Review: ★Deeper Than Dreams★ by @jesstopper

Review- Deeper Than Dreams DEEPER THAN DREAMS
Series: Love & Steel #1.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jessica Topper
Release Date: August 18, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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Will wedding bells rock out for Louder Than Love’s most beloved couple in this Love and Steel novella?

Falling in love with rock star Adrian “Digger” Graves was a dream come true for former librarian Kat Lewis. But with a little help from friends and family—including Kat’s adorable daughter, Abbey—Adrian has planned an evening and a proposal beyond her wildest dreams.

The night before, Kat witnessed the triumphant reunion of Adrian’s rock band at Madison Square Garden. Tonight, he will escort her to the elegant, ultra-exclusive Library Lion’s benefit. It seems like a fairytale, but even fairytales have a deeper, darker side. When old habits return to tempt her knight in shining heavy metal armor, will Kat’s happily ever after come crashing back to reality?

THIS IS AN EPILOGUE NOVELLA THAT PICKS UP THE DAY AFTER LOUDER THAN LOVE ENDS. This novella is intended to be read after Louder Than Love.

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Review

5 stars

DeeperThanDreams-DirtyGirlRomance

 

Adrian Graves, did you go and write me a heavy metal love song?”
“Well now, maybe I did.”
“I thought if love was going to appear in your music, it had to be doomed, damned, or deadly.”
“I’ve learned since that love runs much deeper than that. Deeper than dreams. And if I’ve made even one of your dreams come true tonight, then I am a better man for it.”

Last year I read a book and fell hard for a fictional couple. I swooned, I sighed, and I fell irrevocably in love with Jessica Topper’s incredible writing. Louder Than Love was one of those romances that was just so wonderfully real. I don’t even know how to describe it better than that. It wasn’t angsty, filled with crazy drama, manwhoring rockstars, or anything of the sort. It had two characters each struggling with moving on from their past finding love together. It was perfection.
Deeper Than Dreams teaser- DirtyGirlRomanceI simply adored that book. Now I’m not a reader that typically enjoys follow up novellas for a couple that I loved. Why? Because more often that not, that novella will do something to mess with the couple’s HEA, it will throw in some miscommunication or drama, anything just to justify them getting additional story. But I didn’t think twice before jumping at the chance to read this novella because I already knew it would be nothing of the sort. And you know what? I wasn’t even a little bit wrong.

No one else can take a couple you already loved and then make you fall in love with them even more than you already were in less than 100 pages. But that’s exactly what happened here. This was the perfect epilogue novella for Kat and Adrian. I downright cried happy tears at the end of it. What amazed me even more was the feelings that it was able to bring out in me. It’s not common that you’d read a novella and by the end of it feel like you read a whole book with the amount of emotions it was able to wring from you.
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This is not meant to be read as a standalone, and you absolutely need to read Louder Than Love before this. And if you read and loved Louder Than Love like I did, then this epilogue novella is an absolute must read. I couldn’t think of a better conclusion to one of my most beloved couples.

Jessica Topper also gives readers a lot more Rick if you’ve been curious about him, along with a teaser for his book that will leave you anxious to get your hands on his book in September. I absolutely cannot wait.

Deeper Than Dreams was one of those perfect treats that’s like the icing on an already fantastically delicious cake. Emotional, lovely, captivating, it was everything I’ve already come to expect from this author and more. I simply cannot recommend it enough.


Don’t miss the book that started it all!

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In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

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READ MY FULL 5 STAR REVIEW


And don’t miss Rick’s story in the upcoming Softer Than Steel

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LOVE & STEEL #2
From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much “I Do” About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love…

As rock star “Riff Rotten”, Rick Rottenberg has enjoyed all the perks that fame can offer, especially now that he’s reunited with his former band mate, Adrian “Digger” Graves. But despite his success, Rick is a mess. Still reeling from the death of his wife years ago and terrified his demons will end his career, he agrees to seek help for his anxiety.

Burned by a musician in the past, Sidra Sullivan has closed her heart to love. So when Rick walks into her yoga studio, she wants nothing to do with him–until the bad boy shows an unexpected soft side.

As Sidra and Rick work through their painful pasts, they realize just how strongly opposites can attract. But when a crisis threatens the delicate balance they’ve forged, they’ll discover if their love is strong enough to weather another storm or just too broken to survive…

INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE FIRST LOVE & STEEL NOVEL: LOUDER THAN LOVE

Buy LinksPre-Order (Releasing September 15, 2015)

AMAZON

Review: ★Flirting With Disaster★ by Victoria Dahl

Review Flirting With Disaster FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
Series: Jackson: Girl’s Night Out #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Dahl
Release Date: January 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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There’s no hiding from sizzling chemistry…

Artist Isabelle West has good reasons for preferring a solitary life. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods, she has everything she needs . . . except a red-hot love life. That is, until a hard-bodied U.S. marshal threatens to unearth secrets she’s spent years protecting. But giving in to the sparks flying between them can only lead to one thing…disaster.

Tom Duncan lives by the letter of the law. But no one has tempted him—or confused him—more than free-spirited Isabelle, who arouses his suspicion and his desire. As their connection grows, and their nights get hotter, they find their wild attraction might shake everything he stands for—and expose everything she has to hide.

 

Buy Links

Amazon / iBooks

Review

3.5 stars

 

I love Victoria Dahl’s writing. Her heroines are just the right dose of assertive and her heroes are always just the right dose of sexy and sweet. The set up for Flirting With Disaster sounded absolutely fabulous, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, it also failed to really fully grab me.

Isabelle West was a difficult heroine for me to truly warm up to at first. Being the loner that she is and comes off to be, it’s hard to imagine ever liking her. However, as the author began to peel the layers to get down tot he true reason for her solitary ways, she begins to grow on you. I also appreciate a heroine that owns her sexuality and knows what she likes and never feels bad about it. This is a woman that’s just find with pleasure for the sake of pleasure. She doesn’t overthink it and she doesn’t look down on herself for it. It’s difficult to find in today’s mainstream romance and I really enjoyed that aspect of Isabelle’s personality.

U.S. Marshall Tom Duncan is a hero that you’ll fall for right away. This is not a manwhore or player or asshole. Which is just another thing to appreciate about Dahl’s heroes. They have this realness quality to them. There’s no overdose of angst or back and forth. The conflict in this story comes from the past that Isabelle is hiding that may now be coming back to haunt her and Tom’s determination to find out what it is and help her through it.

Flirting With Disaster was a lovely slow build kind of romance with a dose of suspense. Unfortunately it just didn’t grab me as much as the previous 2 books in this series have. I found myself losing interest and easily setting the book down several times. As a result this dragged a little and it took me considerably longer to finish that it normally would. I found the addiction of the other secondary characters to be slightly distracting considering nothing ever really came from their presence in the story, if that makes sense.

A good addition to the series, but not my favorite. I’m certainly looking forward to the next one since I enjoy this series and the set up for Veronica’s book sounds pretty damn delicious.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

Review: ★Playing for Her Heart★ by Megan Erickson

Review Playing for Her Heart Playing for Her Heart
Series: Gamers #2
Author: Megan Erickson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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Grant Osprey just had the hottest sex of his life. Sure, they were both in costume, and yes, it was anonymous, but he never expected her to bolt in the middle of the night without so much as a good bye, let alone exchanging numbers. Or names. All he’s left with are her panties and some seriously X-rated memories…until he meets his business partner’s little sister.

Only Chloe Talley isn’t the bold, sexy vixen he remembers. And she wants nothing to do with him.

Cosplay is Chloe’s only chance to leave her boring, socially awkward world behind. To forget that she’s failing at life and can’t be with anyone, let alone a single-father like Grant. But the raw hunger between them is undeniable. With him, she can be a misbehaving maid. A sexy call girl for hire. Each scene pushes Chloe beyond her strict boundaries, until Grant demands the one character she can’t play.

Buy-Links10Amazon / iBooks / B&N

Review

3.5 stars

He wanted to leave breadcrumbs in their wake to show him the way back. Although something told him, after this night, he might never find his way back to the way things were.

Having absolutely loved Changing His Game, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Grant’s book. Something about single dads never fails to draw me right in and Grant’s joking and easy-going personality just added to the intrigue. Then there’s that sexy nerd appeal of the cosplay (which I never imagined I’d enjoy). Did I happen to mention that Grant also happens to be a very dirty boy? Because that man certainly knows how to get things done in the bedroom.

God, that tongue. What more could he do with that thing? She wondered if he practiced knotting cherry stems. Or maybe he’d worked up to something stronger and could bend paperclips with it.

I loved Grant’s character, but unfortunately there was always a little something missing for me in this book to bring it to a solid four stars. It’s a fun and sexy read, don’t get me wrong, just wasn’t as good as the first book for me. Now that may very well be because I’m not a reader that enjoys the mousy kind of heroines, and Chloe, besides her penchant for role-playing (and not just of the cosplay variety) was a mostly forgettable heroine. Aside from that, I never fully developed a connection for Grant and Chloe together. They definitely burn up the sheets together, but I wanted something more. It almost felt like their connection was solidly based on just sex and then had a sudden turn around to something deeper towards the end. It just didn’t feel like a natural transition for me, I suppose.

But where Chloe didn’t garner much interest for me, her brother Ethan drew me in like a beacon. I love me those broken and broody heroes and man oh man but Ethan fit the bill. I’m absolutely salivating for his book.

I definitely recommend this book for fans of this series. While I may have enjoyed it less than the first book, I still enjoyed it. A perfectly sexy contemporary romance to spend an afternoon with. I’m highly looking forward to the next book.


DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE GAMERS SERIES

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Review: ★Blackmailed by the Hero★ by Julie Patrick

Review BbtH Blackmailed By The Hero
Series: Gone Hollywood #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Julie Particka
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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The wrong bed. The wrong guy. 

Party planner Vicky Stone is on a post-divorce mission. Not only does she intend to land her dream promotion, she’s going to indulge in a night of hot hook-up sex. Preferably with the hunky actor she just met at a work function, no-fraternization rules be damned. Fortunately, his drunken directions included a right that should have been a left, landing her in bed with her brother’s extra-hot, extra-off-limits best friend instead of the unemployment line.

And, oh, he feels good. Too good.

Bad boy Dante Palladino’s forbidden fantasies are about to come true…until Vicky realizes who she’s feeling up. And to find out she risked her job for sex with some loser? Not on his watch. Dante throws down the ultimate, albeit self-serving, blackmail. Vicky will date him-and only him-and her secret will be safe. But Vicky swore never to fall for another guy who could break her heart…and Dante’s on course to do just that.

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Review

3 stars

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I want you, Vicky Stone. I’ve wanted you for five years, and I sure as hell want you to know I thought you were worth the wait.”

First let me preface my review by saying that my lower rating had nothing to do with the book not being wonderful; it was a sweet and sexy romance. It has everything to do with my own personal preference. So please don’t let my rating deter. Three stars, after all, means that I did enjoy it overall, just a few things kept it from being a 4 or 5 star.

Vicky Stone is Evan Stone’s sister from Tempting Her Fake Fiancé. But if you haven’t read that book, don’t worry, because you can easily read this one as a standalone. If you’re looking for a sweet brother’s best friend romance sort of thing, this will definitely fit the bill. But don’t let the title or the synopsis deceive you, because to be quite frank, I didn’t really find Dante to be a bad boy in any sense of the word. Perhaps that’s what kept this at a solid three stars for me; different expectations.

Dante Palladino has had feelings for Vicky as long as he’s known her. Starting his career as a wrestling superstar and moving towards movies now hasn’t exactly meant he’s been a saint when it comes to women. But this is not the bad boy you might be expecting. Sure he’s pierced in all the right places (and I mean THE RIGHT places) but for me that was as “bad” as he got. What he was, was a nice guy that made that evident from the very beginning. His motivation is honorable, even if his means aren’t the best.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but it was also missing a certain something for me too. An oompf of sorts. It just didn’t have that Brazen feeling. I felt like I was reading a Lovestruck or maybe even an indulgence. Oh fine! It was just too “nice” for me. God! I feel dirty just writing that, but it’s the truth. I needed a little more from this. The conflict at the end felt forced and contrived just to keep pushing the plot, though the resolution of it was sweet. But again, this was a definite case of it’s me and not the book. It was simply just too sweet for my tastes. There. I said it.

If you enjoyed the first book in this series, you’re sure to enjoy this one. My favorite part of the story was Vicky’s best friend, Jade. So I’m really hoping her book will be next. I’m still a fan of this series, it was just that this book simply didn’t wow me. It just was. Not great, not bad, and not anything I’d go back to, but still a fun read.



DON’T MISS BOOK ONE IN THE GONE HOLLYWOOD SERIES

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Review: ★Afternoon Delight★ by Anne Calhoun

Review Afternoon Delight Afternoon Delight
Series: Irresistible #1
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary Romance
Author: Anne Calhoun
Release Date: September 16, 2014add-to-goodreads-button31

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“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each…

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck’s menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who’s fast becoming her favorite customer.

 

 

 

 

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[Read more…]

Review: ★Strong Enough★ by M. Leighton

Review Strong EnoughStrong Enough
Series: Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Leighton
Release Date: August 4, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the first in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her?

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

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Review

4 starsStrong Enough- DirtyGirlRomance

I want her bad. But even when that happens, it will be with the knowledge of what’s to come, of how I’ll betray her. What kind of person could do that?
A monster, that’s who.
And I’m that monster.

If the prologue here doesn’t grip you by the throat and suck you right in, we’re not reading the same book, because HOLY SHIT! Talk about your attention grabber. M. Leighton really doesn’t pull any punches and I knew I was in for a page turner from the first chapter alone. Intense, gritty, erotic, with a dash of mystery and suspense, Strong Enough is the beginning of what’s bound to be yet another winner from this talented author.

He doesn’t have to say a word, doesn’t have to move a muscle to exude confidence and capability. And danger. Lots and lots of danger.

Muse Harper left her life to protect someone she loves, but now with her father gone missing, she’s desperate for answers and bounty hunter, Jasper King, may be able to help her with the answers she needs. There’s just one problem; he’s not who he is and has his own agenda that poses a much bigger threat to Muse than the disappearance of her father.

I’m probably the worst thing in the world for you. The worst thing that would feel like the best.

Strong Enough1-DirtyGirlRomanceThe reader is left to assume Jasper’s history and you’re definitely in the dark about his agenda through most of the book, which just serves to make him even more intense than he already is. Jasper was the perfect enigma. He’s deliciously sexy while exuding a raw danger, all wrapped up in muscled tattooed perfection. The man was pure sex on a stick. The chemistry between him and Muse is instant and burns so hot, the pages practically sizzle with it. Jasper knows that he’s deceiving Muse, he may be helping her find her father, but his end game is not one that she expects. The more he gets to know the woman, the more ridden he is with guilt about his inevitable betrayal. Wanting her is not a question, allowing himself to have her is the ultimate taboo.

The kiss is different from his first. That one said wanting me was an inconvenient truth. This one says having me is an inevitability.

While Jasper was a character I fell for right away, Muse took a while to warm up to for me. She’s just a touch away from being almost too naive. She definitely dangles on the very fine edge of it and there’s things she does and says that made me want to shake her. It’s like the woman has absolutely zero self preservation instinct. Jasper may fight his attraction to Muse, but Muse certainly knows what she wants and she’s not as willing to deny herself. She also wants more than she knows Jasper will be able to give her, but that doesn’t stop her from craving.

How do you think love is supposed to work? How does it work for you?”
“It holds you captive, whether you want it to or not. It never lets you go, no matter how much you want to be set free.”

Strong Enough 2-DirtyGirlRomanceAs much as Muse may have frustrated me in parts of the story, I absolutely loved the two of them together. It’s this push pull that exists between them that just makes things even more erotic that they already are. It’s like you’re privy to something that Muse doesn’t know yet and you’re still rooting for Jasper who for all intents and purposes may very well be the bad guy.

I trust my tongue into her pussy. I thrust my finger into her ass. I penetrate her, body and soul, until she pours out for me like she’s making a sacrifice to the god of war. And I drink her in. Her acquiescence, her surrender, her acceptance, I drink it all in.

Fans of her other books will appreciate the appearance of a certain couple here that made me a little giddy to read about; Cash and Olivia. There’s also the introduction of a few secondary characters that I’m already desperate to read about.

The ending gives you just enough to satisfy while also leaving you practically salivating for the next book. An MMA fighter that’s also special ops? Are you freaking kidding me. I don’t think I’d survive the wait. If you’re looking for an erotic romance with just the right amount of edge, Strong Enough is certainly that. The title of this series is quite appropriate, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. I simply can’t wait for more.

Sarò sempre pensare a te.

New Release & Review: ★The Hotter You Burn★ by @genashowalter

HotterYouBurn_banner The Hotter You Burn
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: July 28, 2015
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The Hotter you Burn

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can’t resist…

Beck O’ckley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He’s never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck’s home—her ancestral estate—for food, she’s shocked by his early return…and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck’s life, he can’t get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he’ll have to break her heart…or surrender his own.

Buy-Links10Amazon /  iBooks / B&N

Excerpt

“I’d like to hire you to paint my portrait.”Harlow almost bounced out of her seat, but caught herself with a single thought. Can’t appear too hasty. “Okay,” she said, playing with the edge of a piece of paper. “If you insist. And if the price is right.” She’d drawn countless images of Beck, but the thought of painting him to scale and seeing him in full color intoxicated her. She could play with different shades of gold, brown and bronze, and even a wealth of greens to get the emerald flecks hidden so deeply in his eyes just right.Maybe Kimberly had nailed it. Maybe Harlow had stared at Beck for reasons that had nothing to do with the job.

“Name a figure.” He slowly, leisurely, walked back to the couch and eased down, the whiskey in hand. “Whatever it is, lollipop, I’ll pay it.”

The new endearment startled her, considering he hadn’t used one these past three weeks. The fact that he’d gone with lollipop, something sweet and edible he’d never called the others…

I’m special to him.

Oh, no, no, no. Red alert! Red alert! That was the true danger of him. Somehow, he made everyone feel special.

“That’s a daring thing to say,” she stated quietly.

“But true nonetheless.”

She placed her elbows on the desk and leaned forward. “Very well. The price is…” Inspiration struck, and she smiled evilly. “You can’t have sex for a week.”

His eyes narrowed to tiny slits, but he appeared far from angry. “Why do you care about my sex life?”

“I care about you, and I think abstinence will help build character.”

He didn’t miss a beat. “You care? Very well, I accept.” No time to celebrate. “With two caveats,” he added. “The week won’t start until the painting is done.” He smiled now, and it was a wicked one. “Also, I want the painting to be a nude.”

Her breath caught in her throat, only to exit on a gust. “I…you…excuse me?”

“A nude. Meaning I won’t be wearing any clothing. If you want to strip down, that’ll be okay too.”

This was punishment for daring to impede his sex life, wasn’t it? “I’ve never actually painted or even drawn what you’re suggesting, and I’m not sure I have the skill.” Or if she would survive.

“I have complete faith in your ability. And as an artist, a professional, I’ll expect you to view me strictly through objective eyes. You can do that, can’t you?”

“Of course,” she said. She could absolutely, one hundred percent view him through objective eyes…if he wore a cloak of invisibility. But even then it would be iffy. “Why do you want a nude?” she demanded, hoping to shame him into retracting his request.

“Maybe I enjoy the thought of disrobing for you.” His voice had gone low and husky, a caress of unfettered temptation, making her shiver. “Maybe I like the thought of your eyes on my bare skin and your hands forming the shapes of my body.”

She gulped. Having only ever dealt with boys, never with men, she had no idea how to respond to so blatant a statement.

“Or,” he said, his voice returning to its normal fun, flirty tone. “Maybe I’m narcissistic and want to immortalize every inch of myself. How is one to know?”

How indeed. “When would you like to start?”

“Tonight.”

I’m going to hate myself for reminding him of this, but… “What about your date? I can’t—won’t—hurt Kimberly.”

“I think we both know she was about to cancel on me. Which makes me wonder what the two of you were discussing.”

Shifting uncomfortably, she said, “I will never betray a confidence.”

“I could change your mind, but I won’t. I admire your mindset.” His gaze dropped to the pulse fluttering in her neck. “I’ll arrive at seven, and I’ll bring dinner.”

“Yes. I’d like that.” A lot. And it wasn’t the thought of food that made her heart race, but the thought of having him in her space. Alone…naked. Within reach.

She sucked in a breath. Oh…crap. The worst had happened, hadn’t it?

Kimberly had figured it out, but Harlow had done her best to deny it until the truth practically vibrated in her bones. How had she ever fooled herself into thinking she could fall for West…when she’d already fallen for Beck?

“What’s wrong, dove?” he asked gently. He came around the desk and sat at the edge, turning her chair to trap her between his legs. “You were twinkles one moment, sullen the next.”

He always read her so well, while she always struggled to make sense of his moods. Life wasn’t fair. “It’s nothing I want to discuss right now,” she said, refusing to lie to him. But she had to talk to someone about this.

Who? She had no confidants, and any secrets she revealed to others could be used as a weapon against her. A game of “humiliate Harlow for sport.”

“What will it take to get you to trust me, hmm?”

Was he serious? “Beck, for the past three weeks you’ve treated me like I’m a carrier of cholera. Why do you want my trust?”

“You’re my friend.”

But I want to be more. “Yes,” she said, and cleared her throat. “You’re right. I am.”

“So talk to me like a friend. Share your past with me. Tell me what changed you in high school.”

Her mouth went dry. Always they circled back to this. “Forget I agreed to be your friend. We’re enemies.”

“You’ll tell me what’s easy, but nothing that’s hard.”

“I don’t like to think about what changed me. It hurts.”

“Pain fades. Rip off the bandage and give the wound a chance to heal.”

“No.” If she told him, she’d have to show him. If she showed him, he’d never want her again. And right now he wanted her. He had to. The way he was looking at her…

He leaned down until his nose almost brushed against hers. “One day, Harlow, you’ll open up to me.”

“One day,” she whispered. “Maybe. But probably not.”

He cupped her nape, the heat of him making her gasp. “Definitely. And in more ways than one. I’ll make sure of it.”

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Review
5 starsTHYB-DGR

He couldn’t have her without committing to her. He had to have her, but he couldn’t commit to her. It was the surest way to lose her forever.

I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive reading this book after not quite loving the first book in this series. But then Beck O’ckley was the hero that really captivated me in The Closer You Come with his one-and-done policy with women. Who doesn’t love an unrepentant manwhore? I certainly do. Then you have the heroine, Harlow Glass, as the most hated girl in town that’s still paying for her high school bullying days all those years ago. Add in some sizzling sexual chemistry with a dash of humor and you have the recipe for the perfect contemporary romance. I loved this book!

Just then she was a woman who’d stepped straight from his sweetest dreams- and his worst nightmares. Someone who changed the rules of the game.

First of all, if you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t worry, because you can easily read this one as a standalone. However, The Closer You Come does give the background to the three men and helps set up each of their individual books, so it does help to read the series in order.

Beck is the most easy going of his three friends. But beneath his take-nothing-too-seriously demeanor, is the broken soul of a man that’s been through hell and back. Abandoned as a child and going through the system as a foster kid solidified his belief that nothing is permanent. When his friend spent 9 years behind bars for a crime all three of them committed, it also gave him a good dose of guilt that he still can’t shake. Beck has a one night only policy with women. That’s all he has to give them, one sweaty passionate night spent between the sheets and that’s it. No repeats. He’s not lacking for female attention, so imagine his surprise when one particular woman won’t leave his mind and tempts him beyond reason. She’s also the woman that won’t give him the time of day.

The day my panties drop for you,” she said without any sharpness, “is the day I want to be taken behind one of the sheds and shot.”
“Because you’ll know you’ll never have me again and you won’t be able to live with the pain?”

Harlow Glass is the the town’s pariah. Her vicious bullying back in high school made her persona non grata in her small town, and the town residents are not quick to forget. But she’s so much more than she made people believe. This is a woman that’s suffered her own pain and in high school her way of dealing with a verbally abusive father at home is to project that hate outward to hide her pain and powerlessness. Now with the recent passing of her mother, Harlow is down on her luck; penniless, jobless and homeless. On top of it, her beloved childhood home is now occupied by someone else, and one of them is Beck. When she sneaks into the house to steal a pie, she gets more than she bargained for.

Do you know how painful it is to crave something with every fiber of your being? To want it more than you want water to drink?”

The Hotter You Burn had that signature Gena Showalter snarky humor that I’ve come to know and love. The banter between Harlow and Beck had me grinning like a fool for a good portion of the book.

For all you know, my ANYTHING is better than any other you’ve seen.”
“You thinks so?” His gaze dropped to her chest. “Show me.” A croak. But was it a demand- or a plea?
Desire mingled with panic, and she gulped. “Not even if you begged me.”
“I’ve never begged before. But there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?”

I was afraid that the situation that Harlow is now facing would make her a shy little mouse, but she wasn’t that at all. Beyond her terrible situation, this was a woman that had a backbone. Even if that backbone allowed the town people to shit on her, because she thinks she deserves it after what she’d done. She views it as her atonement.
The push and pull between her and Beck had me going back and forth between wanting to pull my hair out and icing my ovaries, because holy lady blue balls! The tension was almost unbearable at times. But at the same time it was oh so delicious.

Harlow was a sickness, and bedding her was the only cure.

As much as I loved the tension between them, I have to admit that at times it was so frustrating, I wanted to scream. Beck’s inability to believe he can give Harlow anything beyond one night, trying to set her up with her dream man, going on double dates, I wanted to shake the ever loving stubbornness out of the man! Luckily there were the secondary characters that provided the comedic relief this book surely needed to lighten the weight of it.

Trouser snake? Really? “What about man meat? Or even the middle snake?” Harlow suggested.
Jessie Kay nodded thoughtfully. “Or we could go with something simple like the peen. If we wanted to get technical, we’d have to go with the meatsicle. Or the anaconda, but that’s on a case-by-case basis.”
Daphne tried for a stern expression, only to ruin it with a snort. “I am not playing this game. But if I were, I’d suggest we call it the weenie wonka.”

I even found myself warming up to Jessie Kay in this book, which I never and I mean EVER thought would happen.

At the end of it, I loved every part of this book, even the frustrating ones. I loved the snarky, sarcastic humor. I loved the banter. I loved the MCs and all the secondary characters. I loved the story and the romance.

What do you need me to do?” she asked breathily. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”
“Just keep breathing, baby.”

This was the perfect contemporary romance to spend a weekend with. It had it all; the laughs, the swoons, the sexy…did I mention the laughs?

Careful. You keep that up, and you’ll find yourself flat on your back, Beck Jr. deep inside you.”
“You mean the Baconator?”
He barked out a laugh. “You’ve named my penis the Baconator?”
“What? I like bacon.”

If you’re like me and didn’t love the first book, trust me and give this book a chance. It had everything I’ve come to love in Gena’s writing. It even has me wanting to read Jessie Kay’s book now, which as much as I hated her in book 1 is saying a hell of a lot.



About the Author

Gena Author Photo 1

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose works have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

 

Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Frisk Me★ by Lauren Layne

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Frisk Me
Series: New York’s Finest #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: July 28, 2015
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FRISK ME

After a photograph of Luc Moretti saving a tourist hits social media, he instantly becomes New York’s most famous and beloved cop. When a major network decides to run a special on the “American Hero,” Luc’s boss gives him no choice but to cooperate in the name of good exposure for the department. Luc doesn’t mind the celebrity status-what he does mind is the gorgeous brunette journalist who’s been assigned to follow his every move. Especially since she also happens to be the same knockout that rejected him rather publicly the week before.

Ava Sims is a woman who gets what she wants. And what she wants is to be CBC’s lead anchor-but to get there, she’ll need to nail the fluff piece on the playboy cop. Luc Moretti is everything Ava knows to stay away from: a stubborn charmer with a hero-complex. But the more Ava gets to know Luc and his oddball family, the more she realizes that beneath the swagger and the blue uniform is a complex man who makes her heart beat too fast. Soon, Ava’s doing the unthinkable, and falling for the best of New York’s finest … 

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FOLLOW THE TOUR


Excerpt

Luc stifled the smile, letting his former scowl resettle on his face. If Lopez thought he was being played, there was no way he’d go for it.
“Hey, so Cap said the hot reporter would be doing ride-alongs with us. That’ll be cool,” Lopez said.“Seriously? You hate ride-alongs,” Luc said.Lopez held up a finger. “No, I hate the dippy, I-wanna-be-a-cop-someday type of ride-alongs. Those stupid kids are always offering advice when they don’t know shit about shit. But Ms. Sims will be a nice kind of ride-along. Just sitting, observing…looking fine…”Luc withheld the snort. If Lopez thought Ava wouldn’t be offering plenty of unsolicited advice, he had an unpleasant surprise. He doubted mind your own business was in her DNA, not to mention it was a blatant contradiction of her job description.“Hot or not, same rules apply,” Luc said, just to set the record straight. “She can come on the tame ride-alongs. That’s it.”“Shit, and here I was planning to bring her to a shoot-out,” Lopez mused.Luc flung the paperclip back at his partner, nailing him in the forehead. “Hey. So, I need you to be my wingman.”

Lopez rubbed the red spot to the right of his temple with a knowing grin. “Ah, so you do want a piece of Miss Media.”

Yes.

No!

Damn it.

“Let me rephrase,” Luc said, sitting back in his chair. “I need you to be my reverse wingman. Do whatever you need to keep that plastic, nosy diva away from me.”

There was a light tap on his shoulder before a female voice spoke up. “Gonna be hard when this nosy diva is hell-bent on getting all up in your business.”

Whoops.

“Nice job, Wingman,” Luc said with a glare at Lopez, whose grin indicated that he’d definitely seen Ava approaching and had opted not to mention it.

Luc pivoted around in his chair so he faced Ava. Only he was sitting, and she was standing, which put him exactly at eye level with Ava’s slim hips.

Generally speaking, Luc liked a little more curve to his women, but apparently his preferences were shifting, because he couldn’t help his sex-starved brain from thinking that Ava Sims’s hips were the perfect size for his hands to wrap around, his fingers holding her still as he prepared to plunge into her…

The fantasy dissolved into a million pieces when she opened her sassy mouth again.

“You know…” her voice was considering, her finger tapping idly against her lips. “I’d always heard that the whole man-in-uniform thing was supposed to be a turn-on. Guess it’s an acquired taste.”

Review

4 starsFrisk Me-DGR

Whatever they had, it wasn’t typical sexual attraction.
It was something deeper.
Darker.

Whenever I see a new series come out by Lauren Layne, I don’t even bother reading the synopsis before adding. I don’t need to because I already know that the chances are 99.9% that I’ll love it. But I was an extra shot of excited when I read the blurb for this book because…HOT COPS! What? Like you didn’t? Don’t judge me! Although admittedly, I could have done with a different cover *cringes*. I know, I know, don’t judge a book by the cover and all that, and this was certainly a huge case of that. My inner cover cover whore just shut her eyes and dove in hoping against hope that the hero looks nothing like what the cover implied…and he didn’t! (thank jebus)

If you cooperate….just the tiniest bit, I’ll buy you a drink after.”
“You’re bribing an officer of the law? Or just really desperate to spend time with me, Sims?”
“Two questions, Moretti. What EXACTLY is up your ass? And how the hell do we remove it?”
He ran a hand through his hair, answering honestly, because honey was what Morettis did best. “Sexual frustration. As far as how to fix it…”

The hate-to-love trope. *dreamy sigh* Can it ever get old? And when you put Luc and Ava in a room together, sparks certainly fly. These two had instant chemistry from the very first time they traded insults. Three years ago they first met when officer Luc wrote Ava a ticket for illegally parking her news van and it’s been on ever since…the unfinished business between them, that is. Now Ava is back (shoving the ticket from 3 years ago right at his chest and everything), only this time it’s business. After his heroic actions saved a little girl has garnered national attention and followed up with a good samaritan video of him giving his coat to a homeless man sealed the deal, everyone wants a piece of Luc, Ava included. But what she wants him for is an exclusive and it goes against everything Luc stands for to put his life on display. He’s no one’s hero, and the last thing he wants is more attention when he’s still struggling with survivor’s guilt after a job got wrong got his friend and partner killed. Thus begins the hate lust relationship that will make your ovaries so blue, you’ll think you’ll die if these two finally don’t admit to each other what they want and give into the inevitable.

Anthony can be irritable; try not to piss him off,” he said out of the corner of his mouth.
“Sure, I’ll just tape my mouth shut,” she snapped…
For a second, he looked hopeful. “That’s an option?”

Luc was a hero that I fell for right away. He’s just the right amount of tortured but with a dry wit about him that I loved. Coming from a long line of NYPD’s finest, he’s the lowest on the tandem pole it seems. His brothers are detectives and his father is the previous police commissioner. Luc is still suffering survivor’s guilt about the failed rescue that cost his partner his life. His biggest fear is the exclusive that his new boss is forcing him to go along with will allow Ava to dig further than he wants.

My favorite thing about this book was Luc’s relationship with him family and then the icing on the cake was Nonna. This woman quite honestly stole the show.

What color lipstick do you think I should wear? Classic red or shocking orange? I’m thinking orange. Also, have either of you seen my push-up bra? I’m worried I left it at Ned’s house.”
Neither brother responded, and Anthony very slowly turned his head to look at Luc. “She belongs in a home. One with bars on the window.”

I found myself giggling like a loon at every single scene with her. Everything that came out of her mouth was just absolute gold, I swear.

It doesn’t even matter that she’s not Italian,” Nonna said in a hushed voice. “She has dark hair and dark eyes so we’ll just lie. We can change her last name. I know someone.”
Luc tipped his head back and looked at the ceiling.
“Try to talk her into it tonight, Luca. Oh, and find out if she’s Catholic, would you? I suppose we can lie about that too, although I don’t know how Jesus would feel about that…”

Ava was a character that try as I might I never quite warmed up to. Considering her intentions throughout the entire book and then finally her actions at the end, it’s no wonder why I felt that way. I’m still not sure how I feel about her, but probably just a step away from tolerating her.

That being said, I did love her and Luc together. Their chemistry was practically crackling with electricity. But don’t let that fool you because there’s no insta-anything in this book. It was a very slow burn that at times left me so frustrated, I didn’t know whether to scream at the ceiling for them to finally do it, or to ice my ovaries. While I can’t say that the story itself was slow paced or dragging, the romance was certainly….worth the wait.

I’ve been thinking on my rating for a few days now. While I disliked some of the decisions Ava made, I still enjoyed this book. I loved the family dynamic and all the secondary characters. I’m absolutely dying for Vincent’s book because oh man, that set up? Delicious sounding. But I’ll certainly make do with the grumpy and broody Anthony in the meantime and without any complaints. I do love me a broody man. Lauren Layne definitely has herself another winner with this series and I can’t wait for more.

I’d give up being everybody else’s hero, if you’ll just let me be yours.”



About the Author
Lauren
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: ★Playing With Trouble★ by @ChanelCleeton

Review PwT

Playing With Trouble 
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2015
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22873151

The author of Flirting with Scandal presents her second book in a sexy contemporary romance series about three sisters in a powerful political family, the scandals that threaten to destroy them, and the passion that drives them…

The daughter of one of the Senate’s most powerful figures, Blair Reynolds was ready to become the ultimate political wife—until she caught her fiancé cheating on her wedding day. Law school is a fresh start, her shot at putting the pieces of her life back together. That’s the plan, at least. Until trouble comes in the form of her Torts professor, the man whose arrogance infuriates her in class but haunts her private fantasies.

Graydon Canter had a fortune and a place on all the hottest “Thirty under Thirty” lists, until a series of personal missteps nearly destroyed his career. A year teaching at a D.C. law school is just the break he needs to get his life back in order, as long as nothing—and no one—trips him up.

When Blair and Gray are forced to work together, their explosive attraction becomes impossible to resist. But Gray’s demons have drawn him dangerously close to the edge, and Blair has spent her life playing by the rules. Will she break them for a shot at love?

Buy Links
Review4.5 stars
PwT-DGR

He was no longer my professor, no longer someone I loathed. He was hands I needed on my body, lips I wanted kissing mine.

I was first hooked on this series and this author when I read Flirting with Scandal. Now I can honestly say I’m completely addicted. Playing With Trouble was even better than the first book, and let me just tell you; I loved the first book. It had everything I love going for it; hate-to-love, forbidden romance, and enough sexual tension and chemistry to set your kindle on fire.
PwT1-DGRBlair Reynolds is the middle daughter of a conterversial senator and the good girl of the family. Constantly used by her political family to boost their family image, Blair is tired of being the pawn and the girl that falls in line with what she’s told. In a last resort of rebellion she enrolls in law school instead of following in the political science footsteps. But her decision soon comes to bite her in the ass in the shape of her too sexy for words and tormentor of her nightmares professor, Graydon Canter.

This is what happened when perfect cracked and splintered. This was what happened when your life fell apart.

Graydon or Gray had it all; an incredibly successful law career, a marriage, more money than he knew what to do with and was quickly climbing the corporate latter in his law firm…until he lost it all. Now stuck teaching a law class at a university for students that weren’t good enough to get into a better school or simply bought their way in, he gets his kicks by tormenting the beauty in his Torts class. So what if his picking on her daily roots from his undeniable attraction to her? She’s off-limits and that’s where she’ll stay…until she doesn’t.

I stared down into her eyes, trying to read the emotions I saw there. I wanted her. More than a dance. More than a fuck.
I was drunk on her, and in this case, sobriety was just out of my reach.

This book had some of the best sexual tension I’ve read in a very long while. It was utterly delicious. I loved the way Chanel Cleeton handled their attraction and ultimate giving into it. I couldn’t get enough of these two.

Gray was that perfect broody and broken hero that you love to read about and root for his redemption. He didn’t sugar coat or hide his faults. He came right out and put them out for Blair to see. Blair on the other hand was a fantastic heroine. She’s the good girl, but you also see her grow into herself as the book progresses. She doesn’t allow anyone to step all over her, and I appreciated that it finally extended to her parents as well.

The center of it all was definitely the romance, and it was even hotter than the first book. These two were so hot together they practically sizzled.

I wanted to consume her; I wanted to break her and put her back together again, because that’s what I did- I broke things.

Of course there’s plenty of other things going on to keep the reader interested and it all culminates towards one hell of a plot twist towards the end. While I did see it coming from the beginning, it sets up the next book perfectly and I’m practically salivating to get my hands on it.

If politics aren’t your thing, not to worry, because this book barely had any aside from the happenings of Blair’s father. It’s more muted and in the background, much like the first book. I honestly cannot recommend this series enough.

She was like a dream I’d given up long ago. A different life, a better me. A chance to wash the filth away.

I devoured this book and didn’t want to set it down for even a minute. It was the perfect combination of sexy and a touch of angsty with a dash of dry wit and humor. I absolutely loved it.

I’m not the hero, Blair. And somehow I still got the princess.
“Honey, I’m pretty sure you’re the beast. And I am definitely not a princess. I thought we just established that.
“You’re my princess. Dirty mouth, naughty lingerie, wicked tongue, formidable temper, and all.

I have a feeling about the twist for the third book and I”m keeping my fingers crossed that I’m right because that will make it even better than I think. Chanel Cleeton has definitely made it straight to my auto-buy shelf and I can’t wait for more from this talented author.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

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New Release & Review: ★Even The Score★ by @KittyMeader

Review EtS

Even The Score
Series: Tall, Dark, and Texan #1
Author: Kate Meader
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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He’ll make her an offer she can’t refuse…

Actress Tess McKenzie is performing in the Tenth Circle of Showbiz Hell-dinner theater. All she really wants is to start a theater of her own. Then Tess receives an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll get her funding…if she pretends to be the fiancée to her nemesis, Texan property tycoon Hunter Dade. If she’s going to pull this off, she’ll need all the luck she can get. Break a leg, indeed.

On the verge of a big business deal, Hunter needs to hire a fiancée. He hasn’t quite forgiven Tess for ruining his wedding, but when their chemistry goes from combative to straight-up lust, the “no sex” clause in their mutually beneficial arrangement is tested. Which is a serious problem, because if Tess isn’t careful, she’ll go from breaking a leg to breaking her heart…

Buy LinksAmazon / iBooks / B&N

Review5 starsEtS-DGR

Revenge was a dish best served in bed- And Tess McKenzie was about to get a five-course meal.

There is no other trope out there that I love more than hate-to-love. And I think I may have found my favorite hate-to-love romance book to date. Even the Score was full of sexual chemistry, humor, all wrapped around a fantastic story that was utterly delicious. Delicious I tells ya! If this book isn’t on your TBR, you are seriously missing out because what a perfect gam this turned out to be.

What the fuck was happening here? So it had been a while since he’d released his pent-up energy inside a woman, but this was Tess McKenzie. They despised each other. The last time they’d been this close, he had been losing his ever-loving shit on her.

A year ago Tess McKenzie was responsible for talking her best friend out of walking down the aisle to marry Hunter Dade, To say that Hunter still holds a grudge about this to this day would be a mild understatement. He despises the little spitfire. But beneath their barbs and insults is an undercurrent of lust and sexual chemistry so strong it’s enough to make things a while lot more interesting.

When not thinking of imaginative ways to murder her, he’d be consumed with conjuring up even more imaginative ways to screw her brains out.
Fast, slow, all night long.

Tess may have been responsible for the worst day of his life, but Hudson is willing to let bygones be bygones…well…sort of. He’ll get his revenge AND get something out of Tess first. He’ll offer her a deal that she can’t pass up. Hunter needs a “fiance” to land a deal that he needs, and Tess needs funds to start her theater. He may not have forgiven her, but he’s certainly willing to overlook things for a few days. Or as long as it takes to get this attraction out of their systems…

There was that flash of anger again, and his cock stirred in response. Taking her would be a pleasure. Making her beg as he fucked her tight, curvy body would be the ultimate prize.

The chemistry between these two was absolutely sizzling. Even when they were at each other’s throats, you can practically feel them wanting to jump each other’s bones. It was so much fun to read. But things are not quite as they seem with them either. Tess may not be the rich little princess that Hunter always thought her to be. And Hunter may be a lot more than just a property tycoon with a chip on his shoulder. As these two begin to get to know each other and their connection grows, they begin to see that somethings aren’t so simple.

They kissed like they fought: wild, uninhibited, with bite.

Kate Meader devised the perfect formula of hate+lust to make this book absolutely unputdownable. I couldn’t get enough of it. There’s none of that typical and tiring back and forth that you’d normally find in books like this. It just felt like natural progression here.

…he wanted her pleading for the sweet release that came when his working-class cock was pounding the ever-loving superiority out of her.

You can see each of the character’s growth throughout the story and you can’t help but root for them both.

If you’re a fan of the hate-to-love trope, this book is not to be missed. This was my first 5 stars from Brazen this year and I can tell you that I’ve found myself a new author to love. I’m now going back and adding every other book on this woman’s backlist. I’m in love here, people! With the story and with this author.

He wanted to fuck her, possess her, save her- And then he wanted to spend every second of his sorry life making hers better.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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