-from-another-mister. We’re like twins with the editing, you can’t turn that stuff off and give us HEAs forever and math? Ugh! And Ryder? Don’t even get me started on that guy 🙂 Between his refusal to give up on Lindsay no matter how prickly she was or how many walls she threw up to his math whispering abilities to his excellent making-up-for-being-an-a-hole grand gesture (the placement of that paintball gun had me flinching in sympathy), the fact that he is a hockey player too is like mile-high icing piled on the best cake ever.

Because, hockey.

Although I’m sad that this is apparently the last book in the series (but why? There are other players on the team….Daniel could use an HEA, for example, subtle hint… ;)) I have to admit that Lindsay and Ryder struck exactly the right final note. Though you could absolutely read Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny as a standalone, do yourself a real favor and read the other three books too because these four couples are amazing. They’re great when they’re secondary characters meddling into their friends’ relationships, but they’re even better when they’re center stage in their own stories.

Plus…did I mention hockey?

Need I say more?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Catch Up On the Series!
Getting Lucky Number Seven
Anatomy of a Player
Crazy Pucking Love

About Cindi Madsen:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

Connect with Cindi:
Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Enter Cindi’s Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Release Day Review and Giveaway! IN SKATES TROUBLE by Kate Meader (Chicago Rebels novella)

USA Today bestselling author Kate Meader, author of the Hot in Chicago firefighter novels is moving from fire to ice with the Chicago Rebels hockey series, and you can get a taste of that action for 99¢. Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, IN SKATES TROUBLE is a Chicago Rebels prequel novella with an older, full-figured woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you’ll swoon over. If you missed it the first time around, here’s your chance to grab it for less than a buck!

What’s it all about?

He’ll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn’t looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she’s due a little fun. She just hadn’t reckoned on the “fun” escalating so quickly to “out of control.” One minute she’s flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford “Killer” Callaghan can’t believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He’ll track her down because once could never be enough—even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

 

Read an excerpt here.

Where can I buy it?

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2pQqoBf
Nook: http://bit.ly/2poqT60
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ozPaRr
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2pQx5Dx
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2po1PvQ

Review:

A NEW KATE MEADER SERIES. Like I’m not going to get right on that? Riiiight.

In Skates Trouble definitely did not disappoint. A full-figured model (squee!) and a younger-than-her, hockey-playing hero who’s willing to put everything on the line to be with her? What’s not to love? Plus, we get just enough of a glimpse of the h/H of the series’ first full-length book to make sure our one-click finger’s going to get a workout…

Can’t wait!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About the author:

Kate writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

Where can I find Kate?

Website: http://katemeader.com
Twitter: @kittymeader
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatemeader
Kate’s Kittens, exclusive readers’ group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/578930782228475/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551743.Kate_Meader
Newsletter: http://katemeader.com/newsletter/

Giveaway!

Enter Kate’s giveaway here!

Free on KU! The KISS & MAKE UP Series by Sara Ney

 

KiC Amazon
About KISSING IN CARS (Kiss and Make Up, Book 1)

This novel, along with all others in this series, is a standalone with no cliffhanger. You’re welcome.

WILL SHE, OR WON’T SHE…

Studious and (mostly) sensible, the only thing Molly Wakefield wants to do is get through Senior Year and graduate. Well, that and hit the beach in her spare time. Okay, fine – and go shopping every once in a while for a new dress… (and who could blame her?)

And things are going according to plan – until the day she spies Weston McGrath, handsome star athlete and scholar, spying on her in study hall.

A tad creepy? Maybe.

Thrilling? Absolutely.

You see, Weston McGrath happens to be one guy no one can get close to.

Despite her best efforts to avoid it (because let’s face it – the guy isn’t exactly “boyfriend material”) Molly and Weston form a friendship.

And more….

Sort of.

But it’s a friendship that comes with a price – because Weston just cannot seem to stop screwing things up. Or saying all the wrong things. Possibly in that order…

And who has time for an 18 year old “fixer-upper” that should know better?

Not Molly.

Or does she?

Note: This YA book is intended for 17+ due to the vulgar language used by its male characters (and occasionally the females as well, even though they’re too lady like to do it throughout the entire book). Some adult sexual situations that steam up a few car windows. This title is approx. 63,000 words.

Read KISSING IN CARS for free with Kindle Unlimited!

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About HE KISSED ME FIRST (Kiss and Make Up, Book 2)

This novel, along with all others in this series, is a standalone with no cliffhanger. You’re welcome.

HE SAID…

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s the shrieking, overly-dramatic shrew that’s taken over my sister’s apartment. And what is up with her hair? I know what I want; an easy, uncomplicated lay – and Cecelia Carter sure as shit isn’t one. But I never could resist a challenge, and vow to wipe that condescending grin off her pretty face. Aw, shit. Did I just call her pretty..?” – Matthew Wakefield

SHE SAID…

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s an arrogant, selfish and foul-mouth hockey player. I know what I want; someone who’s good for my body and soul and makes me laugh – and Matthew Wakefield isn’t any of those things. I cannot stand the sight of him; I mean, what a jackass. If I refuse to give him anything but sass and sarcasm, it’s only because he deserves it…” – Cecelia Carter

This book is intended for those 17 and older. If you’re offended by cursing (particularly “F” bombs), sarcasm, sexual situations and Alpha Male jackasses – this book is not for you…

Read HE KISSED ME FIRST for free with Kindle Unlimited!

AKLT Amazon
About A KISS LIKE THIS (Kiss and Make Up, Book 3)

This novel, along with all others in this series, is a standalone with no cliffhanger. You’re welcome.

ABIGAIL DARLINGTON IS AWKWARD…

She will never be “that” girl. You know the one: that girl on campus, confident in her own skin. Always saying the right things. Putting herself out there. Knows how to talk to a guy without stammering.

Nope. Shy but clever, and easily embarrassed, Abby is fine being the wallflower in her circle of outgoing, beautiful friends; she would rather read about a sexy book boyfriend than actually have a live, breathing one.

…BUT CALEB LOCKHART IS WORSE.

Star goaltender for the University’s hockey team, Caleb is quiet and broody, preferring the solitude of his orderly, regimented life. He doesn’t like, or need people—and plans to keep it that way. One more year left of hockey and he’ll be long gone.

AWKWARD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD. Both their lives change the day that Abigail falls for Caleb. Well, falls directly on top of him, to be accurate. Because sometimes we don’t settle into love.

We fall there.

WARNING: This book contains cursing, and LOTS of it. It also has sex, uncomfortable and often awkward situations. Not to mention, the secondary characters say some really inappropriate s**t. Not intended for readers under 17

Read A KISS LIKE THIS for free with Kindle Unlimited!

About Sara Ney:

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Release Day and Giveaway! THE RIGHT FIT by Daphne Dubois

 

Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook-ups can  lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.

 

THE RIGHT FIT
Daphne Dubois
Released April 12th, 2017
The Wild Rose Press

When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.
 
As one of Toronto’s hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.
That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.

She dropped her gaze and stared at his hands. God, they are big hands. Big hands, big… “Do you want a coffee?” she blurted out.

“A coffee? Non.”

“Or maybe you need the washroom?” She pointed down the short hallway that lead to her bedroom.

He looked down the hallway, then back to Maxine. “You want me to use washroom?” he asked seriously.

“No.” She backed up a few steps until she reached the kitchen counter. The heat under her dress was now slick and uncomfortable. She glanced down and saw a mint leaf sticking out of her cleavage. Classy lady.

The romance cover model ran a hand through his hair again, making his biceps strain under the t-shirt sleeve. Maxine suspected he’d practiced that move in the mirror a few times. “Then what do you want?” he asked.

A burst of nervous laughter escaped, but then her smile faded. “No one has asked me that in a very long time,” she said. Slipping off his jacket, she laid it on the counter, letting her finger trace the stitching along the zipper, trying to build up her courage. “Why did you follow me into the cab?”

“Because no one has ever run away from me before.”

Rolling her eyes, Maxine looked up and saw that he was smirking. “Rejection is a new thing for you, I’m guessing.”

“Is that what you call inviting me here?” He tossed the ball cap and it landed perfectly on the dining table. The floorboard creaked as he took a step closer to her. There was a spark of anticipation in his eyes.

“Hold on, cowboy,” she said, putting a hand on his chest. My God! His muscles are rock hard under his shirt. Who the hell is this guy? She cleared her throat. “What makes you think you can kiss me again?”

He was still as stone under her touch, but Maxine could feel herself falling into his stare. “You kissed me,” he said, his voice ridiculously smooth. “There is a difference, I promise.”

It wasn’t only the French accent, but the confidence in his voice that made her knees almost unhinge. Her hand was flat on his chest; his racing heart was keeping time with hers. “That sounds like a proposition,” she said.

“It can only be decided one way.” Then he repeated his earlier question. “What do you want?”

He was so close she could see the faint brown and black colors of his stubble. There was a cleft in his chin. What do you want? An image of the long white box hidden in the closet was ignored; all Maxine wanted at that moment was to mold herself into his arms and forget about the last four years. “Kiss me,” she said.

His fingers grazed her cheek, tucking a wave of hair behind her ear. “Un moment,” he said. “A man should be prepared.” He peeled the last mint leaf off her chest then placed it in his mouth.

Maxine giggled through a surprised expression, which faded into a sigh.

Then, with deliberate care, he brought his lips down to hers, perfectly fitting their mouths together. He gently moved his chin starting a slow pace, controlled but with a sense of held back urgency.

This was nothing like the hastily stolen kiss at the club.

The cautious seduction was almost too much for Maxine. She wanted to taste him fully, kiss him back hard—tackle this moment like Alexis Colby.



Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she’s not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world.

 

 

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Release Day! THE HOT SHOT by Kristen Callihan (Game On #4)

 

the hot shot AN

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

TheHotShot Amazon-2
AMAZON | iBooks | B&N | KOBO | Paperback

FINN

She sits quietly as I eat, and shakes her head when I offer her a sandwich section. Because I’m hungry, and because I don’t like the idea of her having to wait for me to eat, I wolf down my food. The brownie follows with a few, quick bites.

Wiping my hands on a napkin, I set the plate and empty can on a side table, and then let out a contented sigh. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Her smile is small and quick. “I should have fed you as soon as you got here.”

“I’m good now.”

Chess braces her hands on the seat and leans forward to watch her feet as we slowly rock the swing. Silence descends, thick and awkward, and for the first time in her presence, I’m at a loss for words.

I don’t know this girl. Not really, and yet I’ve inserted myself into her life with a determination I usually reserve for winning games. Except I have no endgame here. I told her I want to be friends. But how does that work for us?

Our friends and lives couldn’t be any more different. Parties for me are self-congratulatory events, filled with people whose one focus seems to be bolstering my ego, followed by me searching for a quick hookup. And my friends are all part of football in some way. We talk football or sports. It’s a narrow focus life, but it’s my comfort zone. That chafes too, knowing I live a life that seems wild and free to outsiders but is actually small and structured on the inside.

The silence has stretched too long. I should go. But I don’t move. If I go, I know it will be the end of whatever this is. Embarrassment will have me avoiding seeking her out again. Likely, she’ll do the same. And that will be that.

The knowledge sits like a stone on my chest.

“I’m sorry about my friends,” Chess says. “They can be uncomfortably brazen.”

“So can mine.” I shrug. “Your friends are…fun.”

Her lips pull tight. “They can be. But they were definitely giving me—and by extension—you shit tonight.” She bites her bottom lip. “I don’t think they know what to make of you.”

“So I wasn’t imagining things.”

“’Fraid not.”

The novel sensation of being a fish tossed into the wrong pond grows. I’ve taken away Chess’s fun by coming here, and I’m sorry for it.

“I shouldn’t have asked you to come here,” Chess says in a low voice.

She’s only echoing my thoughts but the stone sitting on my chest pushes harder against my ribs.

Chess makes a small sound, as if she’s trying to laugh but can’t. “Parties suck when you arrive halfway through and don’t know anyone.”

“I know you,” I point out quietly.

She turns and the porch light illuminates her face. Green eyes met mine and hold, as a slow, true smile curls over her cherry lips. Something inside of me shifts and slides. I want to kiss Chester Copper. Haul her onto my lap and make out with her like we’re teenagers hiding out at our parents’ party. But that’s not what she invited me here for.

“I wanted to see you,” she confesses in that husky morning voice that goes straight to my cock. She turns away and stares out into the darkness. “It’s weird, you know? But hanging out with you was so unexpected it kind of felt like I imagined the whole thing.”

I know exactly what she means. My hand settles next to hers, close enough that our pinkies touch. That small point of contact sparks along my skin, makes me want to move closer. I hold steady because I don’t trust myself not to act. “I wanted to see you too,” I tell her. “It’s been a long fucking day.”

I hadn’t planned to admit that, but it feels good to tell her.

Chess eases back against the seat and then curls her fingers over mine with a light squeeze. The unexpected touch holds all my attention. It’s nothing more than a simple offer of comfort, and here I am twitching in my seat as if she’d cupped my dick instead. I’m in so much trouble here because this woman is getting to me in ways I don’t know how to navigate. But I don’t pull away. Not one fucking chance of that.

Chess speaks, pulling me attention back to our conversation. “So tell me about it.”

I can’t remember the last time anyone asked me to tell them about my day. Likely, no one ever has.

So I do. And with every word that leaves my mouth, a little bit more of my stress eases. No, I don’t yet truly know Chess. And yes, our lives are different. But there’s no way I’m ending this. Because when it’s just her and me, everything else falls away. I’m not going to let myself forget that again.

THS1

 

KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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Excerpt Reveal and Giveaway! CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY by Cindi Madsen (Taking Shots #4)

 

Every addict has their relapse.
 
CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY
Taking Shots #4
Cindi Madsen
Releasing May 8th, 2017
Entangled Embrace
Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.
 
Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.
 
Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.
 
Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.
Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.  

 

 

Every thought turned to how strong he was. How much I’d like to see all those muscles without a shirt in the way.

Once he’d counted off twenty-five, he stood and, as if he’d been reading my mind, peeled off his shirt.

I stared. Not subtly, either. Nope, totally unabashed, taking in every dip and groove of his sweat-glistened skin.

“Since we’re playing dirty,” he said, shooting his wadded shirt over to his bag. He grabbed my hand. “Last machine. I’m not sure you can handle it, though.”

“I’m not sure you can handle it.” As far as comebacks went, not my best, but I mentioned he was shirtless and crazy ripped, right?

He sat down on the leg machine, the one where the seat reclined at a forty-five-degree angle, and then he lifted the weighted bar that rested at shin-height with his legs.

He reached for my hand, and since I’d already talked trash, I took it, even though I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to handle it. He pulled me toward him, and I had no choice but to run my shins into the weights or to straddle the machine. I chose straddling, but kept space between us like I had earlier.

My heart hammered against my rib cage, beating in time with his leg lifts, the steady clink of the weights filling the air. Ryder’s eyes remained locked on mine, and energy crackled in the air between us. He sat up enough to run his hands up my thighs.

A dart of heat shot through my core, and my breath lodged in my throat. Ryder’s fingertips skimmed the skin between my pants and shirt and desire danced across my nerve endings. Still our eyes remained fixed on each other, and I wasn’t sure I was taking in oxygen anymore.

A distant part of me whispered that if I didn’t stop this…whatever we were doing, I’d be in trouble. But fighting my attraction to him was exhausting and the ache that’d formed between my thighs grew more persistent, drowning out silly things like common sense.

I leaned over like I had before, my hands braced on either side of him. He lifted the weights again, and then he brushed his lips against mine. Just a quick slide of soft lips.

My throat went completely dry. I pressed my palm flat against his stomach and slowly slid it up, feeling his firm chest and the hammering of his heart, which echoed mine.

Ryder gripped my hips and pulled me down to sit on his lap, eradicating the space between us. He lifted the weights with his legs a few more times, each rep bumping me tighter to him. Friction was definitely happening, and with each lift, it became clearer and clearer how much it was affecting him as well.

The tiniest whimper escaped my lips and he raised an eyebrow that added even more smugness to the curve of his tempting mouth.

Two could play dirty. So I sank farther into his lap and he groaned.

Of course, all it did was give me dirty thoughts and turn me on that much more.

He lifted his legs two more times, the movement shaky. He slowly ran his fingertips up my arm, across my collarbone, up my neck, and then he reached back and tugged my hair free of its ponytail.

He drove his hand into my hair, cupped the back of my head, and for one torturous moment, time stopped, both of us suspended right there on edge of crossing lines.


Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. 

You can visit her Website, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books. 

 

 

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New Release Review! WILD ZONE by Skye Jordan (Rough Riders Hockey #4)

Wild Zone
by Skye Jordan

Synopsis:

Tate “The Saint” Donovan’s jaded outlook really makes him more of a devil’s advocate. Ever since he discovered his ex-wife doing more in their bedroom than rooting for the home team, he’s given up on finding The One. In fact, he’s given up on finding Any One. So he isn’t surprised when his teammate’s engagement party is one mishap away from going up in flames—until a sexy, free spirit whisks in from Paris and drags the party from the fire. She’s whimsical, wild, and oh so wrong, but her breezy, freestyle attitude makes her utterly irresistible. Tate’s halo slips. He takes a walk on the wild side. And discovers wrong has never felt so right.

With big plans on the horizon, Olivia’s laissez faire attitude toward men is a perfect pairing. She’s drawn to Tate’s wounded soul, and the protective warrior beneath his brooding mask intrigues her…right into bed. Olivia quickly realizes the possessive passion he brings to the bedroom is like nothing she’s ever experienced, and her feelings for Tate turns her take-it-or-leave-it style love life on its head.

With her return to Paris imminent and his grueling hockey season approaching, Olivia and Tate must face the possibility that they are destined to be nothing more than star-crossed lovers.

 

Review:

Tate’s story! Yesssss!

Okay, so he was a bit of an annoying older brother and PITA best friend when he found out that Rafe and Mia were dating on the sly in Dirty Score. But he got over it…mostly. And the poor guy’s got reasons–his ex, Lisa, really did a number on him…seeing him in the first scene here, when he’s at Eden and Bennett’s (Hot Puck) engagement party, surrounded by happy couples and families all around? Broke my heart. Right then and there, I decided I needed this guy to get an HEA and get it soon. Fortunately, Olivia would appear soon to rescue him. Kind of.

She was there to do some kind of rescuing, anyway… 😉

Tate and Olivia were OMG so right together. I think I might have been more upset than Tate about the expiration date on their relationship. Honestly, I was about ready to sit the two of them down together and insist that they figure out some way to make sure they each got what they wanted from life and managed to keep their relationship going…and would have, except that I just can’t seem to get fictional characters to listen to me, which is a shame.

Fortunately, Ms. Jordan had it all figured out for them, so no intervention on my part was necessary.

Absolutely loving this series! How many more single guys are left on the team? 😉

Wild Zone is the fourth book in the series, but could be read as a standalone if needed. Actually, you’ll probably like Tate better from page one if you haven’t read the previous book–though he quickly becomes a more sympathetic character in this one, once we’re given a deeper glimpse into his POV.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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