Blog Tour: The Only One Review

December 12, 2016 Blog Tours, Reviews 1

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From New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes THE ONLY ONE, a sexy new standalone novella in her One Love Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure you grab your copy today!

 

 

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Lauren Blakely’s THE ONLY ONE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule

December 7th

Hart’s Romance Pulse – Review

2 Girls & Their Kindles – Review

AC BOOK BLOG – Review & Excerpt

As You Wish Reviews – Review & Excerpt

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Little Red Reading Hood – Review & Excerpt

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

December 8th

BookSmacked – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Crazy Daisy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt

Lightning City Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Reading Frenzy Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

December 9th

Ramblings From This Chick – Review

A Fortress of Books – Review & Excerpt

Barbara’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Beneath The Covers Blog – Review & Excerpt

Knotty Girl Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review

Princess Reads – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Stacey is Sassy – Review

December 10th

Bad boys and Bedtime stories book blog – Review

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Liz’s Reading Life – Review & Excerpt

Read All the Romance – Review & Excerpt

Readers Retreats – Review & Excerpt

The Book Boyfriend Addict – Review & Excerpt

The Escapist Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt

WickedGoodReads – Review

December 11th

SnoopDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Book Bitches Blog – Review

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt

Lucia’s Book Reviews – Review

Quesarasera Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Bookery Review – Review

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

Bookaholic & Kindle – Review

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

December 12th

Ashley Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents – Excerpt

Go Read A Book – Review

In Between The Pages – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt

Maddy’s Reading – Review & Excerpt

Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Review & Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review

December 13th

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review & Excerpt

Musings of the Modern Belle – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review & Excerpt

Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt

Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt

Romanticamente Fantasy Sito – Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

December 14th

2 girls who love books – Excerpt

Collector of book boyfriends – Review

Naughty Moms’ Story Time – Review & Excerpt

Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt

Alba and Her Secrets..♥ Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

books are love – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book BLog – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt

Relentless Romance – Review & Excerpt

Stephanie’s Sexy Reads (soon to be Naughty Girls and Their Books) – Review & Excerpt

December 15th

Jackie’s Book World – Review

The Reading Belles – Review

Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt

Evermore Books – Excerpt

JaymeBooks – Review & Excerpt

Joandisalovebooks – Review & Excerpt

Lina’s Reviews: A Book Blog – Review

Novel Addiction – Review

Queenzany – Review & Excerpt

December 16th

Bloggin’ With M.Brennan – Review

naughty and nice book blog – Review

Pardon My Blurb – Review & Excerpt

Relentless book chics ramblings and reviews – Review & Excerpt

S3OC – Review & Excerpt

Shelly’s Book Corner – Review

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews – Review

The Whispering pages book blog – Review & Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Romantic couple touching and kissing each other
 

 

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Direct Link:https://video214.com/play/itFttmgwXE26fxl5YdB7XA/s/dark

 

 

 

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About THE ONLY ONE:

From the New York Times bestselling author of THE SEXY ONE comes a romance about fate and second chances.

Let’s say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.

Until ten years later.

Now, it turns out he’s the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available for my charity’s event.

The trouble is, he doesn’t recognize me.

***

This woman I’m working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I’m captivated and I can’t get her out of my mind. Even if it’s risky to tango with someone I’m working with, she’s a risk I’m willing to take.

The trouble is, she won’t give me the time of day.

But I’m determined to change that.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon Paperback

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My Thoughts:

So I was instantly intrigued about Gabriel and Penny when we were introduced to both of these characters in some of Lauren Blakely’s previous works. Gabriel seemed like this mysterious and sexy playboy and I was so ready for him to find someone to settle down with. I honestly didn’t really remember Penny, but she’s also an interesting and sweet character. I’m glad that she was able to find someone for herself. I’m a huge fan of second chance romances so this was just the story that I needed in my life! I highly recommend this one if you’re a fan of Blakely or just any kind of second chance romance with a lot of steam and sweetness.

Penny is now an accomplished woman who runs a non-profit shelter for homeless animals. She’s such a sweet and rather confident woman now. However, she’s always remembered the hot man she spent three incredible days with back in Spain when she was just 21. She also has a lot of hurt and bitterness towards him because he never showed up the day they were meant to meet up in New York. Now, so many years later, she has to turn to Gabriel for help with catering a charity event for her business. She definitely wasn’t expecting him not to remember her, and she is also surprised by how much she still wants him all these years later.

Gabriel is now an accomplished chef who has opened several restaurants around the U.S. When he met Penny or rather Penelope, he was a struggling chef who was just trying to get by. But then he went onto a television show which he eventually won, and gradually became more and more successful. Now, he comes across this beautiful and fierce woman who goes by the name of Penny. She reminds him so much of his beautiful, young Penelope that he had so many years ago back in Spain. But he isn’t totally sure if that’s her or not. Regardless, all he knows is that he can’t resist this woman and he wants her in anyway that he can have her.

So as mentioned, I enjoy this romance because it’s a second chance romance, which is easily one of my favorite tropes. Penny and Gabriel might have only spent three days together, but they still left an incredible impact on both of them. I think the romance is great because it might be short, but it’s still incredibly steamy. Penny and Gabriel definitely have some hot sex! Since this is only a novella, obviously there’s not as many as usual, but it’s still sexy nonetheless.

The Only One was the first 1,001 Dark Night short story that I have read, but it was still a very powerful and great one. Penny and Gabriel were two beautiful characters who were both very much deserving of a happy ending and I’m glad that they were able to receive one. Lauren Blakely has written yet another fabulous book. Seriously though, there’s nothing that this author writes that I’m not going to read and completely fall in love with. I can’t recommend The Only One enough!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 

 

Praise for Lauren Blakely and THE ONLY ONE:

“An extraordinarily dreamy love story that will melt your heart!”

~Beneath The Covers Book Blog

“This is an epic second chance romance that filled my heart with love, hope and longing.”

~5-Stars! Two Book Pushers

“Lauren has knocked this one out of the park and down the street into the kitchen of Rocco DiSpirito. This book is smart, sexy, and full of surprises with characters you can’t help but fall in love with. I want to find my very own Gabriel now. A sexy man with an accent who can cook for me. Who could ask for anything more?”

~Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

“Insanely romantic and so genuinely charming…”

~Fresh Fiction Reviewer

 

 

author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

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Blog Tour: Wound Tight Review

December 12, 2016 Blog Tours, Reviews 0

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Today is our stop on the blog tour for Wound Tight by Tessa Bailey! Check out this fantastic new release and grab this sexy new contemporary fiction today!

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About Wound Tight:

A sexy new M/M romance from New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey

 

When CEO Renner Bastion walks into a room, everyone keeps their distance. Well, everyone but the sarcastic, tattooed, Boston-bred security guard whose presence has kept Renner in New Jersey longer than intended. As if the unwanted attraction isn’t unsettling enough, Renner finds out his protector isn’t as unavailable as originally thought.

 

Milo Bautista just came out to his wealthy, ultra-confident boss, a man he secretly respects and admires…in more ways than he’ll admit. Worldly, experienced Renner would never look in his direction, let alone share some of that confidence he wears like a cloak, so Milo has set his sights on someone else to be his first.

 

Until Renner offers him private lessons in seduction…

 

Get your copy today!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wound-tight-tessa-bailey/1124566430?ean=9781633757646

IBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/wound-tight/id1151297595

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wound-tight-2

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20; onclick=

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

My Thoughts:

So surprisingly, I’ve never read a Tessa Bailey book before. I’ve honestly meant to, I just haven’t really gotten around to it. This one appealed to me because it’s her first M/M book. After reading Wound Tight, I’m definitely intrigued and want to read the previous books in this series. You can just jump right into this book without reading the others, though previous characters do show up. I found myself wanting to read the others in order to just get more time with these hilarious characters and learn more about their histories. I thought this was a fun and light read that I really enjoyed.

Renner is definitely a little bit of an intimidating character at first. He’s very serious, dark, and on the closed off side of things. However, it was still evident that the guy had a huge heart underneath it all. He cares extremely deeply for his family and a select few people that he lets into his life. So yeah, Renner is a tough guy to crack. He keeps a facade up that usually keeps people far away from him. He can’t deny that he is very intrigued by the younger security guard. Another thing that I liked about Renner is he knows who he is and what he wants out of life. He’s a mature guy and he really doesn’t want to be anyone’s experiment, but at the same time, he wants Milo in any way that he can have him.

On the other hand, Milo seems to be a lot more open and fun than Renner. Milo is younger than the seasoned and accomplished businessman. Milo has always considered himself to be straight and generally enjoys the company of women. Except he became intrigued with men when he met a secure gay man when he was acting as a security guard to a famous singer. Now, he’s asking Renner for advice on how to approach and be with men so he can prepare for this intriguing chef he met on tour. Renner has mixed feelings about being his teacher for another man, as you might expect. Anyway, Milo realizes that maybe the person that he really wants is the guarded guy that he is currently doing his best to protect.

The romance between Milo and Renner is nothing short of total steam. Seriously though, there’s this really hot scene that happens in a dressing room at a department store. The sex is really hot and passionate from the start. As already mentioned, Milo initially comes to Renner for advice so he can get ready to be with the man who first made him realize his true sexuality. However, Renner isn’t sure if he’ll be able to let Milo go once he finally has him. The romance here was absolutely awesome. Renner was very dominant and not afraid to put Milo in his place when he felt it was necessary.

All in all, Wound Tight was a short and sweet M/M contemporary romance that I truly enjoyed reading. I certainly plan on reading the other stories in this series and in her other books as well now. I think she’s a great author who’s written a very intriguing and steamy romance between two passionate and complicated men. Milo and Renner are both great characters with two totally different personalities who somehow make sense together. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you’re looking for a short and light read!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Tessa Bailey Bio:

Author Bio: Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

 

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

 

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of nine years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

 

Connect with Tessa:

Author Twitter: @mstessabailey

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TessaBaileyAuthor/

Author Street Team/Facebook Group: Bailey’s Babes https://www.facebook.com/groups/191945697620644/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessabaileyisanauthor/

Newsletter: http://www.tessabailey.com/contact

 

Enter Tessa’s Giveaway:

 

 

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Beauty and the Mustache Review

December 6, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

Beauty and the Mustache ReviewBeauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0.5) by Penny Reid
Published by Cipher-Naught on August 24th 2014
Pages: 376
Source: Library
Also by this author: Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3)
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three-stars
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, reclusive mountain man, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

So I’ve never read a book by Penny Reid before, but I’ve heard that her books are seriously hilarious and charming. I wasn’t quite sure where to start, but I decided to start with this one since it sets up the Winston Brothers series. I discovered that this was a fascinating story filled with fantastic and memorable supporting characters. I also thought the romance was really well done. I now definitely understand why Penny Reid is one of the first names people bring up when they mention authors of romantic comedy stories. Though this probably wasn’t my personal favorite in this genre, but I can still understand why people enjoy this author so much and I look forward to reading her other books in the future.

Ashley Winston is a hilarious and fabulous heroine. From the first page, she was just full of personality. She was ridiculously witty with pretty much every comment that she made, and I loved that about her. Ashley is a fun and generally lighthearted character. Though I will admit that I felt like she was a bit on the stuck up side when it comes to her brothers. In the end though, this didn’t end up bothering me too much because her attitude thankfully wasn’t like this throughout the entire story. She was also a strong character and we got to see a more serious side to her as we watched her accept the fact that her beloved mother is dying. I thought she was a great and compelling heroine as a whole.

So our hero is Drew. I thought Drew was extremely amazing and all kinds of swoony. From his first appearance, he continued to shake up Ashley’s world entirely. He was constantly surprising and complicated, which I really enjoyed seeing. He wasn’t a simple character, there were still so many layers to him that Ashley slowly began to uncover. I think one of my favorite things about Drew was how much he obviously cared about Ashley’s brothers and her mom. He was so supportive and comforting to each of them and I loved learning more about his compassion and kindness. Though I thought his character was absolutely awesome, I honestly longed for even more details about his history. I know that the author wanted to focus more on Ashley’s family, but it would been nice to see more of the specifics details about his family and past instead of a basic overview. I just wanted to see even more depth to his character.

Drew and Ashley made a good couple, though they definitely took awhile to get to that place. I thought that Reid was right to make the relationship between them to develop at a reasonably slow pace. They were both dealing with their grief and so neither of them wanted to push anything, though the tension was clear from basically their first interaction. I’m always a fan of the couple forming sort of a friendship or bond before they get into a serious relationship. I think it ultimately makes things more realistic when it’s written this way. So there actually weren’t many sex scenes between them and the ones they did had were rather on the short side. I was honestly expecting it be a bit steamier than it was.

Beauty and the Mustache was a funny and sweet romantic comedy that I’m happy that I read. I honestly adored all six of Ashley’s brothers and I can’t wait to read their stories in the spin-off series that revolves around each of them. Though I thought the characters were very endearing, funny, and filled with charm, there still seemed to be something missing for me. I felt like the plot was very interesting and I related a lot to the grief and loss that the characters felt. I guess maybe my standards in general for romantic comedies might still be set a little too high thanks to Emma Chase’s Sustained, but I just wasn’t completely feeling this one.

three-stars

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Wound Tight Release Day Launch

December 5, 2016 Features 0

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It’s release day for Wound Tight by Tessa Bailey! Check out this fantastic new release and grab this sexy new contemporary m/m romance today!

wound-tight

About Wound Tight:

A sexy new M/M romance from New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey

 

When CEO Renner Bastion walks into a room, everyone keeps their distance. Well, everyone but the sarcastic, tattooed, Boston-bred security guard whose presence has kept Renner in New Jersey longer than intended. As if the unwanted attraction isn’t unsettling enough, Renner finds out his protector isn’t as unavailable as originally thought.

 

Milo Bautista just came out to his wealthy, ultra-confident boss, a man he secretly respects and admires…in more ways than he’ll admit. Worldly, experienced Renner would never look in his direction, let alone share some of that confidence he wears like a cloak, so Milo has set his sights on someone else to be his first.

 

Until Renner offers him private lessons in seduction…

 

Get your copy today!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wound-tight-tessa-bailey/1124566430?ean=9781633757646

IBooks: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/wound-tight/id1151297595

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/wound-tight-2

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20; onclick=

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Wound-Tight-Jersey-Tessa-Bailey-ebook/dp/B01LM0N9OA?tag=entangpublis-20

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Chapter One.

Would you rather was Renner Bastion’s least favorite game.

Scratch that. All games were his least favorite.

He couldn’t help playing one, however, as he stared down at his factory floor. Security guard Milo Bautista flirted with one of the older female assembly line workers, twirling her by the hand as if they were on a cruise ship dancing to bongo music. Renner stood in an air-conditioned office, surrounded by silence. So. Would he rather be upstairs in his impeccably clean suit, or downstairs, covered by factory grease that seemed to ooze from every corner of his New Jersey manufacturing plant? Considering that Milo and the woman looked joyful while Renner was in a shitty mood, he didn’t have an answer.

How you like them apples?

Jesus. Thanks to Milo, he was even starting to think in a Boston accent. The man who’d ordained himself Renner’s personal one-man security detail without permission was more Boston than Mark Wahlberg at a fucking Red Sox game. Wearing Paul Revere’s hat.

And yet here Renner was, kind of wishing the jerk would come upstairs where he belonged, instead of making the female population of Hook swoon.

“There’s a good sign it’s time to go home,” Renner muttered, his breath creating condensation on the glass. He’d been saying the same thing for weeks now. It’s time to go home. Not to his two-bedroom in Hook, though. His apartment in Manhattan. Or his flat in China. Or any one of the homes he’d rented to keep an eye on his other ventures.

The damage sustained by the factory explosion in Hook had been repaired weeks ago, the construction no longer requiring his daily supervision. God knew his employees were sick to death of his presence, turning their backs whenever he passed through their midst. Yet here he remained, in this town full of nosy people constantly wanting to grill meat and drink beer from cans, watching everyone else live from the other side of the glass.

“What a cliché you’ve become.” Renner reached to his left, pouring whiskey from a glass decanter into a tumbler and lifting it to his lips for a long sip. “Resented boss. Spoiler of fun.” The liquor lit a path of fire on its way down. “The one who gets shit done and signs everyone’s paychecks. Don’t forget that part.”

As if Renner had spoken into the intercom instead of to himself, Milo’s smooth movements snagged while dipping the enamored worker. His dark-haired head came up, his gaze finding Renner upstairs, that eyebrow tilting as if to say, want to take a picture, boss man?

That was their relationship, if you could refer to it as such. Renner gave Milo orders, as he did to all of his employees, and Milo told him to shove it, going about following instructions in his own way. His signature loose-limbed, ready to rumble, swaggering way. Sometimes he even winked at Renner while following through, which in itself should have been grounds for firing. Even if winking didn’t break any codes of conduct per se, it certainly violated Renner’s own unwritten rule book. As did Milo’s walking into his office without knocking and throwing sarcasm Renner’s way at every available opportunity.

Apparently Milo fell into some kind of gray area that allowed him to disrespect Renner’s authority and retain his job. The rugged Bostonian may have been hired several months ago by Vaughn, the head of factory security and an old army buddy of Milo’s, but Renner had the ultimate power to hire and fire. Putting up with the subtle jabs and sarcasm had nothing to do with Renner’s reluctant fascination with the security guard. Or the way a flame lit under his blood every time the man was close by. Nothing whatsoever. He had a strict set of rules when it came to other men, and Milo violated them all by being his employee. Not to mention being too young…and too straight. Like, chest bumps and beer koozies straight. In other words, Renner was doing his best to ignore how Milo’s security shirt had come unbuttoned halfway to his belt and sweat was beginning to catch the bright factory lights—

“Right.”

Renner swallowed the remaining inch of whiskey and turned away from the window. He needed to get some sleep. He’d been working on a new contract pitch for three days, and his common sense was beginning to blur. The account he was trying to land didn’t want to use their facilities, anyway. Despite Bastion Enterprises’ pristine track record, the rejections continued. Why was he trying so hard?

Because that’s what Renner did. He worked until he collapsed. Late hours, red-eye flights, exhaustion, coffee, whiskey. Repeat. After being doubted by countless associates on his rise to the top, a fire burned in his gut, daring him to prove himself. It never, ever went away.

Yes, work was his cruelest vice, and it kept him moving. Never settling. He certainly didn’t make habits of outstaying his welcome in one town. A place where he didn’t warrant so much as a wave when walking down the street. It was absurd that Milo, an employee who had about as much respect for Renner as a delinquent child for a school principal, should make him feel…welcome. For the love of God, he’d greeted Renner with a middle finger this morning and yet somehow, Renner had been looking forward to it. At least it was an acknowledgment.

Time to go home. Seriously.

Back to the city. Back to sanity. Back to dating men who were available to him.

Why was there so little appeal to the latter?

With an irritated curse, Renner went to his desk and began shoving files into his leather briefcase. If he went out the back door, he wouldn’t have to ruin everyone’s fun downstairs. His Mercedes was parked a few blocks over, despite Milo’s insistence that he “pahk in the freakin’ laht,” so he would avoid that argument as well.

That was not a disappointed tug in his stomach; he’d just skipped dinner.

Milo watched the light go out in Renner’s office and knew the stubborn prick was going to try to sneak out without him. The guy really thought he was untouchable, didn’t he? But in a town full of people who disliked him—especially after firing their beloved mechanic, Duke, and the explosion that followed—Renner didn’t get to waltz around in the dark in his five-thousand-dollar suit. Maybe Hook was slightly safer than Milo’s old Boston neighborhood, but at age twenty-six, caution still ran in his blood.

He’d been hired to keep the factory safe, and that duty extended to Renner, the factory’s owner, whether the dude liked it or not. The army had taught Milo to take his responsibilities seriously, and after a disorganized, all-around backward youth, he’d learned there was satisfaction in being thorough. To be proud of a job.

Responsibility. Yeah. That was so why he was so protective over Renner.

Milo snorted to himself and gave a sweeping bow to the woman in front of him. She was sweet, this lady. Kind of reminded him of the librarian who’d kept a forty-ounce in her desk back in middle school. Quick with a joke and loved anyone who noticed she still had a little fire in her. “All right, pretty lady. I have to take off.” Milo took her hand, giving her one final spin. “You go easy on the boys at the Third Shift tonight. Just remember who got you warmed up.”

She doubled over and laughed along with her friends, who’d stayed behind to watch. “Why don’t you come out and give me a spin yourself?”

“Ah, you know how it is.” He winked at them as he re-buttoned his shirt. “Hot date.”

Milo left them laughing on the factory floor as he jogged toward the back exit. Wondering how far Renner had gotten without him, his smile dimmed. Bet he hadn’t even parked that Mercedes in the gated lot, like he was supposed to. Maybe the guy liked being reminded. Good. That’s exactly what was going to happen.

Crisp, fall coolness slithered inside Milo’s shirt when he slammed out of the factory, the metal door booming shut behind him. He took a right and hit the sidewalk, knowing Renner liked to park near the coffee shop so he could feed his caffeine addiction immediately after stepping out of his shiny black ride in the mornings.

Yeah, he’d been observing his boss somewhat…closely. But not only for the reason Renner assumed. Also known as the same justification Milo gave himself—that he wanted to excel at his job. It was more than that, though. Maybe his careful following of Renner’s movements had begun as a way to keep the factory owner safe, but it had developed into something else entirely. Curiosity. Even…awe on occasion. What would it be like to be so comfortable, so sure of himself, the way Renner was? Being that the guy was private as hell, Milo had a feeling his boss wouldn’t like it one bit if he knew Milo was following him…hoping to learn.

The possibility of Renner’s being pissed wasn’t stopping Milo from going after him, though. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if there was anything that could. Which was pretty fucking confusing. Considering Milo was carrying a torch for someone else.

That troubling thought was still weighing Milo down when he turned the corner and finally heard footsteps. Heavy, purposeful ones that belonged to Renner. Up ahead, the lights of his boss’s Mercedes flashed, signaling that he’d unlocked the car with the key chain remote. Any second, he would be safe inside the vehicle and Milo could go back to his apartment. For now, he would just hang back in the shadows and watch—

Three men converged on Renner from all sides.

Milo was already running, cursing under his breath about stubborn city people and gated parking lots. He was still a full block behind Renner, so he was forced to watch some punches being exchanged…and not surprisingly, some of them were being thrown by Renner. Built like a hockey goaltender, the man was intimidating. He just was. That was half the problem with him walking the dark streets of Hook. There were a lot of good people in this town, but there were also men who wanted very badly to put rich, arrogant Renner in his place, and maybe get a packed wallet in the process.

Yeah, Renner was holding his own, but the odds were against him. He delivered a right cross to one of the hooded attackers’ faces, but two of the men grabbed him from behind, allowing the punch recipient to get his revenge. Renner’s head snapped back, and that’s when Milo reached the group, drawing his Colt in one smooth motion.

“Told you to park in the lot, boss man.”

“Now really isn’t the time, Bautista.”

Milo’s smile was tight as he leveled the gun beyond Renner’s shoulder. “You’re going to want to step away from him. I’ve got aim for days.”

“Aw, look at that,” said the man who wasn’t holding back Renner. “His boyfriend came to rescue him.”

“Oh, come on,” Renner said, looking almost relaxed. “He’s really not my type.”

Milo ignored the weird discomfort in his chest. “Yeah. I won’t lose any sleep over that black eye he’s going to have, but I would over losing my job.” He strode forward and grabbed a hold of Renner’s thick biceps, pulling him out of the men’s hold. Backing both of them up so he could have a clear angle on all three perpetrators, Milo jerked his head in the direction of the nearby alleyway. “Are you sticking around so I can call the cops, or what? Get the hell out of here.”

Milo and Renner were silent as the men took off into the darkness, kicking trash can lids as they went. Only then did Milo let out the breath he’d been holding, his arms lowering in degrees. If even two of the attackers had been carrying weapons, things could have turned out way worse. Thank God they appeared to be nothing more than some misguided kids. In a close-knit place like Hook, sometimes judgment calls had to made about what represented actual danger and what actions could go a long way toward keeping the respect and admiration of people in town. Still, looking the other way bothered Milo. Especially when someone could have been hurt. Renner, specifically.

“Next time you might not be so lucky, you know,” Milo said, turning toward Renner. His usual lecture was poised right on the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t bring himself to utter a single word of it when faced with the swelling of Renner’s right eye. “Shit.” A lump grew in his throat. “Sorry I didn’t come sooner.”

Renner scoffed and ducked past a cringing Milo. Why had he apologized like that? The guy was open to sympathy like the military was open to accepting poodles as recruits. As in, not open to it. That wasn’t how he and Renner worked. Milo had learned to navigate his boss by giving as good as he got.

Letting on that he secretly respected and admired the man was out of the question.

Milo swallowed and tried again, catching Renner just before he could climb into the Mercedes. “You going to say thank you or anything, you ungrateful dick?”

Renner had already opened the driver’s side door, but he slammed it closed now, striding back toward Milo with a curious look on his face. “Actually, I have a question.” He seesawed his hand between their chests. “What are you doing? Why do you insist on following me? I’m a grown man, Milo. I have the right to get mugged in peace.”

“Wow. You just said that out loud.” The back of Milo’s neck pulled taut at the line of questioning, but he forced a belligerent expression. “I’ve told you before, this is my job—”

“No.” Renner shook his head. “No. You’re not assigned to me. I didn’t ask you to be my watchdog. This is all of your own free will.”

Damn. Milo hadn’t expected this. At least, he hadn’t expected Renner to get in his face like this. So…close. Like the way he got close with other men? What did he think about Milo’s face from such a scant distance? “I…uh.” Milo stepped back, replacing the gun in its holster on his belt. “Like I said, you’re welcome. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’m going back to the city in the morning.” That statement hung in the air between them like low fog. Or was Milo only imagining it? Just like he was imagining the hard drumming inside his rib cage? “Before I go, Bautista, I want you to tell me what all this is about. We don’t even like each other, right? And yet here you are. You’re constantly around, worrying about my safety. I…” He loosened his tie with rash movements. “Perhaps the differences in my…biology make me seem different from someone like you, but I’m the furthest thing from weak—”

“That’s what it is,” Milo blurted, shocking himself. What was the point in keeping the truth to himself anymore, though, if Renner was leaving in the morning? “Not the part about you being weak. I don’t think that. The opposite, actually. You’ve got a pretty nice right hook there, boss man.”

Renner raised an eyebrow.

“Okay.” Christ. His blood was flowing in seventeen directions, his tongue weighing as much as a horse in his mouth. This was real. This was happening. “Okay, I’ve been watching you. All right?”

A heavy beat passed. “Why?”

See, that’s where things got murky. It had started as a way to study Renner’s confidence, hoping to build his own. Along the way, though, Milo had gotten…off track. By more than a few degrees. Instead of learning how to be comfortable in his own skin by following the lead of a man who epitomized confidence, Milo had developed something of a crush. Who wouldn’t? Renner was concise, demanding and intelligent, and he didn’t give a fuck who disapproved of him. A badass who could raise an eyebrow and have employees running for cover.

Not to worry, though. Milo had righted the wayward course. He was charted in the right direction once again. In no world did Milo and Renner make sense. Nor did his boss ever look at him with anything other than vexation. It was a dumb infatuation on Milo’s end and nothing would ever come out of it. He actually had a chance with someone else. Someone he genuinely liked. The man who’d stirred his first attraction to the same sex. Maybe his ill-advised interest in Renner had been taking a front seat lately, but that was a proximity issue. Things would change.

A lot of things. Starting now.

“I just…I have a thing for someone. And I don’t know how to approach him about it.” The drumming in his ears beat louder. “You’re the only guy I know who—”

“I’m sorry.” Renner held up a finger. “Did you just say you have a thing for a him?”

 

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Tessa Bailey Bio:

Author Bio: Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

 

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

 

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of nine years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

 

Connect with Tessa:

Author Twitter: @mstessabailey

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TessaBaileyAuthor/

Author Street Team/Facebook Group: Bailey’s Babes https://www.facebook.com/groups/191945697620644/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessabaileyisanauthor/

Newsletter: http://www.tessabailey.com/contact

 

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Do You Want to Start a Scandal Review

December 5, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Do You Want to Start a Scandal ReviewDo You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5) by Tessa Dare
Published by Avon on September 27th 2016
Pages: 272
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library.•Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan?•Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall?•Perhaps the butler did it.
All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.
But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit … and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.
Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?

So I’ve never read a historical romance before. I’ve tried reading a few of them, but I just haven’t been able to get into them for whatever reason. I’m a fan of basically all types of romances, so it’s weird that historical hasn’t seemed to be my thing. I decided to give Tessa Dare a shot since she’s one of the most popular authors in the genre. I started with the fifth book in the series, which may have not been smart since characters from previous books appear in this one, but I was able to catch up for the most part. I settled on this one just because it’s her most recent book and the concept seemed like my cup of tea. Anyway, I’m happy that I read this one because it actually worked for me! I’m still not sure if I’m going to love ALL books in this genre, but this is definitely a good start.

One of the best parts of the story was easily the MC Charlotte. She was just full of sass and didn’t take crap from anybody. She reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She’s not the type of person to simply sit on the sidelines and watch the men do all the work. She’s the girl who gets right in there and does whatever she can. I loved her attitude and her personality in general. It was all extremely refreshing to see and I certainly won’t mind this genre if more heroines have this kind of spirit. She’s also very perceptive from the start. Her romance with Piers begins due to both of them being in the library when two lovers come in and so the pair is forced to hide together. After the lovers leave, a little boy declares to everybody that he heard noises coming from there and everyone assumes it was Piers and Charlotte. So Charlotte does a little Nancy Drew work to get to the bottom of who it actually was so she won’t be forced to marry Piers. This wasn’t a huge part of the plot, but I liked it because it showed us yet another endearing and awesome side to our heroine.

Piers is definitely one swoony dude. I was afraid that he might be too possessive and typical alpha male. However, he wasn’t exactly that. He had a cold and closed off way about him, but he was much more than just that. Once Charlotte got him to open up, she realized that he was quite the kind and caring man. Yes, he’s serious about his work and doesn’t want any distractions from it, but he also can’t help falling for Charlotte from the first time he meets her. He also had such a romantic and sweet side to him which his girl easily brought out of him. He said some ridiculously hot things at times that sort of bordered on being corny, but were still meaningful coming from him.

Piers and Charlotte made a beautiful and strong couple. As mentioned, they are basically forced into marriage when they are caught together since this is obviously a huge scandal since they aren’t married. Piers surprisingly wants to marry Charlotte for reasons that are completely unknown to her at the time. She’s very much concerned about taking extraordinary spy measures to finding out who the lovers are, but Piers could really care less about discovering who it is. The real focus is on their relationship and not the mystery part, though I liked that as well. In the end, Piers and Charlotte made a good team because Piers allowed them to be one. What I mean by that is they are partners, he doesn’t have total control over everything. The romance was also steamier than I was expecting it to be.

This was a refreshing and surprising read for me. If you aren’t sure what to make of historical romances, you should definitely read this book. In my opinion, it represents pretty much the opposite of what I was expecting a historical romance novel to represent. It was truly a beautiful and compelling love story that managed to hold my attention from the first page. I certainly plan on reading more books by Tessa Dare as soon as possible!

four-stars

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ARC Review: Girls in the Moon

December 4, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: Girls in the MoonGirls in the Moon by Janet McNally
Published by HarperTeen on November 29th 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An exquisitely told, authentic YA debut about family secrets, the shadow of fame, and finding your own way.
Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth. Her mother, Meg, ex–rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister, Luna, indie-rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the cofounder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.
But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and to maybe even continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months. Told in alternating chapters, Phoebe’s first adventure flows as the story of Meg and Kieran’s romance ebbs, leaving behind only a time-worn, precious pearl of truth about her family’s past—and leaving Phoebe to take a leap into her own unknown future.

So I’ve seen a lot of people compare this book to a Sarah Dessen story, which is what initially made me pick this one up. Maybe my expectations were set too high, but I feel like this didn’t compare to any of her books in my mind. I’ll admit that this is definitely a unique kind of YA book, so I do recommend it if you’re looking for something different. I think that the author has quite a bit of potential, and I plan on reading whatever she writes next. However, this wasn’t entirely my cup of tea and it wasn’t all that memorable to me as a whole.

This book follows teenage girl Phoebe, who is the child of two famous musicians. Her parents ended up divorcing when Phoebe and her sister were young. Her mom ended up stepping out of the spotlight to raise the girls, while her dad ended up staying in the city and continuing his career. Now, Phoebe’s sister Luna has a band of her own and wants to become famous as well. Her mom wants Phoebe to convince Luna to give up touring and go back to college, but Phoebe isn’t sure what the right thing for Luna to do actually is. I thought that Phoebe was a pretty interesting character as a whole. I liked seeing her character development as the book progressed. I found the romance that she had to be charming and adorable. It was easily one of my favorite parts of the book.

The unique part of Girls in the Moon comes from the POV’s alternating between Phoebe and Meg (their mom) at different periods in her life. The first chapter from Meg picks up when the girls are just babies and she’s separating from her husband. Then the remaining chapters go back in time and reveal more about her relationship with Kieran (her now ex-husband) and how the band formed and became famous. While it was definitely different, I felt like some of the chapters were extremely random. I get that knowing more about Meg and Kieran is essential to the story, but sometimes it felt like it took us out of what was happening to Phoebe in the present. I just felt like maybe it could have been organized in a better way.

Though I thought the romance between Phoebe and one specific character was super adorable and fascinating to read about, that honestly was only a little portion of the main story. The main point of the story is the relationship between Phoebe, Meg, and Luna. Though the three all love one another, they each have complicated relationships. I really did enjoy learning more about each of them along with the similarities and differences between them. There was also a lot of complications and mysteries surrounding the girls and Kieran. I think that all of these dynamics made this book stand out in a very real way. Unfortunately, this didn’t totally work for me on a personal level. Though I do believe that it will likely work perfectly for other readers.

Girls in the Moon was an interesting book and I’m glad I decided to pick it up. I’ll admit that I didn’t think it was anything like a Sarah Dessen novel except for maybe the music part of it, but it was still a good story all on its own. This author has beautiful and poetic writing that instantly drew me in. I just felt like some of the narration and the story simply wasn’t for me. I recommend it for readers who are looking for something unique and fun.

three-stars

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Fire in You Review

November 30, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★

Fire in You ReviewFire in You (Wait for You, #6) by J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Jennifer L. Armentrout on November 28th 2016
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Forever with You (Wait for You #5), The Problem with Forever
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars
three-half-flames
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, 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 past 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.

I’ve been a huge fan of J. Lynn’s Wait for You series for a long time now. I’ve found each book to be extremely fascinating and to contain swoony boys and complex heroines. Wait for You was the first NA book that I ever read, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I’m sad to say that Fire in You was my least favorite book in the series. It was still good, but it just didn’t measure up with the others in my opinion. To be honest, I actually forgot that we were introduced to Jillian back in Forever with You. I’d been anticipating Brock’s story for what feels like forever, so I’m happy he finally got one. However, I really wanted him to end up with Katie, or for her to get a story of her own in general. Though I’m somewhat disappointed, I’m still glad that I read this one.

I felt for Jillian instantly due to the unrequited love that she had for Brock for all of those years when she was a kid. As someone who has an older brother who had a few friends that I was absolutely in love with as a kid, I can totally understand what she went through. I felt like Jillian was a strong character who I had a lot of respect for. She’s been through a lot of terrible things in her life, but she’s a survivor and she keeps pushing on. To an extent, I definitely understood the insecurities that she had, but at times it became ridiculously repetitive and it started to just drag on honestly. Maybe that’s insensitive of me to say, but I felt like at a certain point, she should have been giving Brock more credit than she actually was.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been waiting for Brock’s story since he was first introduced to us. He seemed like such a fun and swoony guy and I couldn’t wait to see him settle down with someone. Though I was hoping his story would be with Katie, Jillian was still a solid match for him because of the history that they already shared. I feel disappointed in his character because I was just expecting more. Maybe my standards are too high, but he wasn’t even close to being as swoony as the guys from the previous books. I obviously want him to be his own person and not just a carbon copy of Cam or Jax, but it was still surprising to me. View Spoiler » Yes, he had some redeeming swoony moments at the end but that’s about it. He also called Jillian beautiful a ridiculous amount of times, which was cute the first couple of times since it started to help build her confidence at times, but it became repetitive quickly.

Second chance romances have became sort of a hit or miss for me. I think that sometimes they can be cliche or just flat out not my cup of tea personally. This one did work to an extent, but it was by no means my favorite romance in the series. I found it unusual that they don’t have sex until around the 86% mark, though that’s probably about the time it happened in Wait for You, I can’t totally remember. But I felt like that worked because they were working on building up a strong foundation before starting anything completely physical. Despite this, the book was still pretty steamy. As a whole though, I honestly can’t say that Jillian and Brock stand out to me as being a power couple when put up against the others from the previous stories.

Fire in You was an entertaining novel that I really enjoyed. Though it wasn’t my favorite, it was still a pretty story nonetheless. Yes, I’m disappointed that this book didn’t stand out more to me, but it was still decent. There’s also a lot of angst in this one, which might be why I wasn’t crazy about it. I was also confused about the timeline and think that maybe a novella before Fire in You would have been more effective in filling in the gaps of the past six years instead of having random flashbacks. I also wish that there could have been an epilogue for not only Jillian and Brock, but one where we see all (or at least most) of the couples. Yes, we do get to see the couples frequently throughout the story but it would have been nice to wrap it all up if this is indeed the last book in the series. I still have my fingers crossed for a Katie book because her story is far from finished after that huge bomb that she ended up dropping on everyone!

three-stars

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Built Review

November 28, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Built ReviewBuilt (Saints of Denver, #1) by Jay Crownover
on January 5th, 2016
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Rule (Marked Men, #1), Retreat (The Getaway Series Book 1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
four-flames
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.
Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.
Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.
But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller are as different as two people can be. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and kill it and grill it. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk while he’s denim and flannel.
The differences between the two of them don’t stop Zeb from dropping every hint he can think of that he would like to get to know her on a more personal level, but Sayer seems oblivious to his interest or is just too nice to tell him to take a hike. To Sayer, a guy like Zeb could never be interested in someone as reserved and boring as she is. She’s never been with anyone that was hot enough to melt the icy exterior she’s had wrapped around hera since her awful childhood. But what if Zeb is the one who might finally thaw her out…?

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to read Built by Jay Crownover. I didn’t have much success with the one book that I read of hers, which was the extremely popular Rule. Anyway, I gave it a shot anyway and I’m happy that I did. Sayer and Zeb were fabulous characters, specifically Zeb. Though Sayer was frustrating at times, that’s partly what I liked about her. All in all, this was a solid romance that definitely pulled on my heart strings more than once. It was a quick read, and I recommend it if you’re looking for something a little on the light side of things.

Sayer wasn’t always a likable character, which was partly why she stood out to me. I personally believe that character likability shouldn’t make or break whether you like a book or not. Though I will admit that it does make it more difficult to cheer for the characters if you can’t relate to them at all. The point here is, I do appreciate that Crownover made the girl the one who pulls back and is afraid to jump into a relationship. I didn’t fully like Sayer’s reasoning for some of her actions, but then again, I hardly ever think the “damaged” male in (typically) NA books has good reasoning for his actions. This isn’t the first heroine in a romance book that I’ve seen be the hesitant one, but I still thought it was more mentioning. I also like how strong and independent Sayer is. She’s a pretty hardcore lawyer, and I liked it when she went into work mode at certain times in the story.

So Zeb was a pretty great character to say the least. He was very confident about what he wanted from Sayer, and not at all hesitant to share those thoughts with her. He was a swoony guy throughout the entire story. Yes, Zeb spent time in prison for beating the crap out of a guy in front of a niece. The circumstances were a lot more complicated than that: his sister’s boyfriend had been beating her in front of their child so Zeb just ended up losing his temper completely with him. Who can blame him though? The point to stating this is that he’s a somewhat complex guy, but he doesn’t play games with Sayer at the same time. This is a huge part of the story so I don’t feel like it’s a huge spoiler, but Zeb finds out that he has a son that he never knew about. I’m going to talk more about him later, but I wanted to mention that Zeb’s interactions with his son will make you laugh and cry every time.

The romance gets real steamy, real fast. Really though, one second they are painting and the next second they end up having sex up against the wall. I’m not complaining about this, that was a really hot scene. The chemistry between them is ridiculously obvious from the start, but obviously Sayer has some doubts about getting into a relationship. I liked seeing them get to know each other better when Sayer helps him get custody of his child from Social Services. Yes, they had a lot of drama going on, but they were still a solid couple in the end.

One of the main reasons why I ultimately read this book is because I saw that Zeb had a child, and I’m on a kick with romance books that have that element here lately. Hyde is seriously adorable and I loved him so much. Basically, Zeb had a one night stand with this girl the night after he got out of prison, which he more or less blocked out completely. Zeb learns about his son through a friend of the girl who tells him that the girl was killed and now his son is going to be in foster care since no one else can take care of him. Though his initial reaction is obviously shock, he soon gets it together and fights for his son. Hyde had a ton of sweet moments with both Zeb and Sayer. I loved the Zeb and Hyde scenes specifically since we get to see the relationship really develop from Zeb just being this stranger to being his father.

Built was a fun read that I’m glad that I ended up reading. It’s fast paced, an easy read, and full of developed characters. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series and the book after that one as well. Sayer and Zeb were both fabulous characters and I’m glad that I got to step into their world for a little bit. I’ll certainly not be forgetting adorable little Hyde anytime soon. This is a must read if you can’t resist a man who’s good with a child and who’s fiercely protective of the people he loves without being overly possessive.

four-stars

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Out of Bounds Release Day Launch

November 22, 2016 Features 0

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Excerpt:

When we reach her home, a cute little white bungalow, she gestures to the porch. It’s teeming with potted plants and flowers, as well as pizza coupons and takeout menus stuffed behind the mailbox next to the doorway. “Thank you, Andrew. For the drinks and the escort service.”

I wiggle my eyebrows because she says escort in kind of a naughty way. “And thank you for the surf angel-slash-nurse work.”

“My pleasure. I was happy to save a guy in distress.”

I narrow my eyes and protest her description. “Hey now. I’m not dude in distress.”

She whispers “just kidding” as she leans against her porch railing. I don’t think it’s intentional, but that pose shows off all her assets. The swell of her breasts in her tank top, her curvy hips, her strong legs. This woman just fucking does something to me. Turns me on, that’s what she does. Makes me hard as hell. Though she’s made it clear that the night ends right here, I intend to make the most of this good-bye.

I move closer to her and run my hand down her arm. I watch as goose bumps rise in its wake. My voice goes low. “Do you know what I’ve been thinking about?”

She tilts her head to the side. “What would that be, Andrew?”

It still sounds funny to hear her call me that. But next time I see her I’ll tell her that everyone calls me Drew. With my other hand, I brush her hair off her shoulder, cataloging her reaction to my touch. The way she shivers. How she sways closer. The rush of breath on her lips. I bring my mouth to her ear, and whisper. “What it would be like to kiss you.”

I pull back, wanting to look at her. Her lips are parted, then she licks them and swallows. It’s like she’s taking a step closer, saying go for it. “You should absolutely find out then,” she says, soft and inviting.

My fingers travel from her shoulder, up to her hair, and I rope my hand through those blond locks. I pull her close, savoring the warm feel of her sun-kissed skin and the smell of sand, surf, and sunshine in her hair.

I dip my mouth to hers, clasping her face in my hands. When I nip her bottom lip, she gasps. It’s such an alluring sound, and it turns me the fuck on even more. My dick would very much like to go inside her house tonight, but kissing is all that’s on the menu, so I kiss her in a way that’ll leave her wanting more. Because I want so much more of her, and I also want her to know that.

I’m not sure how I went from leaving the field when practice ended this morning, to spending the afternoon surfing to get my mind off all the changes I’m sure are coming, to kissing this beautiful stranger outside her Venice Beach home. But hell if I want to analyze this moment.

I spend my working hours making decisions, analyzing, choosing. Then executing.

Right now, I want to get lost in something that no one else controls but this woman and me.

From NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a sexy new standalone sports romance…

OUT OF BOUNDS!

Ready to be swept off your feet? Meet the witty, sexy, dirty-talking quarterback Drew in OUT OF BOUNDS! Grab your copy today!

 

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“Out of Bounds smolders with heat, desire, and wicked swoon-worthy excitement!”

~Beneath the Covers Book Blog

 

“So much passion and intensity that you wouldn’t expect in a sports romance, but once again, Lauren Blakely BRINGS IT”

~Shayna Renee Spicy Reads

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The first rule of football–don’t screw with a streak.

My career is finally looking up, and I’m leading a new pro team down the field every Sunday. No way will I mess with that. But when I meet the most stunning and captivating woman I’ve ever seen, I tell myself one night will have to be enough.

But it’s not. And now I can’t get her out of my mind. Even when I’m playing. Even when I need to focus. Even when I’m on the hottest streak of my life.

And it turns out, she’s not just some random woman I met. She works for the team. My team.

***

I only have one goal this season–do my part as the team’s lawyer to keep them out of trouble. Help rebuild their reputation on and off the field. There’s no room for error and certainly no room for a secret tryst with a player . . . even if he’s the quarterback.

Right?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

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The perfect mix of sexiness, laughter, and sweetness.”

~Two Book Pushers

 

 

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Add it to Goodreads here!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32319429-out-of-bounds

 

 

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author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With twelve New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

 

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Sidebarred Review

November 16, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Sidebarred ReviewSidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5) by Emma Chase
on April 24th, 2016
Also by this author: Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2), Royally Screwed (Royally, #1)
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four-stars
four-flames
There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.
Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man. And he’s pretty damn good at it.
Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....
So, of course something has to screw it all up. It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.
And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.

I absolutely fell in love with Jake, Chelsea, and her six nieces and nephews in Sustained. I was a little hesitant to read this because I didn’t read the other two books in the series and wasn’t sure how heavily featured those characters would be in this one. However, I decided to read it anyways just to read more cute moments between Jake and the kids. I got even more than I bargained for here. I’m really glad that Emma Chase wrote a novella about my favorites. She totally delivered on answering basically every single thing that I wanted to know about how things would turn out for all of the kids. If you loved Sustained, then you’ll likely adore this one just as much.

Jake was awesome and swoony in Sustained, but he also had some strong reservations about taking care of six children, which is understandable since he was previously a bachelor. In this story though, he is all in and loves being a husband and father figure. It’s always hilarious to see things through his eyes, he’s just my favorite. Not to mention the fact that he makes a crazy good father. My heart melted countless times throughout the story, probably the most whenever he braided little Regan’s hair.

Chelsea is just as strong and great as always. I’ve always respected that she was able to just jump right in and take care of all those kids when her brother and sister-in-law died in a car crash without even thinking twice about it. Yes, we don’t see the book through her perspective, but I still loved what we saw of her character anyway. She still doesn’t take any of Jake’s crap, which is yet another thing about her that I’ve always respected.

Even though they have six kids around constantly, they still managed to have a super hot sex life. The book picks up when they’ve been married for two years now, and they are still going as strong as ever with keeping things exciting and fresh between them. They have such an incredible love and passion for one another and I loved seeing that only getting more passionate and unbreakable as the years went by. They also both make amazing parents, despite having to give some awkward talks at times, it was still endearing to see them make the attempt.

This novella was everything that I hope that it would and so much more than that. It definitely made me tear up more than once throughout the story. I don’t want to give anything major away, but it was really just some of the talks that Jake gave some of the kids at certain times. My favorite thing about the novella is probably that the very end of it jumps ahead seventeen years and tells us what all of the children decided to do with their lives. Nothing was all that surprising to me, but it was nice to get that insight nonetheless. Seriously though, these characters will always have a special place in my heart and it will be difficult to find a book about a couple raising children that will top this one.

four-stars

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