Release Day and Giveaway! THE BAD BOY NEXT DOOR by Jody Holford (Kendrick Place series)


The Bad Boy Next Door
by Jody Holford
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Contemporary, Romance

SYNOPSIS:
Shay Matthews moved to Boston for a fresh start…new apartment, new job, new routine. After too many years being coddled by her overbearing older brothers, Shay’s ready for some freedom and maybe a nice, easygoing guy. She wasn’t expecting to literally run into the scowling, brooding, (and unfairly smoking hot) guy next door.

Fresh off a haunting undercover assignment, detective Wyatt Daniels is jaded about life, relationships, and especially happily-ever-after. But there’s something about the independent and beautiful Shay that makes him want to dig deeper. Or stay away, which is definitely the smarter option of the two.

But the more Shay tries to convince herself that her sweet building manager, Brady, is the guy for her, the more Mr. Completely Wrong-for-Her Wyatt invades her mind and her heart.

 

Excerpt:

What were they doing here? It was some weird version of chicken, and at the moment, neither of them were blinking.

“I don’t need you to take care of me.” Best to remind them both of that.

“I know,” he said, his tone both serious and solemn.

His hand stretched out, and his fingers caressed her cheek. Shay let her eyes drift closed while she breathed

slowly through her nose. Taking a deep breath, she opened her eyes and stepped back. She didn’t mean it as an invitation, but that’s how he took it. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it.

“I told you I was going to be shit at this friend thing.”

Shay clasped her hands together to keep them from reaching out and stroking his body. They very much wanted to do that because they didn’t understand, the way her brain did, that it would be a worse idea than him being here.

“You’re actually very good at it. You’re funny and kind. A bit overprotective, but I think that’s got as much to do with your job as your nature,” she said.

Wyatt’s lips pursed together like he was holding back a sarcastic retort. “Thanks. I guess I meant I’m not very good at it with you.”

Her heart skittered to a stop. “Oh.”

Had he come to tell her he didn’t even want friendship? He clearly didn’t want more, since he’d all but turned away from her when she kissed him.

“I can actually see your brain turning over a bunch of wrong ideas.”

Crossing her arms in front of her, as if that gesture could protect her heart, she continued to stare at him.

He stepped closer. “I don’t want to be friends.”

Like a knife through a tire, his words slashed her heart. “Fine.”

Another step. Shay took one backward as he warned, “I’m no good for you.”

Her hands dropped to her sides. “So you’ve said.”

“Friends don’t generally think about each other nonstop.”

How did he know she did that? Or did he mean him? “I don’t think about you that often. You’ve got a big ego.”

Another step forward for him and another back for her. His lips tipped up in amusement. “I mean me. I’m not

thinking of you like a friend.”

Shay paused mid-step. “Oh? Just like an annoying neighbor?”

He smiled now. “No. Not that either.”

They were standing in the hallway center. If she moved to the right, they’d end up in her living room. The left would lead them to her bedroom.

She stood still. “Then what?”

“I’m not sure yet, but you should probably tell me to get lost.”

Shay’s lips twitched. “I don’t want to,” she admitted.

This time, when he stepped forward, she didn’t move. “I don’t want you to.”

The air between them was a heavy blanket of lust she wanted to crawl underneath.

 

BUY:

ABOUT JODY HOLFORD

Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MORE THAN FRIENDS by Jody Holford (Kendrick Place #1)

What happens when the best friend you’re in love with  asks you to love him back, but only for pretend? 
 
MORE THAN FRIENDS
Kendrick Place #1
Jody Holford
Releasing Dec 5th, 2016
Entangled BLISS

Owen Burnett planned on a quiet, easygoing Christmas, hanging out with his best friend and neighbor, Gabby Michaelson. So when his mom pressures him to come home for the holidays, he tells a little white lie…that he’s spending the holidays with his new girlfriend. But when his family shows up unexpectedly, Owen pulls the best friend card and asks Gabby to play his fake girlfriend.

Gabby’s been hopelessly in love with her best friend Owen for what feels like forever, but playing his “fake” girlfriend when the entire boisterous Burnett clan visits is easier said than done. The more she tries to deny the attraction between them, the more obvious their chemistry becomes. But even though she’s not the only one feeling it, putting their friendship on the line is a risk she can’t take.

Owen thought he’d find Gabby curled up on the oversized chair in his bedroom, sketchbook in hand. He had looked forward to seeing her there like that, he realized. Instead, she was sitting in the middle of his bed, in a pair of pajama shorts and a tank top, laughing at whatever album she seemed to be flipping through.

“Hey,” he said, ignoring the warmth crowding his chest. He shut the door behind him and arched an eyebrow when she slapped the album shut and put it behind her back. No. Mom wouldn’t have…

“Hi.” She scooted back on the bed, pushing the dark blue album, which he now recognized, under the pillow.

“Gabby. What are you doing? You were supposed to be sketching,” he said, advancing.

If it was possible to look down her nose at him while she looked up at him, she managed. “Is that what I was supposed to be doing? I didn’t know I had to confirm my activities with you.”

His legs hit the bed and Gabby’s body tensed, like she was ready to spring from the mattress. With the album, most likely.

His heart dove into his stomach. “Did my mother give you that?”

Her smile started slow then took over her entire face. Her eyes shone with it. She nodded.

Oh, Mom so did. He thrust out his hand. “Give it.”

“Oh, no. It’s too good. There are actual bath shots, O. And the time you dressed up as your sister. And there’s one shot of you learning how to pee standing up,” she said. Her words came out slightly muffled as her hand shot to her mouth to cover the fit of laughter.

He launched himself at the album, but she tugged it away just in time and he landed on top of her. The album went flying to the floor and Gabby laughed, twisting in his arms, trying to get away.

“You think that’s funny?”

She nodded. “I really do. I think I’d like to do a new series. Owen: the younger years. From print to paint.” Gabby’s body convulsed in laughter. She struggled with him as he tickled her and tried to get her to promise never to do such a thing. It didn’t take long for her to cave.

“Okay. I promise. Stop. I promise.”

“Say ‘I swear on my favorite set of brushes to erase all memories of what I saw in Owen’s baby book,’” he said, pinning her hands above her head.

She bit her lip, considering. “Owen, I will never, in my life, forget what I saw in those pictures. In fact, in times of trouble or sadness, I may purposely recall them,” she said. He tickled again, his fingers grazing her breast accidentally on the way up her arm. She squealed. “Okay. Okay.” He paused. “I swear on my favorite set of brushes to never use the images I will forever hold dear as the subject of any of my artwork. Ever.”

Owen stopped fighting his grin. He groaned as he collapsed to the side of her, letting her hands go. “Good enough. I can’t believe she gave you that.”

 

A sweet, friends-to-lovers (holiday) romance!

Owen and Gabby have been best friends for two years, since a few months after they both moved into Kendrick Place, when Owen got the apartment that Gabby, an amateur artist, coveted for its views, windows, and wood floors. When Owen comes up with the suggestion that she pretend to be his fake girlfriend while his family is in town for the holidays (he’d previously told his mother that he’d found “the one” in the hopes of getting her off his back about finding a girlfriend/wife/giving her grandchildren) and offers an apartment switch as incentive, Gabby swallows her misgivings and agrees.

Of course you know before you even get past the first chapter how that is going to go, so really you’re reading the book for the journey as much as the destination. And in this instance, the journey is enjoyable–as long as you can look past a few questionable bits. For example, I get why Owen’s mother, father, elderly aunt, and sister decide to bring Christmas to Owen since he wasn’t going to come home for the holiday. But why do they decide to stay with him in his two bedroom apartment (and only one of those bedrooms actually has a bed) instead of getting rooms in a nearby hotel? It seems throwing our hero and heroine into closer, more awkward quarters is the only real reason. Their friends-to-lovers romance is a delicious troupe–add in the fact that Gabby’s been secretly in love with him for most of their friendship and he’s totally oblivious (squee!)–so much potential. All good things. BUT almost the second she agrees to his whole plot, Owen suddenly realizes that Gabby’s a woman. And desirable. And okay, the whole having-your-eyes-opened-to-the-truth bit is a staple to the troupe, but there really isn’t any catalyst for it here beyond him asking her to be his fake girlfriend. He does, and wham! he notices that she’s a gorgeous woman and he’s actually attracted to her. Um, okay…

Then there’s all the background noise. On the one hand, Owen’s other friend Brady and the mysterious Wyatt (whom Gabby befriends) engender enough interest to make me hope they’re getting their own stories, since they all live in the series’ titular Kendrick Place. On the other hand, the side plots with slimy apartment manager Jake, the broken into storage spaces, the missing box, and the almost-broken-into mailboxes feel neither fully developed nor completely resolved in the end. Will they be further addressed in later series books? Maybe. It’s hard to say, and those bits make the story feel a somewhat unfinished.

And, argh–where are Owen’s glasses on that cover? Sigh…

Still, Owen and Gabby are sweet together, and their developing romance makes for some akwardly cute moments. Though this story wasn’t without its flaws, it has accomplished its job of making me anticipate future books in the series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile. 
 

 

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