Geri’s Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

OCEAN LIGHT
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 12, 2018

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love…

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there’s a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment–taking his brain along with it.

With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he’s at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling…

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won’t hide the facts of Bo’s condition from him or herself. She’s suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine…

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back–even if it means striking a devil’s bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy…

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

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

Tautly plotted with dynamic characters and contains of the highest stakes—both romantic and plot-wise—in the series, Ocean Light will engage not just your mind but your heart as well.

Tonight was their impossible dream.

This book picks up not far from where the last book ended. Bowen Knight survived his assassination attempt but the chip in his brain is still degenerating and with time running out, his sister agrees to a deal with the Blacksea changeling clan to take Bo deep underwater to undergo an experiment that could save his life or end it.

I am so happy that this Nalini continued to build on this universe. We’ve only heard about the BlackSea changelings in previous books but in Ocean Light, they finally take the center stage. And what a fascinating world it is. Ms. Singh’s clever world building continues to fascinate and entranced. The BlackSea changelings have their own quirks that separate them from other changelings but what remains constant is their sense of belonging to a family, a pack, or a clan. This theme has been a constant from the very first Psy-Changeling book and continues with the Trinity series. It is again a huge theme here.

As I mentioned, this book has one of the highest stakes in the series. Don’t get me wrong. The stakes in these books are always high but in Ocean Light it is even more so. With Bo’s life on the line and the Trinity Accord being attacked from the inside, not to mention Kaia dealing with trauma and mental health issues, the characters are in constant state of peril in this book. There’s a sense of urgency and doom that I wasn’t exactly sure how the author was going to resolve everything but she did and did it wonderfully.

The romance between Bo and Kaia was just as satisfying as the mystery and intrigue. Singh is one of the masters of crafting a strong romantic conflict. Bowen is a human, a leader of the Alliance that wasn’t always trustworthy in the eyes of the changelings. He’s made errors in the past but his heart is always in the right place.

Promise me.” He grabbed her hand, pressed it to his cutting-edge mechanical heart that would keep going long after he fell. “If it goes wrong, you’ll walk away. Promise me.”

Kaia on the other hand is a changeling whose past made her distrustful of humans. She sees humans and the land as forces of destruction and loss. Bowen’s presence and her peculiar reaction to him puts Kaia in a very vulnerable position.

I love how the romance developed between them. There’s playfulness to their relationship that I found endearing to read. Their HEA was EARNED and it was SATISFYING.

Ocean Light delivers on the romance along with healthy sprinkling of mystery and intrigue that will hold your attention from beginning to end. This is another win for Nalini Singh, and I highly recommend that you start from the very beginning with Slave to Sensation. Yes, it’s a lot of books and you can probably start with Silver Silence and still enjoy or even love the books but I highly HIGHLY recommend starting with the original Psy-Changeling series.

DGR Fave & Geri’s Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Helen Hoang
Release Date: June 5, 2018

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan.

The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel.

Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

AMAZON | B&N

All the things that make you different make you perfect.”

Oh my gosh, this book!

I’ve seen my friends gush about Helen Hoang’s debut for a month or so, and being a contrarian that I am, I tried to temper my expectations. I’ve been here before. Everyone I know loved a book and I’m like, ‘meh’. But that’s not the case here.

The Kiss Quotient not only met my expectations, IT EXCEEDED IT!

I finished this book with a huge grin on my face (always a good sign) and full heart. These characters that Hoang brought to life in the pages of her book made me laugh, cry, and fall in love with them.

You’re very good at the talking part.”
“I’ve had sex. There isn’t a talking part.”
A spark danced in his eyes. “There’s definitely a talking part.”

Stella Lane is magnificent as Hoang’s heroine. She’s beautiful, smart, and kind. Her motivations were so wonderfully written and explored by the author that there’s really nothing I can say except, WOW. I just fell in love with her character just like Michael did.

And speaking Michael? Oh man, easily one of the best romance heroes ever. And I don’t say this lightly. Michael Larsen is a cinnamon roll. Sweet and gooey and perfect for Stella! He might be the sweetest and softest hero but he also owns one of the dirtiest mouth out there. In other words, he’s perfect.

Love, he found, was a jail. It trapped, and it clipped wings. It dragged you down, forced you to places you didn’t want to go.

In all seriousness though, this book is definitely one of the best I’ve read this year. Everything about it worked for me. The romance was excellent. The characters were multi-dimensional, even the secondary ones (please give us Quan’s book, please?), were interesting and had motivations you can relate to.  And lastly, don’t let the pretty pastel cover fool you ’cause this book is super steamy in the best way possible.

So yeah, I dig everything about this book and I hope you would read it and dig it too.

 

Geri’s Review: Grumpy Fake Boyfriend by Jackie Lau

GRUMPY FAKE BOYFRIEND
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jackie Lau
Release Date: May 22nd 2018

I’m a pretty simple guy. When I’m not writing a science fiction novel, I’m watching a good movie or reading a book.

Alone. I like my reclusive life.

That is, until my only friend asks for a favor—pretend to be his baby sister’s boyfriend on a couples’ getaway. Her ex is going to be there and she needs me as a buffer.

I should have said no, but Naomi is bubbly, energetic, and beautiful.

She also means everything to her brother.

But now, our fake romance is starting to feel all too real, and I find myself stuck between the promise I made to my friend and risking my heart to the one woman who might actually get me…

 

AMAZON

Grumpy Fake Boyfriend is exactly what I expected—a sweet, low-angst romance with cute banter, and fun, relatable characters.

Will Stafford is the aforementioned grumpy, fake boyfriend who was asked by a dear friend of his to pretend to be his sister’s fake boyfriend for the weekend. Will is many things but he is not a social person at all.

A weekend—a long weekend—with several people I don’t know in a freaking beach house while pretending to be someone’s boyfriend is pretty much the worst thing I could imagine.

But he owes Jeremy big time. So despite his reservations, he agreed to spend time with strangers and pretend to be someone’s boyfriend.

Enter Naomi Kwan. The bubbly, fun, beautiful sister in need of a fake boyfriend. She’s social, and she’s not afraid to put herself out there. A total opposite of Will. But the moment they met, the chemistry between them was undeniable.

We need to figure out our story. How did we meet? How long have we been dating?”

“A month,” I say. “We met through your brother.”

“You’re a writer. I thought you had better imagination than that.”

This was a fun book to read. Mainly because Will’s and Naomi’s inner monologue were a riot. They’re both hilarious. Their banter was cute and despite some personal issues I have with the writing style—first person present tense is not my favorite AT ALL—I was engaged and smiling all the way through. The characters were just so dang fun to read.

Jackie Lau was able to highlight the differences in their personality without feeling like it’s too much of a difference for them to be realistically together. That’s also an issue for me with the opposite attracts trope. Sometimes the two main characters are too much of an opposite that the HEA doesn’t feel believable. That wasn’t a problem here. The author was able to craft Naomi and Will’s personalities and still was able to convince me that they can work together as a couple.

Overall, this was a sweet and fun read. I finished this book with a smile on my face. So if you’re looking for some light, low-angst read, I would recommend this book.

Geri’s Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

MAKING UP
Series: London Celebrities #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lucy Parker
Release Date: May 28, 2018

Author of Act Like It and Pretty Face Lucy Parker returns readers to the West End, where it’s fireworks onstage and off in a sexy enemies-to-lovers showdown.

Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.

To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.

When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

It seems hopeless.

Utterly impossible.

And yet…

AMAZON

 

Lucy Parker became an instant favorite after I fell in love with the first book of her London Celebrity series. She has never fails to deliver on the swoons and the great characters. The third book, Making Up, is no exception.

We’ve met Trix in Pretty Face. She’s a circus artist and Lily’s best friend who was in an abusive relationship with Dan. That abuse took a toll on Trix and the aftermath was even more heartbreaking. She lost confidence in herself and her talents, and just when it seems like her career and life are in the doldrums, an opportunity to take the lead role in the long running show she’s in dropped on lap right along with her old nemesis, Leo Magasiva.

We’ve also met Leo Magasiva briefly in Pretty Face. He’s a make up artist whose Holywood rise was derailed by an allergic reaction mishap. Now back in London, Leo joined Trix’s company as the head make up artist.

Can I just say how refreshing it is to read about a hero who is not a billionaire/Rockstar/biker/soldier but a makeup artist? I loved it. Plus, Leo Magasiva was just divine. Swoon-worthy, creative guy with a heart of gold. He’s the perfect man for Trix, and lord knows she needs someone trustworthy after Dan the snake oil man almost ruined her life.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, Trix.” It was the only thing he could say. It was also a total bloody lie. It was them. It was going to be completely fucking complicated.”

The chemistry between Trix and Leo just leaps off the page and their banter was amazing. Lucy Parker definitely knows how to write banter. The relationship between Trix and Leo was complicated from the start. They had history and they had personal issues to deal with on top of everything. I of course, adored it because I love me some complicated.

It was delightful going back to the London setting of this book. I wish more contemporary romances are set there just to break the monotony of American set romances. I loved that the London described in this book is filled with diverse characters and it felt lived in. London’s West End is in and on itself a main character in the book. And oh, this book was also damn funny. It’s not slapstick humor but the sarcastic, offbeat, and deadpan kind, which I personally prefer.

There’s a new character introduced in this book which I feel readers will either love or hate. I wasn’t sure about it myself but I think I love to read more about this character. Fingers crossed Lucy will have something plan because it’s going to get interesting to say the least.

We do not squee over anything to do with this man, ovaries. Rein in the hormones immediately.”

I enjoyed this book immensely. Although I’ll be the first one to say that it’s far from perfect. I had a bit of an issue with the pacing especially the middle. It was definitely slow during that part but it did pick up and finished strong. And that epilogue!! Loved it.

There is also a scene that might raise some discussion around consent. And after thinking about it and rereading that part again, I personally wasn’t bothered by it. I felt that something was already established between them. So I wasn’t bothered by it. I’m mentioning this, trying to be as vague as possible as to not spoil the book but I also feel that it’s a good point to discuss among readers.

Anyway, I still adored this book. Those little snags weren’t big enough to affect my overall enjoyment at all.

Geri’s Review: Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

HURTS TO LOVE YOU
Series: Forbidden Hearts #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alisha Rai
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Being bad never felt so good, in the third novel in Alisha Rai’s sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.

Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.

When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 

Hurts to Love You, the final book in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, puts the youngest Chandler and Gabe Hunter. It also ties up some story threads from the previous books in the series. It also gave readers all the answers that we’ve been asking ourselves about one particular event that started the Kane-Chandler fued all those years ago.

Gabe Hunter has secrets. Secrets that he has to keep because it could change everything from his standing among the Kanes and his relationships with Jackson and Livvy. And his attraction to Eve complicate things. So he tried to stay away but with Nicholas and Livvy’s upcoming destination wedding coming up, his plans of staying away from Eve became even more challenging.

Eve is shy, a bit timid but not lacking in courage despite growing up emotionally abused by her father. Her long time crush on Gabe is just that: a crush. She doesn’t think he feels that way for her. But Eve is tired of being held back by her past. She has plans and one of those plans involve Gabe. And her brother’s upcoming wedding is the perfect opportunity for her to convince Gabe that she’s not the little girl he once knew.

I felt for Evie’s unrequited feelings for Gabe. I was rooting for her to get the guy. And it was so satisfying when everything finally lined up for her and for him as well. Alisha Rai took her own sweet time with these two characters but the payoff was well worth it. The romance, once it got going, was hot. Gabe was definitely hiding his growly, dirty talking, alpha self underneath his man-bun. The things he said to Eve during their sexy times will make your toes curl.

Overall, I liked how this book brought everything full circle for these two families. After all the betrayals and secrets, it’s nice to see these characters win especially Gabe! His secret was quite obvious to those who have read the previous books, at least to me they are. And that’s quite okay because this book isn’t really about the “secret.” It’s more about the characters and their journey.

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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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?

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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?

 

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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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