A college girl tries to make up for her bad karma by doing one good deed for anyone willing to ask—a witty, sweet romance perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Abbi Glines.
Lara Montgomery is no good. Having been scorned by her classmates since high school, she’s used to it. From where she’s sitting, the one with more notches on the bedpost has more fun anyway. At least, that’s what she tells herself.
Really, a small part of her hopes that her massive amounts of bad karma can be neutralized by wearing her Do-Gooder hat—that thing she does where she’ll complete one good deed for anyone who asks. And she does an amazing job at it, if she does say so herself. Still, there’s one thing she knows she can’t make better, no matter how many problems she solves for other people: on the night her brother died, she was off hooking up with his not-so-single best friend, Fletch.
It’s been three years since that night, and Fletch just wants her to let it go. To him, her persistence with the good deeds only serves to remind everyone in their small university town about what they did. As it is, they can’t help but get into a heated argument every time they run into each other on campus. And yet, neither of them can seem to stop that pesky electricity that runs between them whenever they get too close….
Originally I thought the premise of this story sounded pretty good–could be cute, definitely showed promise. I started the book, and initially wasn’t terribly crazy about Lara’s character. She’s just so darn prickly and jaded, it felt like an effort to get to know her. Fletch showed some promise, though, so I kept reading.
I’m not even sure what point I was at–30%? 40%?–when I suddenly realized that I really did care an awful lot about both Fletch and Lara. The more she revealed herself to the reader, the more sympathetic Lara became, and soon it started to feel like my life was going to be negatively affected if those two crazy kids couldn’t manage to end up together in the end. Seriously, there were multiple parts in that last 20% that nearly had me in tears.
I’m not sure how much of that all was in the original version, but I can absolutely say that I recommend the rewrite! I’m putting Ms. Star on my list of authors to watch 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
College Life 101: Freshman Orientation
by J.B. Vample
Genre: NA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: December 18th 2015
Leaving home for the first time to attend college is stressful enough. But when the roommate lottery of Paradise Valley University strikes, it produces couples who have absolutely nothing in common; causing personality clashes which takes the stress to a whole new level. Dismay hits Sidra Howard, the prim and proper princess, when she contemplates spending an entire semester with Chasity Parker, the troubled beauty with a sharp tongue and even sharper claws. Malajia Simmons, a boy crazed, attention seeking diva, is no happier. Not only does she get stuck with the upper bunk bed, she has to share a triple room with Alexandra Chisolm, a nosey and overbearing, self proclaimed “know-it-all”. But even the meddling Alexandra isn’t as bad as Emily Harris, the shy, mommy’s girl with a non-existent backbone.
Coming to college to escape her home life, Chasity hopes to get through the semester without any problems. Her hopes are tainted once she begins to have to resist the advances of a determined football star, on top of dealing with family drama which seems to have followed her. Alexandra’s need to fix everyone’s problems not only rubs her roommates the wrong way, it also causes her to fall blind to the problems brewing with the boyfriend that she left behind. Eventually she’ll be forced to face the issues head on. Emily’s refusal to come out of her shell is too much to handle for party girl Malajia, whose main purpose is to have fun and be seen. The same doesn’t apply to Sidra, who’s more concerned with trying to keep her over-the-top stress level under control.
These five young women try to handle family drama, pressure, and conflicts; all while trying to maintain their grades. They quickly learn that college life isn’t what they expected and must adapt to their new environment if they ever hope to make it through their first semester.
Sidra sucked her teeth. Seriously? she thought, of all the colleges in this country, we had to pick the same one. She had known Malajia for years. Right up until their second year of high school, they had been friends. Then the arguments started, and they drifted apart. They didn’t have anything in common anymore; their new personalities and interests clashed. It was a relief when Malajia and her family moved to Baltimore.
“So I take it that you two know each other,” Alex concluded.
Sidra rolled her eyes, “Unfortunately, yes.”
“You act like knowing you is a joy,” Malajia snapped.
Sidra huffed, “Still loud and extra.”
“And you still overdress,” Malajia shot back.
“Ah, here we go with the comments about my damn clothes.” Sidra dismissed her negative comments by elegantly tossing her hands in the air. All through high school she had been the butt of snide remarks. She ignored them and never attempted to dress down.
“So? You started it, you snobby, prissy, freak,” Malajia shot back, pointing at her.
Emily hated it when people argued, and petty arguments simply annoyed Chasity. Both girls, so unalike in personalities, reacted in a similar fashion. They turned away, trying to pretend that Sidra and Malajia were not sitting a couple of feet away.
“Come on you two, that’s enough,” Alex interrupted, her patience exhausted. Malajia and Sidra startled, stopped arguing, and sat back like two children whose mother had told them to be quiet. “We’re in college now,” Alex reminded. “Whatever happened between you two in the past needs to stay there.”
“Whatever Alexandra,” Malajia responded acerbically. “Save that nonsense for this girl over here,” she advised, pointing to Chasity. “She looks like she needs a good talking to.”
“Bitch, I’ll beat that fake ass hair color off your head,” Chasity threatened, gesturing to Malajia’s burgundy locks
“I’d pay to see that.” Sidra cracked up laughing.
Malajia rolled her eyes at Sidra, then focused on Chasity. “Was that really necessary?”
“You shouldn’t have said anything to me. That was your mistake,” Chasity pointed out.
Alex decided to diffuse the situation. She leaned over and introduced herself to the sullen girl. “Hey, I’m Alex. What’s your name?”
“Why are you talking to me?” Chasity snarled with a cold bluntness that took Alex aback. Chasity had insulted Malajia, but Alex figured it was payback for saying something smart to her first. She didn’t think that she would snap over a simple introduction.
“Alex, this ball of sunshine is my roommate Chasity,” Sidra interjected in a not-so-enthused tone.
“You won’t be my roommate for long,” Chasity threatened.
“What are you going to do? Kill me? Because that’s the only way that you’re going to get me out of that room,” Sidra shot back.
“Don’t tempt me Princess,” Chasity warned.
“Will you two stop it?” Alex butted in sternly, her patience worn out. “Can we all just start over? I think that if we can do that, then we’re all gonna end up being the best of friends.”
The four girls stared at her, dumbfounded at the insane suggestion.
J.B. was born in Philadelphia, PA but has lived in California, Arizona and Maryland (while attending The University of Maryland Eastern Shore). Although she works as a Lead Time Entry Analyst, her first love is and has always been writing. She admits to having an over active imagination and to being a chronic day dreamer, both have helped with her writing. (She says that the scenes from her books play like a movie in her head). Aside from writing, she enjoys martial arts and reading.
ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One (Extended edition) Zoya Tessi
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.
All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.
All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.
But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?
I strode into the room confidently and, hands on hips, placed myself between Alex and the TV. Casting the joystick aside, he leaned back further and raised an eyebrow at me. I imagined fires being put out by one of his cold stares.
“Don’t you think it’s time to earn some of the money Nikolai pays you?” I asked quietly, careful not to let Beth overhear.
“On the contrary, Princess. I don’t think Nikolai pays me enough. Spending all my days in your sweet company qualifies me for special, early retirement.”
“Oh really…” I looked him full in the face and pointed to the chandelier. “The bulb blew this morning and needs replacing.”
“You’re right.” He nodded and continued to look at me, with no intention of making a move.
“Are you trying to make me lose it, or am I just imagining it?”
“No. I’m waiting for you to ask me nicely.”
“It wouldn’t cross my mind to ask you for anything.”
“You don’t need to ask me, exactly, just a few polite words: Alex, would you change the bulb? It’s not hard, trust me.”
“Are you serious?”
I couldn’t believe that he, of all people, felt entitled to instruct me about manners. God, he was infuriating. I regarded him carefully, a wicked smile building at the corners of my mouth.
“Alex, honey, would you be so kind as to change the bulb in the chandelier, it would mean such a lot to me?” I asked in the most sugary voice possible.
I watched as a barely noticeable look of satisfaction appeared on his face and smiled even more. Some men actually lived in the conviction that their word must always be the last.
“And please, while you do that,” I blinked at him like some kind of cartoon, “be sure and get electrocuted, would you?”
Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.
Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.
“Do I get a good-luck kiss?” he asked after checking for cameras, his hands framing my waist.
“Paxton.” I tried to make it sound like a warning, but it came out too breathy, too wanting. For crying out loud, I couldn’t even control my own voice against this guy.
He squeezed lightly and then groaned. “Did I ever tell you that I love this dress?”
I shook my head. The spaghetti-strap maxi dress had been a last-minute choice, but Penna said she was going to burn all my pants if she saw me in them for the twenty-first day in a row.
He leaned down, his mouth against the shell of my ear. “I can feel every curve under my hands, which makes me pretty damn desperate to slide this up your legs and really get my hands on you. But I won’t. You know why?”
I shook my head.
“Because you haven’t said yes—yet—and I’m a goddamned gentleman.”
My fingers traced the lines of the Chinese symbol tattoos that ran up his neck, simply unable not to touch him. “Do I have to say yes to everything to get to kiss you?” I asked.
His breath stuttered. “Do you want to say yes?”
Our eyes met, and it would have been so easy to say it, to throw my hesitation overboard and jump. But that wasn’t me, and it didn’t matter that I was in a breezy dress under the Italian sun with the hottest extreme athlete on the planet, I was still…me. “I’m thinking about it.”
His forehead puckered for a millisecond before he relaxed and smoothed the line of my waist. “Then I think we can take yeses on a case-by-case basis.”
My heart pounded in anticipation.
“Leah, would you like me to kiss you?”
“Yes,” I answered instantly.
Our hips met first as he drew me in. My hands slipped down the edges of his T-shirt to grasp the inked lines of his biceps. Arms like his should be modeled, sculpted, revered… or maybe just outlawed.
“Do you want to kiss me?” I asked.
“Hell yes,” he answered, then brushed his mouth against mine once before settling over me.
I opened for him, and he dove in, his tongue filling my mouth while my ass filled his hands. Gentleman, indeed.
Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory series, including Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned Skyward, Beyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes, and has been blissfully married to hers for fourteen years.
When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet, and a bunny named General Fluffy Pants who torments the aforementioned bulldog. They recently adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.
Rebecca is represented by Louise Fury of the Bent Agency.
Horribly Marvelous: The Diary of Cyndi Victoria Chase (Part One: Miracle Week) by Troy CLE!
This book is part of the Marvelous World series published by Simon and Schuster and Random House Listening Library.
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Cyndi Victoria Chase’s junior year was supposed to be about fun and getting into college while desperately dodging the pitfalls of being awkward and painfully self-conscious. All of that was derailed when the massacre of two of her Alonis Academy classmates marked the beginning of a local epidemic. That did not sit well with Cyndi, who is a highly imaginative girl living in her own “Naturally Augmented Reality” where she can flawlessly detect when someone is lying and see people’s words come to life right in front of her eyes. She’ll discover that she’s up against a vicious trans-dimensional and intergalactic threat that has dropped chaos upon her life, school, and town. Cyndi is Cyndi and will always be compelled to fight back; her powerful foes better be prepared for a battle that will become historic throughout the galaxy.
This book is part of the Marvelous World series published by Simon and Schuster and Random House Listening Library.
Horribly Marvelous: The Diary of Cyndi Victoria Chase
(Part One: Miracle Week)
by Troy CLE
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Troy CLE is the author of the Horribly Marvelous and Marvelous World book series (Simon & Schuster / Random House Listening Library Audio) along with being the creator of Marvelous World University. He is a graduate of New York University (BA American Literature and English, MS Digital Design) and a highly experienced lecturer who has spoken Harvard, UCLA, Colorado College and many other well know and respected institutions.
Genre: New Adult – M/M Romance Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Bad boy and former NFL running back Patrick Guinness is tired of meaningless sex. Ever since his scorching hot one-night stand three years ago, no one has interested him. So when Max Segreti wanders into his mechanic shop—and his life again—Patrick can’t stop thinking about the totally-out-of-his-league law student and the possibility of getting him out of his system once and for all…
Max Segreti has spent his entire life doing what his father wants. But when he runs into the hotter-than-hell player he’s never been able to forget, he’s not thinking about studying for the bar. A distraction is the last thing he needs, but after an encounter leaves him wanting more, Max embraces the chaos that Patrick brings…even as he knows it can’t last. They’re too different to ever have a future together.
Jumping up, Patrick yanked his soaked shirt over his head.
Damn, that shit is hot!
“Oh, fuck!” Max grabbed the wet shirt and tried to soak up the remaining coffee dripping off Patrick’s skin. “God, this is my fault. I should have been more careful.” Then Max jerked his own T-shirt off and blotted Patrick’s chest with it, his expression twisted with concern. “Are you okay?”
He was fine. Not that Max would stand still and listen long enough to find out. Fuck, the guy was too adorable. Patrick was lucky the coffee had been Max’s heavily creamed version and so not hot enough to do any damage.
Patrick braced his hands on the other guy’s shoulders, trying to hold him in place, but it wasn’t working.
“Max,” he called out to him.
“Do we need to get you to the ER?”
“Shit, Patrick, I—”
Seizing one of Max’s wrists, Patrick hauled him against his chest, bringing a halt to whatever else he’d been about to say. Max looked up, his eyes wide, stunned.
“I’m okay,” Patrick whispered. He couldn’t stop drinking in the other man’s features. Strands of Max’s dark hair had fallen forward onto his forehead. The guy had the most expressive dark blue eyes, with small flecks of amber around the pupil he hadn’t noticed until now. Patrick followed the bridge of the man’s perfectly straight nose lower to where it ended above the carved V of his mouth. Outside of his looks, Max was everything Patrick never went for, smart and obviously rich, judging by the expensive car and his big-ass condo. Back home, the only way he and Max’s type would have mixed would have been when he worked on their cars. Funny how his popularity as a football star placed him, for once, on the other side of the tracks. Someone who would soon be rolling in the big bucks. The pink tip of Max’s tongue appeared, momentarily short-circuiting Patrick’s train of thought as Max licked his full lower lip.
Patrick wasn’t sure who moved first, but the next thing he knew, he had his fist clenched in Max’s short, thick hair and his lips sealed against Max’s. A hard shudder of pleasure raced over him, and Patrick’s cock bucked against the confines of his zipper. Max groaned, his mouth roaming every inch of Patrick’s mouth, as if he couldn’t get enough. But Patrick matched his every move, unsure who needed the contact, the pleasure, more.
I enjoyed Max and Patrick’s story–though you should be warned, it’s not really a “sports” romance, even though the title and cover make it look like it is. By the time the book really gets going (the very beginning takes place three years earlier than the rest of the book) Patrick’s already retired from pro football due to an injury. It’s still a good story, but the sports involvement is minimal.
This is a second chance romance of sorts, since Max and Patrick had a one night stand back in college. Things have definitely changed, though–Max is about to take the bar and working for his dad, and Patrick has taken over both the family business and responsibility for his younger brother Liam. Patrick and Max seem right together from the start, even though they’re from different backgrounds and going in different directions in life–neither really thinks they’ll be together…until they do.
I liked the secondary characters here–Liam, and Max’s BFF and coworker Abbie–even Max’s sister Theresa, though we don’t see her much, has potential. If Ms. Lee is going to turn this into a series and give any or all of these three a book, sign me up for sure.
Falling for the Player isn’t without its issues–we miss much of their early relationship goodness when one chapter ends and the next fast forwards us in time, and the drama with Max’s dad ends up being settled pretty darn quickly, considering–but still, I found more to like here than not.
My first book by Ms. Lee, but definitely not my last 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Jessica Lee is an EPIC eBook Award winner and international bestselling author of paranormal romance. She lives in the southeastern United States with her husband and son. In her former life, Jessica was a science geek and spent over twenty-five years as a nurse. But after the birth of her son, she left her medical career behind. During that transition, she discovered her passion for writing romance and has never looked back. Jessica Lee is currently published with Entangled Publishing and Resplendence Publishing. Plus she has several self published titles available.
Dirty Hacker: An Alpha Billionaire Romance Roxy Sinclaire & Tia Lewis
Publication date: December 7th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance
I dug too deep. Now, I’m buried in the truth.
Recent high school graduate and computer genius, Sophie Hanson wants nothing more than to be part of an online hacker group. Spending her life behind a computer screen or with her nose in a book hasn’t been all that thrilling. Sophie’s ready for some excitement.
But how far will she go to get what she wants?
When the irresistible and mysterious billionaire, Preston Phillips finally relents and welcomes the young virgin into his prestigious hacker group, things take a dangerous turn. Selling her soul—and giving her body—to the devil wasn’t in her plans. Suddenly, Sophie is a pawn in Preston’s perilous and erotic games—with no escape in sight.
Dirty Hacker is a steamy standalone alpha billionaire romance novel. It’s only recommended for audiences 18+. No cheating. No cliffhangers. Guaranteed HEA.
Tia Lewis is a romance author from the Midwest who writes about smart, sexy, sassy women and hot, possessive alpha males. Her favorite bad boys to write about include sports players, mafia, bikers, billionaires, and the bad-ass next door. You can find her cooking, reading, or traveling when she’s not busy working on her next release.
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text LEWIS to 31996!
Roxy Sinclaire writes steamy, suspenseful, romantic stories as the main genre, and this includes a variety of different topics. Some of these include dark romances, action packed romances, mafia romances, and many more. She currently works in customer relations in New York City, but is trying to fulfill her passion in writing and eventually have her dream job become a reality.
The Billionaire Escape Plan Ember Casey
(Friends with Benefits)
Publication date: June 17th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
A sweet & spicy standalone romance from USA Today bestselling author Ember Casey.
Most girls dream of marrying a billionaire.
Me? I’d rather make fun of one. Especially if the billionaire in question is Alexander Grant.
Excuse me–Xander Grant. That’s right–the mega-hot entrepreneur who seems to top every magazine’s “Rich Eligible Bachelors” list these days.
To me, he’ll always be Alex–my childhood best friend. The guy who joined me on all sorts of wild teenage misadventures. The only person in our small town who understood me.
It’s been four years since I’ve seen Alex. But suddenly he’s back in our town at the exact same time my life is imploding around me.
We’ve both changed so much–I mean, the guy used to live in ripped jeans, and now he wears nothing but designer suits–but when I need it most, he offers me exactly the escape I need. A chance to run away from my life, if only for a few days.
“You’re asking me to be your rebound guy?” he says. He stops just short of me, not touching but close enough that I can feel the heat radiating off his bare chest.
“Not a rebound,” I say quickly. “As I’ve told you, that thing with Wes was over long ago. Just…”
I nod. “Just sex. Unless…unless you think our friendship couldn’t survive it.”
“Do you believe our friendship couldn’t survive it?”
Now it’s my turn to hesitate before answering. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it. I was more concerned with his opinion on the matter than my own.
“Maybe,” I say. “Or maybe not. But our friendship has certainly survived a lot up to now. I mean, we haven’t lived in the same place for years and years. And you’ve seen me at my drunkest and stupidest—”
“And you’ve seen me at mine.”
“Exactly. And we survived a kiss, and now I’ve seen you naked, and…and…feel free to stop me at any point, because if I keep talking I’m probably only going to make this more embarrassing for both of us.” I raise my chin, looking up at him. “Have I scared you yet?”
“No,” he says. “But I’m still wondering if you’ve really thought this through.”
No, of course not. But again, it’s too late to unsay all of the things I’ve just said.
“You can tell me if you think it’s a terrible idea,” I say. “Or if you don’t want to. I swear I won’t get upset.” It’ll just be me and my ice and my fingers alone together forever and ever. I’m going to die alone with a bunch of cats.
He’s still far too close to me. I can see his chest rising and falling with his breaths, smell the scent of his soap on his skin.
“I’m not entirely sure two people can have sex without things getting complicated,” he says.
“Plenty of people seem to think that men and women can’t be friends either, and somehow we’ve managed it,” I point out. What are you doing, Mae? The more you argue for this, the more desperate you sound.
But Alex doesn’t seem to notice. “I suppose that’s true.”
I press my toes against the cool tiles of the floor. When am I allowed to escape to my room again? If he hasn’t said yes yet, he’s not going to—and him dragging this conversation out to spare my feelings is only making things weirder between us.
“I propose this,” he says slowly, softly. “We go over to that couch, and the moment you tell me to stop, we stop.”
I frown. “I don’t understand. Are you agreeing?”
“I’m merely suggesting that we don’t jump into anything too quickly. And that you stop me the moment you change your mind.”
And if I don’t change my mind? I want to ask. But I don’t. I’m not entirely sure what he means to do, but I want to find out.
He drops his hand from my face and instead takes my fingers in his. He leads me across the dark room toward the couch while I’m still trying to understand what his intentions are.
“Are you just humoring me?” I ask him. “If you don’t want to do this, Alex, you can just tell me. I know you have plenty of supermodels—”
“Maybe I’m just as curious as you are,” he says in that low rumble of his.
“About whether or not this would ruin our friendship. I suppose there’s only one way to find out, isn’t there?”
Ember Casey is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in Atlanta, Georgia in a den of iniquity (or so she likes to tell people). She writes contemporary romances about sexy alpha billionaires, smokin’ hot Hollywood hunks, and adventurous bad boys.
When she’s not writing steamy romances, you can find her whipping up baked goods (usually of the chocolate variety), traveling (her bucket list is infinite), or generally causing trouble (because somebody has to do it).
Want to make sure you never miss a release (and get some awesome extras)? Join her mailing list here > embercasey.com/newsletter
✮✮✮SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY…FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance! And check out each stop on the FIRE IN YOU Review & Excerpt Tour taking place November 29-December 10!✮✮✮
About FIRE IN YOU:
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.
She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.
Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.
“Okay. This conversation has gone way off track,” I said.
“Those are the best kind of conversations.” He reached behind him and curled his large hand around the mug.
I ignored the comment and refocused. “The reason why I’m in your office is because I wanted to see you—”
“It’s about time you admit that,” he replied smoothly, and those eyes of his, dark and endless, took on a lazy quality that had my pulse once again pounding all over the place. “Have I told you lately how much I like it when you wear your hair down?”
“No,” I whispered.
“I do. You have beautiful hair.” His jaw tightened. “Never noticed that before. You always had it pulled up, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Always pulled up.” With one hand still wrapped around the coffee cup, he picked up a piece of my hair, running his fingers along the strand. His voice deepened when he said, “You’ve always been a pretty girl. I know I’ve said that to you before, but you’ve become such a beautiful woman.”
I wanted to laugh, to ask him if he’d been drinking this morning, but my heart was beating too fast. I had no idea how to process what he was doing and saying. Brock had told me I was beautiful before, but he’d always said it back then in a way that it was just a passing compliment, one tossed out and not really meaning anything. Hearing it come from his mouth now was nothing like before.
Lifting my gaze once more to his, I found that I was unable to look away. Brock was one hundred percent a grown man now and he never, ever had looked at me like he did in this moment, like he was…he was starving, and I didn’t understand how he could be staring at me like that. It didn’t make sense, not in the world we lived in.
Brock let go of my hair and his fingers brushed over the curve of my cheek. My skin tingled from where his fingers had touched, like an electrical jolt to my system. His gaze slipped from mine, coasting and lingering over my mouth before going even lower, and a sweet, heady flush of heat spread. Under the sweater, I could feel my nipples hardening.
Slowly, torturously, he dragged his gaze back up to mine. A shadow passed over his striking face and he swallowed once more, then lowered his chin. “Jillian, I—”
“Am I interrupting?”
I jumped at the sound of an unfamiliar female voice. A flicker of surprise skated over Brock’s face and then his jaw hardened. I glanced over my shoulder, and nearly fell out of my chair as I whipped back around, my eyes wide.
It was the fiancée.
Oh my God.
This is the first book in J. Lynn’s Wait for You series that I’ve read (why? I have no idea, and zero excuses. Every single one is on my TBR) but it worked just fine as a standalone. I’m pretty sure that most if not all of the other series characters made appearances here, so if you’ve read the others, it’ll feel link coming home for Thanksgiving.
Which Jillian and Brock actually did at one point, so… 😉
Jillian’s been in love with Brock since she was eight and he was fourteen, something that just about everyone around them knew but didn’t really discuss. She’s been his shadow, his best friend, forever–until they weren’t any more. But now six years have passed, and Jillian’s physically healed from the horrible experience that helped to tear them apart. She’s taking a job in the family business, and working with Brock. She can do this. Can’t she?
I loved watching Jillian as she slowly but surely took her life back into her own hands, and witnessing as Brock did what he could do to get her trust back. These two are so good together, and though they move pretty slowly here, you can see that it’s absolutely going to be worth it in the end.
And it totally is 🙂
Now, I’ve got a backlist to plow through…
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About Jennifer L. Armentrout:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.
She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
BELIEVE by Katie Delahanty The Brightside #3 Publication Date: October 24, 2016 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, New Adult Romance
My name is Amanda Conrad and I. Am. A doctor.When my cousin Liv whisked me away to South Africa to be maid of honor in her super-secret celebrity wedding, I was about to begin a five-year residency at NYU and was on my way to becoming a plastic surgeon. My plans definitely did not include a rock-star best man sweeping me off my feet.
But what happened in South Africa needed to stay there—he’d return to his touring and I’d start my residency, with our fond memories of a whirlwind, fairy-tale week. But now nothing feels right—I’m questioning my once solid plans, and I can’t stop thinking about him. Our lives are so different… Am I ready to risk everything I’ve worked for since I was thirteen—and put my heart on the line? To dream bigger than I ever thought possible? To believe I can have it all? That’s the thing about growing up…sometimes you have to be brave enough to redefine happily ever after.
Mark’s hand circles my waist, drawing me in close, and I awkwardly wrap an arm around his back. He takes my free hand in his, and I instinctively want to get closer, to nestle my face against his chest, breathing in his subtle scent—woodsy and clean—but I resist, letting the song sink into me, knowing his plans don’t include me, nor mine him. Ignoring the longing to feel his lips on my forehead, I concentrate on his chin, fearing I’ll get caught in his web if I look into his eyes.
“In your speech you said you wanted to find what was unattainable,” I say, wanting to prove to Parker (and myself) he wasn’t referencing me. “What do you want that you can’t have?”
“Lots of things.” We slowly turn in a circle. “But that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? The chase? Don’t stop until you make your dreams come true. And when you do, the next adventure begins.”
“I like your perspective, but that doesn’t tell me what you want.” I’m hyper-aware of how close our faces are, can feel his breath on my cheek. It would be so easy to lean in…
He stays frustratingly neutral and thinks for a minute. “I guess I want what everyone wants. Success. Love. Home… I meant that Berkeley has always been good at showing me what’s possible. He made me believe I could make it in music, and maybe he’s setting the bar for other parts of life, too.” Taking my hand, he twirls me in a slow spin before bringing me back to his chest. “And what do you want, Dr. Conrad?”
“That’s easy. I want to be a doctor, and not just any doctor—I want to be at the top of my class, an authority in my field.”
“You want prestige.”
“I don’t know if it’s prestige—more so validation—to feel like I’ve ‘made it’.”
“And what happens once you’ve ‘made it’? Then what?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far. It’s a long ways off.”
He nods. “I used to feel that way, too.”
“Then tell me what it’s like on the other side. What does it feel like to accomplish your goals?”
“I don’t know. The dreams keep changing.”
“But you have Grammys. That must mean something.”
Dipping me low, he takes his time answering. “The Grammys are nice, but at the end of the day they’re just a box I can check off my list. The more I accomplish, the more I realize life isn’t chunks of time meant to be suffered through to get to the end goal. There are thousands of shining moments to savor in between. The joy is in the process, the surprises that pop up along the way and throw you off course. At this point I’m more interested in following my heart and seeing what happens. I’ve given up trying to control the timeline. Opportunity finds you when it’s ready, not when you are.”
When Berkeley proposed I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.
Berkeley wants me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch; we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him.
I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?
I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me.
How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it’s all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…
ABOUT KATIE DELAHANTY:
Katie is a fashion designer turned novelist. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis induced career shift from lingerie designer to ecommerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband.