Review: Kissing The Boss by Linda Kage

Series: The Fairy Tale Quartet #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Linda Kage
Release Date: March 2, 2018

What’s the one thing you shouldn’t do when your boss is your ruthless evil widowed stepmother who hates your guts more than anyone?

Kiss the man she’s interested in.

So what does Kaitlynn Judge find herself doing?

Yep, she kisses the one man her stepmother currently wants, who also happens to be the CEO of the company where she works.

Can we say doomed?

After the death of her father, Kaitlynn’s life has been stuck in a rut. But that begins to change after meeting a dashing stranger during the office Halloween party. Now she has to navigate vengeful stepmothers, meddling stepsiblings, and gorgeous guys in hot pursuit to reach her happily ever after.

While making a detour from the fantasy aspect, this contemporary take on the Cinderella story continues to cling to a few of our favorite traditions. You’ll still find the unmerited oppression along with fleeing women, missing shoes, mouse companions, magic wands, pumpkin-like rides to the big bash, and so much more. So rest assured, it’s all familiar and yet quirkily different.


Beware of those crazy office holiday parties…

I’ve been a huge Linda Kage fan ever since her Forbidden Men series. She wrote some of my favorite angsty NA romance. This series is nothing like those. I’m actually ashamed to admit that I avoided starting this series because for some reason I thought it was a 4 part book. It’s not. It’s a quartet series. Each book is a full standalone with HEA set inside the same world and focusing on its own individual spins of fairy tales we know and love.

Kissing The Boss is a deliciously fun take on Cinderella and it was a perfectly light and feel good contemporary romance.

Kaitlynn Judge is stuck working for her witch of a stepmother who now runs her late father’s company that she had always dreamed would be hers. Left practically penniless after her father passed and left everything to her stepmother, Kaitlynn is not one to give up her dream. She doesn’t care if she has to work for free as a thankless intern for a woman that has no small amount of resentment and hate towards her. But she’ll take the licks if it means working her way up in the company and that much closer to making her dreams come true. Instead of two evil stepsisters, she has two stepbrothers. One that’s a total manwhore, but loves her fiercely. The other is a bit of a grumpy mystery. But things really spice up for Kaitlynn when an Office Halloween company leads to an unknowing kiss with the company’s co-CEO and the object of her stepmother’s not so secret obsession.

Ezra Nash was the best part about this book. I seriously loved this man. He was sexy, swoony, and while a bit hot and cold at first when he realizes who Kaitlynn is, once he decides he has to have her, he’s not shy about it. I loved the way he pursues and woos Kaitlynn.

I also loved the easy relationship that Kaitlynn has with her stepbrother and how protective he was over her. The slew of secondary characters in this series definitely stole my heart and I’ll be going back and reading the first book immediately. This was a super cute twist on a classic tale with just enough of a unique spin to make it stand out. If you’re looking for a fun contemporary read with a swoony romance and a feel good story, you definitely can’t go wrong with this one.

#DGRFave & Review: At The Stroke Of Midnight by @TaraSivec @SMPRomance

Series: The Naughty Princess Club #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Tara Sivec
Release Date: February 27, 2018

Meet the Naughty Princess Club: a brand new series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that introduces readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that ensue when three women start a new business to make it rain.

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.


“I don’t want anything to hit PJ. I don’t even like him,” I lie, picturing his gorgeous face and how nicely he can wear a pair of jeans.
“You don’t have to like him to get yourself some good dicking. You need a good dicking, Cindy. Brian was mediocre at best. You need mind-blowing, toe-curling, forget-your-own-name dicking. And while you’re busy getting fucked into next week, you can also use him for his business knowledge, so it’s a win-win.”

Sometimes all a girl needs is a hilarious, laugh till you pee while vibrating with complete and total book satisfaction glee sort of romcom. At The Stroke of Midnight was that perfect book for me. It was perfectly hilarious. Perfectly swoony. Perfectly written. Perfectly paced. Perfectly perfect perfection! Basically what I’m trying to tell you is that I freaking LOVED THIS BOOK. HARD.

I don’t know how to act, and for the love of God, where does one put her hands when she’s sitting on a guy’s lap in a postorgasmic haze? Do I clasp them behind my head, do I hold them up for a high five and an “’Atta boy!”? Are jazz hands appropriate? What about spirit fingers?

At first when I started reading and I thought, OMG this totally reminds me of First Wives Club! And I loved that movie. A woman that gave up her life and goals for her husband only for him to run away with their much younger babysitter, leaving her with nothing, and mailing the divorce papers. Woman meets her snarky and smart mouthed neighbor whose husband left her for a man, and along with a shy librarian that’s full of random facts that she likes to spew at even more random times, they concoct a plan to get their life back. Hello, winning plot!!!

But this book was so much more than that, too! It’s a deliciously brilliant twist on the classic fairytale, chock full of incredibly endearing characters, and a super fun girlfriend bond between three of the most unlikely people. Man, I absolutely devoured this book!

Can a prim and proper housewife turn herself into a sexy and enticing stripper for a business concocted between her and two other equally desperate friends? That’s the question of the hour for Cynthia. There’s just one thing she needs; some stripper training. Too bad the owner of the well known establishment that she’d like to use to get her stripper shoe in the door also happens to be frustratingly sexy and having none of it. Sparks flew right away between PJ and Cindy. Theirs was a slow burn sizzle to beat all slow burn sizzles. It was also full of hilarious banter and enough sexual tension to light up a 10 mile city block. GOD IT WAS GOOD!

What I enjoyed even more that the banter between Cindy and PJ was the banter between the three girlfriends. I loved the three of them. Ariel with her smart mouth and never ending insults, and Belle and her endearing and shy demeanor.

This is how I love my romcoms. I couldn’t put this book down for even a second. I’m already vibrating for my next fit and I can’t wait to see what hilarity Tara Sivec thinks up for Belle and her Beast. If there’s even a single doubt you have ringing in your head about this book, tell that hooker to STFU, and one-click immediately! This is an absolute no-brainer must read!

Review: Degrees of Control by @Eve_Dangerfield

Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Eve Dangerfield
Release Date: February 9, 2018

Charlotte Bell is a typical yoga teacher. She’s friendly, earnest and has some slightly masochistic tendencies. After a painful break-up, she’s determined to address her long-denied kinks with the kind of man she’s always been too terrified to approach. Charlie’s friends select James Hunter, a male model turned suit who has some dark inclinations of his own.

After a ‘chance’ encounter at a party, James agrees to school Charlie in the harsher side of sex. He knows she’s too genuine, too kind, too everything for a guy like him but he won’t turn down the chance to break in a starry-eyed submissive like her. As Charlie and James attempt a strings-free sexual relationship they’re alarmed to discover a connection that runs deeper than either of them could have predicted.

This novel is a remastered version of the original released in 2015. It includes a new Degrees of Control of novella entitled ‘James and the Giant Dilemma.’


You were just aching to be f*cked hard, weren’t you, baby?”
“Yes. Yes.”
“And here I am, makin’ your dreams come true. So open that pretty mouth and thank me.”

Sweet baby jebus this book. THIS BOOK! And my ovaries! MY OVARIES! MY OVARIES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME…considering they even survived the inferno that was this book. I mean MY GAWD! MY. GAWD.
Do you know what I love about Eve Dangerfield? Her writing is a unique breath of fresh air. She writes these unconventional characters and makes you fall in love with them and her quirky brand of humor. I will never, and I mean, ever, get enough of it!

It felt like he was consuming her. The taste of his mouth, the press of his body. His scent was absorbing her like a black hole swallowing a minor planet.

Charlotte Bell is not exactly your typical heroine; she’s a vegan yoga teacher with a very particular kink. Charlie loves to be dominated, overpowered, and sexually controlled by a man. The only problem? She keeps finding the assholes and the man that she’s truly sexually attracted to absolutely terrify her. But with a pushy best friend and her manwhore cousin, the answers to Charlie’s kinky dreams appear in the form of one sexy blonde god with a kink for pretty, submissive yoga teachers.

Degrees of Control was so much more than just a RIDICULOUSLY sexy romance! It had incredibly well developed characters, a fantastic plot, all tied together in a flawlessly quirky writing style. Eve doesn’t just create characters, she makes them come to life and practically jump off the pages. Both Charlie and James are multi-layered with plenty of depth that you don’t just understand their kinks, you understand what truly drives them. You get why James is hesitant to put his heart on the line and hides behind a cold, brooding and unfeeling exterior. You understand why a woman that may not have all her life together but still knows what she wants out of it craves the things that she does. And ultimately, you completely understand what draws them to each other like magnets.

This book was deliciously kinky, entertaining, perfectly paced and absolutely unputdownable. I loved every ridiculously hot page of it. Eve Dangerfield has quickly become my go-to author for when I need a hit of something different and sexy. Do I recommend this book? Do bears shit in the woods? HELL YES!

Eve Dangerfield has loved romance novels since she first started swiping her grandmother’s paperbacks. Now she writes her own sexy tales about complex women and gorgeous-but-slightly-tortured men. Her work has been described as ‘the defibrillator contemporary romance needs right now,’ and not by herself, or even her mum, but by OTHER PEOPLE.  Eve lives in Melbourne with her boy, a bunch of semi-dead plants and a rabbit named Billy. When she’s not writing she can usually be found making a big ol’ mess. Act Your Age is her seventh novel.

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New Release, Review & Giveaway: Thief by A. Zavarelli

Series: Boston Underworld #5
Author: A. Zavarelli
Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Design: Lara, Coverlüv
Release Date: February 23, 2018


I’m a good girl.

I live by a code that can’t be bent or broken. It is my duty to my family to stay innocent and pure. To marry an Italian man. The stars are already aligned.

But Nikolai Kozlov re-writes my destiny with five simple words.

You belong to me now.

He’s Russian mafiya. A thief. A skilled liar with no moral boundaries. He is everything I have been taught to hate. A man who stands for nothing. A man who takes what he wants without a second thought.

And what he wanted was me.

He thinks he controls my fate, but what he doesn’t know is, sometimes it’s the good girls you have to watch out for.

I’m a dangerous man.

I live by a code. The Vory code. It is my duty to my family to protect the brotherhood. To destroy anyone who threatens what we stand for, including her.

She’s a dancer. A beautiful little doll. My prisoner, and my new favorite puppet. This mafia princess thinks she has me under her spell, but in the end, she is simply collateral.

It’s a shame to destroy precious things.

But this is what bad men do.



I knew my captor was dangerous. I just didn’t realize how dangerous he was to me.

Tanaka has only ever known duty and dreams. Her dream to become a ballerina, her dream to be the best one she can, it’s all within reach now. But her duty to her Italian roots and her father’s debt to another mafia syndicate soon costs her more than she knows.

He likes to break me so he can put me back together again.

Thief, much like the previous books in this series, spares no detail in taking the reader deep into the dark underbelly of organized crime. The Bratva is not known for being forgiving, and Nikolai is owed a debt; a debt that he intends to take in blood. Nikolai is a character that first caught my interest in Ghost. The brother to Alexei that proves to have a whole lot more depth that the reader is originally lead to believe, he intrigued me to no end. With a psychopath for a father, a feud with his brother, and a determination to find out what happened to his mother, Nikolai is ruthless in his efforts. Breaking the daughter of the man that may have been responsible for a lot of his pain is at the epicenter of the storm of rage that he has.

While I fell hard and fast for Nikolai, Tanaka took a bit of warming up to. They may both be broken beyond repair, but Tanaka is even more so, just in a different way. But while she’s not the badass mafia princess that you’d expect, she’s no wilting flower either. Beneath the broken exterior lies the strength of a fighter and that came out more and more as the story progressed.

…this is not the kind of sex I ever imagined myself having. It’s unholy and it’s righteous. Corrupt but blessed. Shamefully lewd and sinfully sweet. And now, I don’t believe in heaven or hell. There is only purgatory.

A. Zavarelli definitely has a gift for writing one addicting and gritty mafia romance. She doesn’t shy away from the gory details or getting her readers way outside of their comfort zone. Nikolai is not perfect, and he makes it no secret. If you’re expecting a sweet hero in a bad circumstance that wields a gun while making googly eyes at the heroine, you’d best read another book. My one quibble with the story is the somewhat incorrect use of Russian terminology, slang, and nicknames. However, the author also clearly did her research on the Bratva and there wasn’t much Russian used here that brought out my nitpicking like it typically would.

Thief was another action packed and gritty installment in the Boston Underground series, and the intensity hasn’t lessened even a little. I can’t get enough of these mafia men, and I hope there’s more to come!


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A. Zavarelli is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author.

She likes all things chocolate, books that come with warnings, and putting her characters through hell. Her tales have been known to flirt with darkness and sometimes court it unabashedly altogether. Revenge themes and tortured souls are her favorites to write and this gives her an excuse to watch bizarre and twisted documentaries in her spare time.

She currently lives in the Northwest with her lumberjack and an entire brood of fur babies.

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Review: More Than Memories by N.E. Henderson

Series: More Than #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: N.E. Henderson
Release Date: July 27, 2017


A heartbreaking second chance contemporary romance that’ll leave you reeling with emotion overload.

Memories are never forgotten.

Or so it’s said, but she did.

She forgot herself, me—us.

She forgot everything.

One day I woke up and there was only pain.

This pain so fierce that I can’t overcome it alone.

My heart was ripped out of my chest.

I’m surviving, but barely.

Not even the physical outlet I seek, to purge the torment of remembering the one I can’t let go, helps anymore.

In all of his agony, what if the worst of his pain has yet to be expelled? A secret that could have changed everything . . . had he known.


She was mine longer than she’s ever known. She was mine from the start. I’ve just never told her that until a few minutes ago.

Truth be told, this book has been on my radar for a while. It first caught my attention with the beautiful cover, and then it completely hooked me with the blurb. I’m a sucker for an angsty read, and More Than Memories certainly delivered on that end.

There’s nothing I love better than a good amnesia plot, and as far as memory loss stories go, this one packed a heck of a punch. Ten years ago, Shane lost the love of his life in the most tragic of ways. They may have been total opposites, but they’ve always shared one heart. One night rips everything apart, and Shane hasn’t been the same since.

Ten years have passed, and Whitney re-enters his life in the most unexpected of ways. She looks like the love of his life, she talks like her, but she has none of her memories. She doesn’t remember him and she doesn’t remember their friends. She’s married. Has a family. She’s a stranger. But the invisible pull that’s always existed between them is still there.

I was instantly hooked on their story and fully invested from the prologue alone. This was a powerful and highly emotional second chance romance.

He’s mine. He has always been mine. And he will always be mine.

Unfortunately, minor issues throughout the story began to wane my enjoyment. While I’m not usually a stickler for grammar, I have to admit that the highly noticeable ones in this book were distracting enough to take me out of the story at times. An extra comma where there shouldn’t be, misspelled words and the like weren’t glaring, but their were noticeable. It wasn’t many, but it was enough to be distracting to the flow of the story. This was more of a minor inconvenience than anything else, however. What ultimately lowered my rating was something that I may be at fault for myself. Since I dove right into More Than Memories without having read More Than Lies first, I struggled on wrapping my mind around most of the secondary characters. While this focuses on a completely different couple than book one, there are clearly a lot of interconnections, the major one being the group of friends. It felt almost overwhelming at times getting all of their backstories as quickly as we did, and I’d forget who was who and how they tied into things. There’s a lot of backstory here, and even though the author does explain it, for a reader just being introduced to this world, it felt confusing. Perhaps if there were just one or two, but there were quite a few, and it took me almost the entire book to really understand the full dynamics of it.

The romance was a slow burn, and deliciously angsty. I really loved Shane and Whitney together. They were memorable and highly developed characters with plenty of layers. Admittedly, while I love angst, there were some twists that were thrown in that felt a little OTT on the drama department and read almost like a soap. Don’t get me wrong, I typically gobble that shit up with a spoon and beg for more. But with the way things unravel at the end, it just felt like a bit much. A little less drama and a little more angst and emotion would have sufficed for me. But obviously you can’t please every reader.

Did I enjoy More Than Memories? Abso-freaking-lutely. It may not have been a perfect read, but it was still perfectly entertaining. I’m definitely a fan of this author and will happily read her books in the future. If you’re looking for a unique and memorable second chance romance with plenty of feels and angst, this will do the trick nicely.

New Release & Review: Nobody Does It Better by Lexi Blake

Series: Masters & Mercenaries #15
Genre: Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: February 20, 2018

A spy who specializes in seduction

Kayla Summers was an elite CIA double agent, working inside China’s deadly MSS. Now, she works for McKay-Taggart London, but the Agency isn’t quite done with her. Spy master Ezra Fain needs her help on a mission that would send her into Hollywood’s glamorous and dangerous party scene. Intrigued by the mission and the movie star hunk she will be shadowing, she eagerly agrees. When she finds herself in his bed, she realizes she’s not only risking her life, but her heart.

A leading man who doesn’t do romance

Joshua Hunt is a legend of the silver screen. As Hollywood’s highest paid actor, he’s the man everyone wants to be, or be with, but something is missing. After being betrayed more than once, the only romance Josh believes in anymore is on the pages of his scripts. He keeps his relationships transactional, and that’s how he likes it, until he meets his new bodyguard. She was supposed to keep him safe, and satisfied when necessary, but now he’s realizing he may never be able to get enough of her.

An ending neither could have expected

Protecting Joshua started off as a mission, until it suddenly felt like her calling. When the true reason the CIA wanted her for this assignment is revealed, Kayla will have to choose between serving her country or saving the love of her life.


She could handle his now, and he wanted her to be his future. If only she could accept his past.

Lexi Blake sure knows how to end a series with a bang! Nobody Does It Better packed a heck of a punch; sexy, action packed, suspenseful, with a whole lot of espionage and plot twists thrown in. I couldn’t get enough!

This was an incredibly bittersweet book for me to read. Lexi’s Master and Mercenaries series has been one of my top favorite Romantic Suspense series. With a dash of espionage and a splash of BDSM, this series quickly became both an addiction and an obsession.

Kayla is the last of the original McKay-Taggart crew without a HEA and she definitely doesn’t get an easy one. After spending years as a double agent with the MSS, she’s no stranger to taking on a role. Now she’s taken on her biggest role yet; as the bodyguard and submissive to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

There was something running under her surface. Something dark and twisted that would fight like hell with that unbelievably sunny smile of hers. Something he would like to explore

Joshua Hunt is definitely no regular movie star. He’s a man with a dark past that’s left its share of scars on his soul. Try as he could to outrun it, it always caught up to him. He no longer believes in love or happily ever after, but contracts and the pleasure of now. Joshua thinks that Kay is there to serve as his new bodyguard and submissive, but the truth is so much more than that.

Admittedly, I wanted to hate Josh for his behavior at times. Because of his past he’s quick to judge and jumps to the worst possible conclusion. This is not a man that grovels after his woman. This is a man that hides his feelings and his past scars beneath a veneer of cold indifference and callous words. Kay is the one woman that understands what he needs better than most. She takes his punishments and his callousness and she doesn’t run. She confuses him with her giving nature. In any other book, I’d say Kay is a pushover, but she’s far from it. It takes a strong woman to see beneath the mask and down to the true man that Josh is underneath; to give him a chance to see that man himself. As much as I wanted her to strike back at Josh for some of his bitter words, I understood why she didn’t.

There’s so much that happens here beyond the romance as well. Nobody Does It Better was one action packed ride full of twists and turns. There are so many secrets that come to the surface that completely blew my mind. And while the McKay Taggart team has their moments, we also get a nice introduction to a spin-off with The Lost Boys that I absolutely can’t wait for.

I can’t say this was my favorite romance in the series, but it was still a highly satisfying one. I loved Kay and Josh together. Even if at times I felt Josh doesn’t deserve Kay, he came through and redeemed himself at the end. Get ready for some crazy revelations, because this story packed a number of them. And while I’m sad to see my favorite series come to an end, it certainly was one high-octane conclusion.




NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.


Review: Wish You Were Mine by Tara Sivec

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Sivec
Release Date:  November 14, 2017

Five years. I would’ve stayed away longer if I hadn’t received the letter. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about her, haven’t missed her smile, haven’t wished that things were different.

The last time I saw my two best friends, I vowed to not stand in the way of their happiness, even if that meant I couldn’t be a part of their lives.

Cameron James and her emerald-green eyes were too much of a temptation and I couldn’t stay and watch them together.

Cameron deserved better than me.

She deserved him.

But now that I am back, things are different. I’m not going to stand by and watch the woman I’ve always loved slip away again. I’m done living my life with regrets and I’m ready to tell her the truth. And I’ll do whatever it takes to show her that I always wished she was mine.


I hate that I’ve missed Everett so much, that a part of me wants to forgive him for everything. I hate that seeing him again gave me butterflies and made me remember all of the feelings I used to have for him. I hate that he’ll never understand how much his disappearance from my life broke my heart, because I can never tell him. I can never tell him that he always had my heart, and he took it with him when he left, because it will just make me look like a fool. A fool who waited around for years, hoping her best friend would someday fall in love with her.

After absolutely LOVING The Story of Us, I was thrilled that I’d be getting more of that world with this book. Cameron James is the daughter of Shelby and Eli, and I was beyond excited when I realized this. I’m a huge fan of Tara’s emotional second chance romances, and Wish You Were Mine certainly packed a good angsty punch.

Everett and Cameron grew up as best friends, and unbeknownst to each other, in love. But then life happened, teenage insecurities and family dynamics came into play and they drifted. Now Everett is back in the small town he grew up in, reeling from the death of his best friend and the letter he left him after his death, determined to finally make things right.

This was a slow paced, character driven story that was told in present and flash backs. And while I wanted to love both of these characters, I struggled. I simply couldn’t connect to them or their plight. I couldn’t even put my finger on what or why, but I couldn’t help feeling like something was just…missing for me. Because of that, I struggled to stay connected to the story. Everett and Cameron have a slow paved road to their HEA and I found myself getting easily distracted and disengaged from the story.

The writing was wonderful, the set up was there. I think this was just a case of me and not the book. I adore Tara Sivec and can’t wait for more of these stories from her, but sadly this one just didn’t blow me away like her others.

Review: Over Us, Over You by Whitney G.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Whitney G
Release Date: December 7, 2017

From New York Times bestselling author Whitney G. comes a falling for my older brother’s best friend romance.

Subject: Delete this message after you read it…

Dear Hayley,

I’m assuming you’re still hungover, so I’ll make this brief.

Last night, you slipped under my sheets (without my permission), and we almost had sex. I got the hell out of the bed once I realized it was you, and I took you home.

That’s the story.

The end.


Just in case you’ve forgotten, you’re my best friend’s little sister. We will never be anything more. (We can’t be anything more.) Our previous friendship is still unresolved–or “over” in your terms, so I’d prefer if we worked on becoming ‘just friends’ again since you’re in town.

Nonetheless, I’m not a man who leaves questions unanswered–even the drunken ones, so to properly close our inappropriate conversation:

1) Yes, I liked the way your lips felt against mine when you were on top of me.
2) Yes, I do “prefer” rough sex, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t rough with you.
3) No, I had no idea you were still a virgin…

This message never happened,


Meh. Just meh.

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I adore Whitney’s writing. I haven’t read a book of hers I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed…until this one.

The concept was phenomenal. The set up, delicious. The execution, completely lacking. The characters fell flat and came off as two dimensional. There was nothing endearing about either one of them. The plot felt rushed and unfinished. The flashbacks from present to past felt disjointed.

But ultimately, the nail in the coffin for me was Hayley. I. Hated. Her. HATED. She came across as vapid, immature and ungrateful. Here’s a grown woman that has absolutely no issues taking money from her rich and successful older brother and lying to him for years about what she’s doing with it. When her dream business (set up with her brother’s funds) fails epically, she calls him for help. And on a side note, who in their right mind sets up a boutique coffee shop in Seattle, for sanity’s sake?! Sorry, back to the story. So here she comes crawling back to her brother for help, he gives her a job (that she doesn’t deserve) at his company that he built on his own. And what does she do? Not take it seriously, take unlimited days off, show up late, AND CONTINUE TO LIE TO HIM through all of it about being involved with his best friend.

And with the way everything resolved, she never redeemed herself in my eyes. I absolutely despised her.

Add in the rest of the missing pieces and this story was doomed for me from the start. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me. I will still blindly read any other books this author releases in the future. This is absolutely a one-off, and all my favorites have had one with me. You simply can’t love them all but I look forward to what this author has in store next.

Review: The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon

Series: Games People Play #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Release Date: December 26, 2017

“Sexy, emotional, funny . . . Dimon gives it all to her readers.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis

They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof. Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.

Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.

Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.


He had changed everything.

HelenKay Dimon was one of the very first contemporary romance authors I read back in the day, right after Lori Foster and Jill Shalvis. But it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read one of her books and I couldn’t even tell you why. The synopsis for The Pretender caught my eye right away, and felt like just the right book to dive back into my love affair with this author.

While I haven’t read the first two books in this series, I had no trouble jumping into the third. I felt there was a lot of history with the characters that I missed out on, but everything I needed to know for this story was carefully laid out and explained.

If you like your romance with a dash of mystery and suspense, The Pretender will surely do the trick. As a matter of fact, it’s the one thing that kept me reading. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel a connection the main characters or their romance. It felt rushed and sudden, like it came out of nowhere. Though Harrison actually knows the heroine from a job went wrong over a year ago, they had no other connection. When he comes back to the island to help clear her name of a murder he has proof she didn’t commit, the sparks fly. Where I struggled is believing those sparks. Yes, they had chemistry, but it was just too sudden considering everything else going on.

There’s quite a bit of intrigue and red herrings thrown into the mix to truly throw the reader for a loop and it certainly did the job for me. The identity of the bad guy kept me guessing right until the very end. When I thought I knew who it was there was a heck of a plot twist thrown in that certainly livened things up a bit from what seemed to be a predictable end.

Even though the romance left something to be desired for me, I enjoyed the mystery and suspense quite a bit. It was definitely enough to hook me to want to read the rest of the series.

Geri’s Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

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?



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.



Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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