Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

BIRTHDAY GIRL
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 17, 2018

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

 

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

 

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Subscribe to her blog: http://www.penelopedouglasauthor.com/news/

Be alerted of her next release: http://amzn.to/1hNTuZV

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Penelope is giving away (4) $25 Amazon gift cards and (2) signed paperbacks!

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Geri’s Review: Scoring Off the Field by Naima Simone

SCORING OFF THE FIELD
Series: WAGS #2
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Author: Naima Simone
Release Date: March 12, 2018

Tennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend … and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years.

But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on.

Enter steps two and three: new job and new man.

Football is Dominic’s life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson— is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating.

He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend.

Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not.

 

AMAZON

Wowza! This book checked all my boxes!

Sexy.
Steamy.
With the right amount of angst thrown in!!

It’s no secret that I love the two tropes equally: unrequited love and friends-to-lovers. Scoring Off Field has both. So yeah, I requested this baby so fast and [insert squee here] I was not disappointed.

Tennyson Clark has been in love with her best friend, Washington Warrior’s quarterback, Dominic Anderson. Football was Dom’s whole life. His other whole life is his best friend and personal assistant, Tenny. Unfortunately, Tenny just dropped a bomb. She’s moving on and getting a life away from Dom. This decision turned Dom’s world upside down and became the catalyst for their relationship changing.

I loved Tennyson. She had a hard life but she never lost her optimism. She had some emotional scars that came from a difficult childhood so I totally felt for her and understood her decision to walk away from Dom. I applauded her decision despite also wanting them to get together.

While I do think that Dom cared about her even prior to their romance, he took her for granted. Football was his last connection to the family he loved and lost so his decision to make football his lover and mistress was understandable. He was clueless about his best friend’s feelings but he wasn’t intentionally cruel. He did everything he could for Tenny but it wasn’t exactly what Tenny wanted from him. It took a while for Dom to realize it but once he did, he was all in. I also understood Dom.

The transition from friends to lovers can be tricky but it felt seamless here. I was already invested in both Tenny and Dom, so their coming together was something I was already invested in. I loved that despite their physical chemistry, there was still some emotional issues and character journeys that they have to embark on, and it was those issues and character journeys that kept me glued to the book. It was emotionally satisfying to read how these two characters grow and develop.

Naima Simone did an exceptional job with Tenny and Dom. I loved them as individuals and loved them together. I sound like a broken record saying this but the romance in this book was so satisfying. It’s one of those books that puts a smile in your face throughout the day after you finished it. Definitely one of my top reads of the year.

Cover Reveal: The Real by Kate Stewart

THE REAL 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: March 27, 2018

They say it happens when you least expect it.

 

It did for me.

 

It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:

 

Cameron’s Mac: Hi.

 

And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.

 

We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.

 

It worked.

 

I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.

 

We built our love on a foundation of gray.

 

It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.

 


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.

Geri’s Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

A PRINCESS IN THEORY
Series: Reluctant Royals #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alyssa Cole
Release Date:  February 27, 2018

From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed.

When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO

A Princess in Theory was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, for good reasons. One. It has a fairy tale like premise: a royal prince looking for his long-lost betrothed who happens to have no idea of who he is and thinks he’s just out to scam her. Two. I’ve seen and read countless of “royal romance” stories in the past year or so featuring princes and princesses from fictional European countries but zero stories from non-Euro fictional kingdoms. A Princess in Theory gives us the fictional African kingdom of Thesolo. And let me tell you right now, after reading the book, I am so ready to book a one-way ticket to Thesolo. Three. The book features a STEM heroine and a prince. I mean, come on. That’s like peak OTP for me.

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So yes, I have high expectations for this book and fortunately, all of it were not just met, but were exceeded by this book. Alyssa Cole created a very colorful and exciting world filled with complex and interesting characters.

“She was fine on her own. She always had been. And if no good guy ever made it past her barriers? Well, that’d be fine, too. Just fine.”

Naledi is right up there as being one of my favorite heroines ever. She’s smart, driven, and a little bit broken. She hides her emotions behind a tough exterior but she’s all gooey on the inside. Her backstory was heartbreaking and explains why she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Prince Thabiso’s arrival challenges Ledi’s boundaries and forces her to change in so many ways. I love where the author took this character. The emotional character journey Ledi went through was so amazing and so worth it.

Ledi isn’t the only thing that made me love this book though. Everyone, meet the Crown Prince of Thesolo, Prince Thabiso.

“But instead of a peeved researcher standing in the doorway, there was the finest man Ledi had ever seen outside of a social media thirst trap pic.”

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Sorry. I didn’t mean to show my thirst like that but oh-em-gee, Jamal aka Prince Thabiso was amazing. And I don’t just say that because he’s hot and he’s a prince. Like Ledi, he went through his own emotional journey.

Thabiso is a prince—the Prince. He’s loyal and he loves his people, but he was also arrogant, privileged and can be dismissive of other people’s feelings. He grew up surrounded by people who’re there to accommodate his whims and desires. He was in for a rude awakening with Ledi though because here was a woman who he thought would fall over herself because he’s a prince. Instead he found someone who not only didn’t know who he is but mistakes him for a hired help.

I loved how he changed from this arrogant prince to someone worthy of Ledi’s love and affection. Their romance just builds off of that initial meeting and went to some really interesting places.

“Her mouth curved up into a smile and something in his chest moved out of alignment.

The romance between Ledi and Thabiso wasn’t all rainbows and roses. Ledi has her own issues while Thabiso wasn’t really being honest. And I admit I was nervous because there’s a chance that Thabiso’s deception would be swept under a rug just because he’s the hero of the story and that the reader and the heroine are supposed to forgive him immediately. Rest assured, Ledi did not make it easy for him. And I liked that so much. Thabiso had to work for her forgiveness and nothing warms my heart more than a hero that grovels.

“Fuckboyism is a fairly common disease in men aged eighteen to thirty-five.”
“What’s the cure?” he asked.
“You’ll have to ask your doctor about that. But I can tell you right now that it’s not me.”

And oh, did I mention that this book was funny? Not slapstick funny but understated-but-still-makes-you-laugh-out-loud funny. Ledi’s Ledisms are hilarious and Thabiso’s stint as a lowly waiter had me rolling.

I also loved the secondary cast of characters from Thabiso’s parents to Ledi’s family and friends. Speaking of friends, Portia, Ledi’s best friend was very interesting. There were moments where I really didn’t like what she did, but I couldn’t help but root for her to find redemption. Her story is next and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to read it.

A Princess in Theory is a breath of fresh air. If you’re looking for a swoon-worthy read, I highly recommend this. This book made laugh and gave me characters I could relate and really root for. I finished this book with a huge smile on my face. I was soooo good, you guys! I highly recommend it.

And Alyssa Cole, take a bow, because A Princess in Theory is one of those books that readers will be recommending and talking about in the weeks to come.

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Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just gonna run out and one-click more Alyssa Cole books. Kthnxbye.

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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?

 

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKSKOBO 

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.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER

 

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.

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

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.

Image result for hot kiss gif

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 . . .


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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!

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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.

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