Geri’s Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

BROOKLYNAIRE
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: February 12, 2018

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity.

I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

 

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I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.

 

I had high expectations for this book because it’s Nate! And Becca! I’ve been waiting for this book since I’ve read the first Brooklyn Bruisers book and Sarina Bowen did not disappoint. I adored this book with all of my heart.

Brooklynaire is a fun, all out swoon-worthy romance with Sarina Bowen’s trademark flair.

Nate and Becca had been in this perpetual will they won’t they sexual tension since the first book in this series. In case you haven’t been keeping up, Becca is the office manager for the Brooklyn Bruisers and Nate is the owner. He also happens to be a tech genius billionaire.

I adored their friendship. The transition from employee to friends and then to lovers was seamless. They shared a history together, and Becca was there from the very beginning of Nate’s company. They went through the usual ups and downs together as well. But one significant event — and this is not a spoiler since it has been revealed in the previous books in the series — stood out and that was the moment when Becca was transferred from Nate’s Manhattan office or basically his inner circle to the Bruisers facility.

To Nate it was self-preservation. To Becca it felt like a demotion, and it was sort shadowed their relationship ever since even though they remain good friends. We finally get to know the reason why this happened and the confrontation that followed was utterly satisfying to me.

Aside from my abnormally high expectation with the romantic aspect of this book, I was also curious about how Ms. Bowen will address the issue of the imbalance of power between these two characters. Nate is the all powerful billionaire and Becca is an assistant. Her livelihood depended not just on her skills but how she deals with people around her. And Nate’s romantic interest in her could potentially have a negative impact on her career and how people would perceive her.

I absolutely liked how the author was able to deal with this very real issue especially in light of the workplace harassment scandals that have now been brought to light. And if you say right now that you don’t want to read anything as controversial or political undertones in your book, then tough! ‘Cause you’re getting it here, and it’s wonderful.

The conflict, the banter, the secondary characters made this book a worthwhile read. I loved Lauren’s cameos. And yes, we do get more hockey talk in this book which is always a bonus. Aaaaand someone or something else gets introduced in this book that OMG made me nerd out so hard. Not only that, it added some comic relief. It was a very clever inclusion, Ms. Bowen. Very clever indeed.

Anyway, read this book, people! It can be read as a standalone yet but I highly recommend reading the first books in the series, just so you can get a feel for how other people sees Nate and Becca.

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

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Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: About that Kiss by Jill Shalvis

ABOUT THAT KISS
Series: 
Heartbreaker Bay #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jill Shalvis
Release Date:  January 23rd 2018

When love drives you crazy . . .

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.

the best thing to do . . .

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

… is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

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Joe studied her. “I asked you once before, but now I’m going to ask you again. Is there something going

on between you two?”

She tossed up her hands. “Why do you both keep asking me that about each other?”

His eyes narrowed. “I thought nothing was going on.”

“And before today, I could’ve passed a lie detector test on that,” she said.

“What happened today?”

She paused. Not because she had anything to be ashamed of, but because she wasn’t quite sure what had happened.

“Kylie.”

She sighed. “It’s nothing.”

“Try again,” Joe said and gave her the very male universal go on gesture.

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. He . . . finally made a move on me.”

Joe didn’t budge. Not a blink, not a muscle twitch, nothing, but she could’ve popped corn off the electric tension coming off him.

“Describe ‘made a move,’ ” he finally said.

She crossed her arms. “And again, how is this relevant to my case?”

He just gave her that careful stare again and she thought wow, those eyes of his should be registered as a lethal weapon, because she found herself opening her mouth and spilling her guts. “He kissed me.”

“He kissed you.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Do you know that you often repeat what I say?”

“What kind of a kiss?” he asked.

She was momentarily bewildered. “I don’t know. It was a kiss. A normal kiss. A nice kiss.” She cocked her head at him. “How many kinds of kisses are there?”

He just looked at her for a long moment before coming toward her. He backed her to the wall and pressed his big hands on either side of her head.

“There are many kinds of kisses,” he said.

Her breath had backed up in her throat, where her heart had lodged, pounding wildly. “S-s-such as?”

“Such as this one.” And then he leaned in and covered her mouth with his.

At the touch of Joe’s mouth, Kylie’s brain stopped being capable of rational thought. His tongue gave a knee-weakening stroke against hers and she let out a shockingly needy moan as she clutched at him, fisting her hands in the material of his shirt at his chest. Only when he’d thoroughly plundered and pillaged and left her boneless did he lift his head and look into her eyes.

“Wow,” she whispered, fully aware she was still holding on to him like he was a lifeline, but the bones in her legs had liquefied. “I mean . . .” She shook her head. “Wow.”

He nodded. “Yeah. So to be clear, that wasn’t ‘a normal kiss’ or even ‘a nice kiss.’ It was a ‘wow’ kiss. Any questions?”

“Just one,” she said softly. “Can I have another?”

Joe didn’t have to be asked twice. His mouth immediately descended again, his fingers sliding into her hair to change the angle of the kiss to suit him. It was a controlled, alpha thing to do, but she had only one thought—nothing about the usually carefully, purposely leashed Joe was in control at the moment.

And she liked it.

She had no idea how long they went at it because she was in absolute heaven. Who knew that the man could use his preferred silent mode to communicate in a way that she finally approved of?

Only when she was completely breathless and about to strip him down to his birthday suit did she manage to pull back.

“Any more questions?” he asked, also a little bit breathless, which was more than slightly gratifying. Dumbly, she shook her head. His eyes softened and he gently he stroked his thumb over her bottom lip. “And FYI? Gib’s an idiot.”

LANA’S REVIEW

And you kissed me that last time!”
“You were going on about a kiss being nice. But there was nothing nice about that kiss you planted on me in the alley. It was raw and sexy and dirty in the best possible way. You needed to be reminded of that.”
She covered her face. “Oh my God.”
“God had nothing to do with it,” he said smugly.


About That Kiss was everything I had hoped it would be; perfectly swoony with a side of suspense! Jill Shalvis never disappoints. I absolutely adored Joe and Kylie’s story.

Kylie is perfectly quirky and endearing, but a bit of a hermit when it comes to men. An unexpected kiss with the sexy womanizer Joe is not something she’ll soon forget, but she’s trying her hardest. Even though Joe isn’t about to make it easy on her. When a beloved belonging given to her by her late grandfather goes missing, she doesn’t know who else to turn to but Joe. Thus begins a bit of a scavenger hunt with a mystery that’s full of laughs, swoon, and enough chemistry to light up the entire city block.

I’m trying to decide what I want to do with you.”
“What are the options?” he asked.
“Kill you or kiss you.”

I simply loved the two of them together. They were such a fun dynamic of opposites attract. Joe is broody, secretive, and hasn’t given the same woman more than a passing thought before. That is, until Kylie. He has plenty on his plate with demons from the past and a layer of guilt that plagues his present, a father with severe PTSD, and a job that puts him in constant danger. Putting his heart on the line is not something he can do. But he can’t seem to resist the quirky Kylie.

Kylie was so much fun. Between her spine of steel, her disguises on their stakeouts, and her valiant efforts to ignore the chemistry between her and Joe, I couldn’t get enough of her.

The romance is a sizzling slow burn with plenty of laughs thrown in. With a cast of colorful and memorable secondary characters, About That Kiss was a book that put a smile on my face from page one and kept it there until the end. Jill Shalvis is the queen of light hearted romance, and this book was no exception.


GERI’S REVIEW

There are many kinds of kisses,” he said.

Her breath had backed up in her throat, where her heart had lodged, pounding wildly. “S-s-such as?”

“Such as this one.” And then he leaned in and covered her mouth with his.

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About that Kiss is another delightful addition to Ms. Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series.

I’ve been looking forward to Joe’s story ever since I found out that Jill is gonna give Archer’s security men stories of their own. And she did not disappoint.

Security expert Joe Malone and woodworker extraordinaire Kylie Masters shared a hot kiss one night, and it suddenly changed everything.

Joe is fine being a bachlor. He doesn’t lack companionship and besides, the extra time he has is better spent taking care of his father and keeping his sister safe. But the moment the kiss with Kylie happened, he couldn’t get her out of his mind.

For Kylie, Joe is way outside her league. And besides, he’s not her type at all. So what if she can’t stop thinking about him or can’t stop fantasizing about kissing him again? She has better things to do with her time, right?

But when Kylie’s precious wooden penguin (the last tangible connection she has from her grandfather), they suddenly find themselves spending time together, hunting for the missing item.

The chemistry between Joe and Kylie is the first thing that really stood to me in this book. It made the book highly addicting and readable.

Both Joe and Kylie have their issues that they both are trying to deal with which makes them all the more interesting characters to me. I’ve always adored Shalvis’ heroines. They’re complex characters and they don’t always do or say the right thing, which I personally loved.

She was an irresistible dichotomy of sweet charm and heart-stopping sexy, and she threw him off guard with every look, be it a smile or a glare. In fact, he kinda liked when she gave him dirty looks, which meant he was seriously losing his shit. And he never lost his shit.”

Then there’s Joe. Ever since he was introduced a couple of books back, Joe has always stood out to me especially with how he is around his sister Molly and the rest of the team. I had high expectations and Jill Shalvis did not disappoint. She gave us a hero that we can swoon over with Joe.

There’s a bit of whodunnit element in this book, which add an interesting layer to it on top of the love story. I enjoyed it. Don’t expect something heavy like a la Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown. This is after all a contemporary romance but it has enough to keep you guessing until the end.

The Heartbreaker Bay series continues to delight in so many ways. I know I say this with every Jill Shalvis book but I CANNOT WAIT for the next book in this series! And Molly and Lucas had sa few “moments” in this book which made me even more for their book, which is UP NEXT!


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

Look for Jill’s latest, LOST AND FOUND SISTERS on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.

Visit Jill’s website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Geri’s Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

THE WEDDING DATE
Genre: Contemporary
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Release Date: January 30, 2018

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

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Alexa Monroe found herself trapped at a hotel elevator with a handsome, charming Drew Nichols. The incident led to a wedding date, a pretend relationship which quickly escalated into something more.

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The Wedding Date charmed me from beginning to end. The best part about this book was easily the heroine! She’s gorgeous and competent as hell but also strong and vulnerable. Alexa Monroe was everything I love in my romance book heroines.

Another element I enjoyed about this book was the development of Alexa and Drew’s relationship. What started out as a disaster (getting stuck at an elevator) became so much more. That’s not to say there wasn’t some awkwardness between them at first because here was and it was charming and cute because you recognize it as part in real life. Loved their chemistry together.

I also loved the fact that both characters are competent at their jobs. Drew is a doctor and Alexa is a mayoral chief of staff. Their careers are part of who they are and I enjoyed reading those parts in the book.

Conflict wise, I thought that it was very well done. Drew and Alexa not only came from different backgrounds, but they also lived in two different cities which was a challenge to say the least. I normally do not like long distance relationships in my romance, but I liked how it was dealt with in this book. Drew and Alexa were very aware of its pitfalls and of course, its rewards. I thought their actions were very real, and it showed the characters’ flaws and redeeming qualities.

The Wedding Date met all my expectations, which I am so grateful for. It’s sweet, charming, lighthearted romance at its best. If you enjoy fake-dating-relationship stories, I highly recommend this book! This is only Miss Guillory’s first book and judging by how much I enjoyed it, I’m looking forward to more books from her in the future.

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Review: Headmaster by Tara Sue Me

HEADMASTER
Series: Lessons from the Rack #2
Genre: Contemporary BDSM Romance
Author: Tara Sue Me
Release Date: January 16, 2018

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive novels delivers a scintillating new erotic romance, where two instructors redefine the phrase “teacher’s pet” . . . .

Lennox MacLure, owner of the RACK Academy, has sworn off the Dominant/submissive lifestyle.

Years ago, his submissive, Winnie, died in a car accident following a heated argument for which he blames himself.

Guilt-ridden and emotionally closed off, Lennox sees the academy as both his punishment and penance for her death.

Mariela, a dance instructor and a natural submissive, was Winnie’s best friend and longs to help Lennox move past his grief. She’s accepted that he will never see her as anything more than a friend, but she still wants to help him acknowledge what he needs.

Mariela comes up with a plan of seduction, guaranteed to unleash the Dominant he’s willfully buried—but the passion they unleash could prove to be stronger than they are ready to handle.

 

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Admittedly, this author is a hit-or-miss for me. He last few books have been misses but the moment I saw the blurb for Headmaster, I just couldn’t help but read it. For one, I couldn’t resist the good old unrequited love trope. Second, I also couldn’t resist a dead ex trope. This book had both.

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Headmaster falls smack dab in the middle of my like-dislike scale. There are certain things that I really didn’t care much for while there are a few that I really, really liked.

Number one of my ‘Really, really liked’ list is the heroine, Mariela. She’s hired by Lennox to teach in his BDSM academy, RACK. She’s a submissive who’s in love with the hero for a long time. And she also happens to be the best friend of Winnie, the hero’s dead ex.

While she has been carrying a torch for the hero since the beginning, she wasn’t a pushover. Her being a submissive is a choice. She’s not timid or easily intimidated by the hero. She could hold her own. I liked how she admits her feelings for the hero without losing her independence or pitying herself, etc.

Mariela also made Lennox likable. I didn’t like Lennox much but I love his banter with Mariela. I also liked the BDSM aspect to the book. It’s there and it’s a big part of the hero and heroine but it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with the ins and outs of BDSM.

The plot was okay. There were high emotional points which I really enjoyed, while there are some stuff which I’m meh about. And that brings me to Lennox.

I’m torn about him. He’s a tortured individual, so full of guilt because he chose the wrong girl and she died. His “I’m so tortured, I can’t be a Dom and fall in love again” got tiring after a while. And if it hadn’t been for Mariela, who I adored, I would’ve DNF’d this book. But to be fair, he did grow as a character.

That said there were moments where I’m not quite sure whether he fell in love with Mariela because she was more compatible than Winnie ever was. And I would totally understand if other readers would take issue with the fact that Lennox did choose Winnie over Mariela. She wasn’t in his radar at all. He knew her as his girl Winnie’s best friend for years. And I missed the moment where he starts to fall in love with her because at the start of the book, they already have this ‘will they, won’t they succumb to their feelings’ thing going on.

Despite that, I still enjoyed this overall. I loved Mariela and liked their romance overall.

Geri & Lana’s Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Roni Loren
Release Date: January 2, 2018

Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School.

Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home.

Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot.

When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

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GERI’S REVIEW

Broken glass still made art. Sometimes the most beautiful kind.”

My 2018 is off to a good start with The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren. This book packs an emotional punch, filled with complex characters and nuanced storytelling.

The Ones Who Got Away is about a group of friends who were survivors of a tragic school shooting. Finn Dorsey and Olivia Arias might have survived the shooting physically but the emotional wounds they carried had affected them profoundly. It is especially hard for both Finn and Liv because the shooting ended their burgeoning relationship back then.

I was a little wary going in because of the sensitive topic. At the same time, I was really looking forward to how that aspect of the story is handled. In my own opinion, it was handled well by the author.

That could definitely get messy.”
“We’ve always been messy, Livvy. That’s what makes it so good.”

The romance between Finn and Liv was beautifully done. I want to avoid spoilers as much as possible so I won’t go into the details of their romance while they were in high school and why they broke up. What I do want to mention was how mature their romance is in the present. There was no unnecessary drama between these characters. There’s tension, yes and obstacles they have to face but they deal with it like adults, which is really refreshing.

I love Liv so much. She’s a complex character with her own dreams and wants and issues. The way she dealt with the tragedy was heartbreaking. I love LOVE her friendship with the other female survivors. Their friendship and bond was featured prominently in the book, which I adored because I’m a sucker for female friendship in books.

Finn, like Liv, is another awesome character. He has his own way of dealing with the trauma. Except for his single-minded focus and devotion to his job, he’s basically stopped living. I liked how the author was able to succinctly present the hero’s arc and made us root for him despite his mistakes in the past.

Overall, The Ones Who Got Away was a poignant, character driven second-chance romance that will melt your heart.


LANA’S REVIEW

She’d been pretty in high school. Quirky cool. But now she was just flat-out beautiful. And successful. And hella smart. And offfuckinglimits.

Poignant, sensual, and truly unforgettable. I’m absolutely blown away by The Ones Who Got Away and can’t wait for more in this series!

I’ve been a huge fan of this author since I first read Crash into You years ago. There’s something about her writing that just wraps around you and…sticks. She wrote some of my most favorite sizzling BDSM romance. Yet nothing prepared me for this book. I expected it to be great, it’s Roni Loren after all. I simply wasn’t expecting it to effect me as much as it did. I give Loren so much respect for daring to take on such a sensitive subject matter and not turning it into fodder, but making it poignant and memorable. It was completely unforgettable.

How do you move on as one of the few survivors of a devastating and deadly school shooting? Twelve years later, Liv Morris is still struggling with the answer. Back in a town she swore she’d never come back to, she finds herself wandering the halls of her old high school. A documentary that will be sharing the proceeds with the families of victims and research to help prevent tragedies like that happening again are cause enough for her to come back. But what she’s not prepared for is to run into the love of her past.

Finn Dorsey was the golden boy of the town, a football superstar, son of an influential family, while she was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. They were polar opposites yet something drew them together only to be tragically torn apart due to impossible choices made in a terrible time that they both regret. But Finn isn’t the boy he used to be anymore. He’s hardened, changed, and full of regret. Olivia is also not the girl he used to know and it doesn’t take long for the sparks between them to reignite.

I hope you are selfishly using me right now to get off.” She laughed, breathless from his clever fingers. “Oh, I’m completely doing that. Have you seen you?” His expression went old-school Finn—all cocky and sly. “I have. I’ve been in an exclusive relationship with myself for a few years. I’m amazing in bed.”
“So I’ve heard. This morning, in fact. Glad I get to join in this time.”

Aside from their fantastic banter, there were plenty of other things to love about these characters. I loved the woman that Liv became. She’s a quiet sort of strength and while she’s not where she thought she’d be as a naive girl back in high school, she’s determined to change her life now.

Finn was simply devastating. Man but my heart broke for him. He has so much guilt over what happened to Liv during the shooting. And even though he’s dedicated his life to ensuring that what happened to them doesn’t happen again, he’s lost sight of the boy he used to be. All he’s known is his job and it’s slowly eaten away at his very soul. He’s not surprised that it takes the vivacious Liv to remind him of what he once craved and crave it all over again. The chemistry between them was completely incendiary but also quirky and sweet.

You okay, Batman?”
“No, you’ve killed me. I’m now speaking to you from the great beyond.” She laughed. “Is it nice there?”
“So nice.”
“Are there unicorns?”
He reached out and brushed his thumb along her lips. “You’re weird, Arias.”
“I know. You can be Oddly Hot. I’ll be Weirdly Sexy. We’ll be a crime-fighting duo.”

In addition to their romance, there were secondary characters introduced in the form of the other survivors that I was immediately hooked on. I can’t wait to get their stories; Rebecca in particular.

If you’re looking for a story that’s full of meaning and romance and a step outside of the typical, this is most definitely a must read.

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Follow You Back by A.L. Jackson

FOLLOW ME BACK
Series: Fight For Me #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Roni Loren
Release Date: January 2, 2018

The next seductive, unforgettable stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .

Kale Bryant. Arrogant. Gorgeous. Commanding.

This ER doctor is married to his job. His only vice is one-night stands and short-lived flings. He learned a long time ago loving someone isn’t worth the risk.

Harley Hope Masterson. Beautiful. Brave. Sweet.

The owner of a small coffee shop knows what it’s like to struggle. Embroiled in a bitter divorce, she’s threatened with losing everything.

When Kale accepts a new position down the street from Hope’s shop, he begins to question every wall he’s built around his heart.

He wants her in a way he hasn’t wanted anyone.

One touch is fire.

One kiss, and he’s spinning out of control.

But taking her won’t come without consequences.

Hope is in for the fight of her life. One neither of them saw coming.

Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.

She will fight with everything she has.

But sometimes even hope needs a hero . . .


Be notified of LIVE RELEASE on Amazon
Signed Paperback PRE-ORDER 

Don’t miss our amazing giveaway going on to celebrate the FOLLOW ME BACK Cover Reveal! Grand prize includes a Kindle Fire HD 8, a signed Show Me the Way Paperback, plus a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Link to Rafflecopter Giveaway!

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, the second stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

Connect with A.L.

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson
Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
Reader Group: http://smarturl.it/AmysAngelsRock
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonAmzn
Bookbub: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonBookbub
Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
Instagram: @aljacksonauthor
Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Blog Tour & Review of Team Player Anthology

SBPR-BLT.jpgTEAM PLAYER
Genre: Sports Romance
Authors: LJ Shen, Emma Scott, Kate Stewart, Meghan Quinn
Release Date: December 14, 2017

 Hot jocks. We love them all.

Sexy baseball players. Intense footballers. Sweaty MMA fighters, and sizzling hockey hotties. Score!

The good news? Eleven bestselling authors have gathered to give you a set of stories focused on the men we love most—sports heroes.

We bet you’ll love this thick…book.

The bad news? The men in these novellas don’t actually exist.

*This anthology does not contain calories, just eleven original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, LJ Shen, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Ella Fox, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, and Sara Ney. We aren’t responsible for melted devices.

AMAZON US | AMAZON INTERNATIONAL

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4 Douchebag-Man-Whore Stars!! (Review of The End Zone by L.J. Shen)

You wanna know what this book is about?

This book is about L.J. Shen making the Douchebag-Man-Whore her bitch.

This book is exactly why I love L.J. Shen. Like Sara Ney, L.J.Shen can make me hate/love the douchebag.

Sage is a Grade-A Douchebag-Man-Whore. He is the college quarterback, soon to be drafted, and can get anything he wants, including women. After a recent incident, he is lusting after his roommate, Jolie. He has never felt anything for her before now. Sage and Jolie have been best friends since they were kids. Jolie has been in lurrrrve with Sage since then as well, but OF COURSE he doesn’t know it, and OF COURSE he is a Douchebag-Man-Whore. There is no way she is going to put herself out there only to get hurt and lose her best friend in the process.

I love love love the fake relationship stories, and that is exactly what happens. Sage convinces Jo Jo to be his fake girlfriend, and it quickly escalates into something more. Were there a couple of predictable cliché moments? You betcha. Did I care? Not one bit. I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed every second.

I loved this short by L.J. Shen. I wish it was a full book, and those are the best kind of novellas.

LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets people’s birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Kennedy Ryan:

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

Connect with Kennedy

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Adriana Locke:

A contemporary romance author running on coffee and sticky kisses from my rowdy four little boys.

From Indiana, I’m a true Mid-Westerner. Life, for me, is about family, faith, and food. When I’m not running my kiddos around or having a lunch date of fajitas with my husband (and high school sweetheart), you can find me outside. I love a good sunny day almost as much as I love candy, random quotes, and steamy bad boys in fantastic books.

I’m on nearly every social media platform. Please find me on the ones you frequent – I love chatting with readers.

Connect with Adriana

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Mandi Beck:

Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.

A nursing student, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met.

Connect with Mandi

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Emma Scott:

I write romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. I love to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we do in real life. I like realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. I love to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as I can make, but with big smooshy HEAs. I believe in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. I like sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope. Love always wins.

Connect with Emma

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | GOODREADS

Charleigh Rose:

We are a duo of an international best-selling author and a blogger who teamed up to write the taboo, thought-provoking stories we want our audience to have–without filters.

Both Charleigh and Rose are committed to giving you witty, sexy, intelligent novels that will leave you wanting more.

Connect with Charleigh

FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Ella Fox:

When she’s not writing, Ella indulges the gypsy in her blood and travels the country. Ella loves reading, movies, music, buying make-up, reading Tmz, Twitter and pedicures… not necessarily in that order. She has a wild sense of humor and loves to laugh. Her favorite thing in the world is hanging out with her family and watching comedy movies.

Connect with Ella

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER

Sara Ney:

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

Connect with Sara

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Meghan Quinn:

A BLONDE AT HEART

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Connect with Meghan

FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

Kate Stewart:

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Connect with Kate

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE 

Rochelle Paige:

Rochelle Paige is the Amazon bestselling author of nineteen books. She absolutely adores reading and her friends growing up used to tease her when she trailed after them, trying to read and walk at the same time. She loves stories with alpha males, sassy heroines, hot sex and happily ever afters. She is a bit of a genre hopper in both her reading and her writing. So far she’s written books in several romance sub-genres including new adult, contemporary, paranormal and romantic suspense.

She is the mother of two wonderful sons who inspired her to chase her dream of being an author. She wants them to learn from her that you can live your dream as long as you are willing to work for it.

Connect with Rochelle

FACEBOOK | READER GROUP | WEBSITE 

DGR’s 2017 Favorites: GERI’S PICKS

Another year gone in the blink of an eye and the turn of many book pages. And did we have a lot of book pages between us. We had one hell of a 5 star year between the three of us and we can’t wait to share our favorites with you all. Oh wait…we’re not waiting. Well, can’t say suspense was ever a forte of ours.

I had a great reading year! There were so many books that I enjoyed throughout the year but the books I picked for my favorite reads for 2017 are special. They’re not necessarily perfect 5-star books but they are the ones that stayed with me. And it might sound corny to you but these books have changed my life and gave me a new perspective this past year. And I’m so glad I could share them all to you!

So without further ado, I present to you my favorite picks for 2017!! *in random order


GERI’S FAVORITES OF 2017 


DEVIL IN SPRING by Lisa Kleypas

This book put me on an HEA coma that I had a hard time waking up from. It had everything I want in a historical romance:

-Funny banter? CHECK
-Swoony hero? CHECK
-Adorable heroine? CHECK
-Sizzling sexy time? DOUBLE CHECK

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Everything about Devil in Spring just tick all the boxes. I was swooning and grinning and swooning some more. Not only did Lisa Kleypas gave us a new OTP to root for, she also gave romance readers what they want: seeing previous book couples living their happily ever after.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE DUCHESS DEAL by Tessa Dare

And yet another book that had us (Lana, Jen and I) swooning for days! The Duchess Deal is wonderful romantic take on the beauty-and-the-beast trope. And it has one of the funniest meet-cute I’ve read this year.

I just love how this book was so unabashedly romantic–hence the swooning–and how humorous it is. This book had me in stitches. The scarred hero, Ashbury, was a perfect blend of grumpiness and deadpan humor. His interaction with the heroine and the other characters in the book were delightful. And Emma the vicar’s daughter turned duchess was delightful. Tessa Dare have consistently been writing fabulous heroines throughout her career and Emma is no exception.

I have been recommending this book to everyone who will listen especially those who don’t necessarily read historical romance but want to. This book is the perfect gateway for readers who want to try this genre!

AMAZON | GOODREADS | MY REVIEW


ILLEGAL CONTACT by Santino Hassell

If you’re looking for a slow-burn romance featuring two equally gorgeous and equally stubborn characters, Illegal Contact is the book for you. I’ve already heard some fabulous things about this author but it wasn’t until this book that I finally took the plunge and read a Santino. And boy, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year ’cause this book was EVERYTHING!

Steamy hot with loads of banter and full emotional moments that had me smiling or laughing or crying, sometimes all the same time. There’s nothing like a hard-won happily-ever-after, and this book gave me one of the most satisfying HEAs this year. No one is more deserving than Noah and Gavin.

Illegal Contact was fun ride from beginning to end. And yes, I am now hunting every Santino Hassell book I could get my hands on so I could do some catch up reading.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


FEELS LIKE SUMMER by Six de los Reyes

Six de los Reyes came to my attention after Courtney Milan raved about her book Beginner’s Guide on Twitter. I hastily grabbed a copy and hasn’t looked back since. I love her quirky characters and her humor, all of which are in full display in this book.

Feels Like Summer is engaging characters, captivating storyline and super hot sexy times. A story about a hot up-coming rockstar who needed a 5-minute pretend girlfriend and the mysterious, complex girl who made him want to extend that 5 minutes into eternity. *swoon*

Seriously, this book was fun and delightful read. Plus, it’s definitely the author’s hottest book yet. And lemme tell you that after reading this book, I don’t think I could look at a light saber the same way again.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh

Oh my gah, Valentin. *melts into a puddle of goo*

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This Changeling alpha bear stole my heart from the get go and he almost ALMOST replaced Hawke as my favorite Nalini Singh hero ever! No small feat coz duh, Hawke is Hawke but oh man, Valentin is right up there. It has intrigued and a dash of suspense. But the romance…the ROMANCE was top-notch swoonworthy. SO BEARY GOOD!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


PRETTY FACE by Lucy Parker

 Sometimes I feel like the book goods are smiling down at me and they send me a book that ticks all of my “how I want my romance book to be” boxes. Reading Pretty Face by Lucy Parker is definitely one of those times. And oh my gosh, I don’t have enough words to express how much I love this book! Lucy Parker delivered a stunning follow up to Act Like It. I was in book heaven!

Luc and Lily ended up becoming of my favorite couples of all time. I have a weakness for grumpy, taciturn heroes with hidden sweet side, and Luc fits the bill perfectly. And Lily is just awesome.

Pretty Face is full of laugh-out-loud dialogue, quick witted banter and scorching chemistry between Luc and Lily. The conflict also felt organic. And their banter is beyond hilarious! And did I mention swoony? As you might notice, I’m addicted to swoony books and Pretty Face delivers on the swoon factor!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BETTER AT WEDDINGS THAN YOU by Mina Esguerra

If someone were to ask me why they should read this book, I would say read it because of the wedding planner hero. That might sound too simplistic but that’s totally what made me one-click this book.

Both the hero and heroine are wedding planners. Talk about subverting expectations and challenging well established gender roles! It’s something that this author did really well in this book. Mina Esguerra is one of the authors that I follow that continues to challenge me as a reader. She challenges me in the way she writes her characters and the way she tells their story. I love it when authors challenge me like that. Like I never thought I would one day read about a male wedding planner who happens to be the hero in the book! But Mina gave that to me, and it makes me weep with joy!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


MAGIC BINDS but really the KATE DANIELS SERIES by Ilona Andrews

Okay, full disclosure: I AM OBSESSED with this series. And if it were up to me (which thank God, it’s not), I would totally include the whole Kate Daniels series on this list. That would be nine books, not including the novellas, which I also loved! Y’all would be here all day reading about how much I LOVE LOVE this series and how much you guys SHOULD TOTALLY READ IT!

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I love everything about it. EVERYTHING! But my top two reasons would be Kate Daniels and Curran Lennart. Sarcastic, mouthy Kate and growly, scary Curran! *heart eyes* You guys, they are my ultimate OTP. Their meet-cute was hilarious and they brawl throughout the series.

To be honest, it scares me how much I’m invested in this series. Like I would legit cry once the series is finally over. OMG, don’t even get me started on the possibility of my favorite characters dying. I won’t be handle it!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


DAY OF THE DUCHESS by Sarah MacLean

I was a sobbing mess after I finished this book! It has tons of angst and tension and best of all, it has a fabulous amount of groveling!!

I am in love with everything Sarah MacLean writes. Her stories make me laugh, cry and swoon at the same time. And even though her books are set at time where women are subservient to men but she always managed to write strong and complex heroines.

And her heroes are as amazing and interesting as her heroines. Strong, complicated men who will stop at nothing just to prove their love for the heroine. *heart-eyes* And the hero in this book is one of her most flawed and most unforgettable. Boy, talk about a hero who fell from grace.

There’s a reason why I always mention Sarah MacLean’s name every time someone asks me for recommendations on which historical romances they should read, and this book perfectly illustrates that. You want heart-wrenching, emotionally satisfying historical romance with complex characters? Pick a MacLean. You won’t regret.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BURN FOR ME, WHITE HOT, WILDFIRE by Ilona Andrews

Ah, the series that launched my Ilona Andrews obsession. This series is phenomenal!! I don’t even know where to begin! I’m not a huge fan of Urban Fantasy. Don’t ask me coz I’ve already forgotten my reasons why. I mean, what was I thinking really? UF is great. And Ilona Andrews writes some of best! And this series? Yeah, one of the best. No doubt about it.

IA hooked me and they still haven’t let go. This series has everything! The world building is masterful. It has magic and family rivalries and intrigue and suspense! Not to mention, there are plenty of pulse pounding action and a healthy dose of “made-me-weak-in-the-knees” romance.

I believe in paying it forward. So every time I found someone who says they don’t read UF, I get in their face and show them this series. They don’t call me hooker Geri for nothing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go and pester Lana and Jenn to read this series.

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GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


Check out Jenn’s list HERE

Check out Lana’s list HERE

Geri’s Review: Dance With Me by Alexis Daria

DANCE WITH ME
Series: Dance Off #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alexis Daria
Release Date: December 12, 2017

The second book in Alexis Daria’s dancing duology finds one playboy charmer falling for his new roommate.

Natasha Díaz is having a day. She’s trying to prove she can make it as a professional dancer, but she’s overworked, out of cash, and her roommate has just moved out. When she comes home to find a hole in her ceiling and her bedroom flooded, she’s desperate enough to crash with the one guy she can’t quit. She accepts his offer with one condition: no sleeping together while she’s living with him.

Dimitri Kovalenko has never lived with a woman before. But when Tasha’s in need of a place to stay, he suggests she move in without a second thought. He accepts her condition, hoping she won’t stick to it. They’re good together, both in the ballroom and the bedroom. Since their first dance, she’s never been far from his thoughts. Sure, she’s a pro and he’s one of her show’s judges, but they’re not currently filming, so no one needs to know.

Living in close quarters shows Dimitri a side of Natasha he’s never seen before, and he likes it. A lot. Too bad she’s doing everything in her power to keep him at arm’s length. When an injury forces Natasha to take it easy or risk her ability to dance, it’s his chance to show her that the rules have changed, and she can trust him with her heart.

AMAZON | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

She’s not going to want you because she needs you to make her life good, but because her life is already good and you make it better.

 

Alexis Daria is a new-to-me author, and after reading and enjoying Dance With Me, she’s definitely one that I would watch out for in the future. Dance With Me is a sexy, character-driven, romance that will tug at your heart.

Natasha is pro dancer in a reality show called Dance Off, and is in an on-and-off again relationship with one of the judges in the show, Dimitri. Tash is stuck in a rut. Not just professionally but also with her non-relationship with Dimitri. Then disaster struck forcing her to spend time with Dimitri in his own turf.

Their arrangement would be temporary, just long enough for Tasha to get back on her feet and find a more permanent place to live until her apartment gets fixed. Complicating matters is the new rule imposed by their production discouraging fraternization among dancers & judges.

I personally love character driven romances, and Dance With Me fits within that category to a tee. I really enjoyed the conflict in this book. Tasha is a very complex and flawed heroine who is adamant on doing it on her own. I loved how Ms. Daria was able to really flesh her character that even though you might not agree with some of her decisions, you still get her because her motivations were explored in the book.

Same goes for Dimitri. His fear of failure and rejection drove him to take Tasha for granted for three years. Wanting her and yet not really pushing for something more permanent with her, which he’s paying for dearly.

The push and pull between them, the asserting and acquiescing, and the physical and metaphorical dance off happening between Dimitri and Tasha are what made this book work for me. It’s fascinating and had me glued to its pages from beginning to end.

I cannot wait to read more from this author, and based on this book alone, she’s going to keep on delivering solid romantic stories with interesting and complex characters.

Geri’s Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

ROOMIES
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: December 5, 2017

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director.

When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him.

As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway.

In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS

Come home and kick me in the teeth if you need to, but then kiss me.

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This book isn’t just sweet & cute, it’s also full of charm and wit. It also has fantastic tension and conflict, not to mention a great chemistry between its main protagonists.

Roomies is told entirely in Holland’s point of view, which was great mainly because Holland is a character that you can’t help but love. She doesn’t have her shit together. One could say that she’s privileged, which she is, but the great thing again is that the book acknowledged her privilege. You just can’t help but root for her.  And her painful crush on the hero was not only endearing, it’s also very relatable.

Calvin was a crush-worthy hero that I honestly couldn’t blame Holland for crushing hard on him. What I really like about his character is that he’s not the quintessential ” alpha bad boy musician” hero I’m used to reading nowadays. He’s a theater nerd, and I personally find that refreshing. He’s very flawed, and his backstory is one that immigrants like me could relate to. And even if you’re not a US immigrant, you’d still feel for him.

I loved the marriage-of-convenience set up. Holland and Calvin started out as strangers and then friends until they inevitably became lovers. But things aren’t as straightforward as it may seem. There’s quite a bit of angst in this book. Not too much though, just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and invested in these characters. You want them to work out so bad but since they’re not perfect characters, imperfect decisions were made.

One other thing that makes this book for me are the secondary characters, most especially Holland’s “uncles” Jeff and Robert. Their presence in this book was a grounding force for Holland. They’re her rock and she’d be lost without them. I loved these characters so much I wanted to read more about them, preferably in their own standalone book.

Roomies isn’t a perfect book but the emotion it evoked was undeniable. The romance, the banter, the sexy times…all of it worked. It’s a quick read, too. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It was that readable.

So whether you’re a fan of the marriage-of-convenience trope or not, I highly recommend this book. It’s sweet and angsty with characters that you can’t help but fall in love with.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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