Review: Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen

PIPE DREAMS
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: May 2, 2017 

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO

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 You’re my happy thought, Lo.”

 

Lauren Williams may be known for being an ice princess, but she’s also one of Nate’s trusted right-hand man. So when Becca suffered a concussion and has to rest, Lauren had to step in and take over her job (temporarily) as manager of the Brooklyn Bruiser’s front office. The problem is Lauren would rather be anywhere else than in the Bruiser’s office. Readers of this series will remember her aversion to hockey and the team but we never really knew why. We do have an inkling that she and the Bruiser’s goalie had a thing in the past but it was never fully revealed in the other books yet.

In Pipe Dreams, we finally get to know the reason behind Lauren’s aversion to hockey. And yes, it does have to do with her past relationship with Mike Beacon. Mike was the former captain of the Bruisers. We found out that he stepped down as captain after his estranged wife fell ill and he had to devote his extra time with her. What we do not know then was that this event was also linked with the demise of his and Lauren’s relationship.

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I have been intrigued with Lauren since the series began. I thought there was more to that whole ice princess routine than meets the eye. But at first, I thought, “Oh no, she’s going to cause trouble for one of our heroine, isn’t she?” But then Sarina Bowen sort of turned that on its head when she volunteered to babysit for Becca’s neice (sic) in the previous book.

Since then, my opinion on Lauren changed. I wanted to know why she’s the way she is. I loved that she’s capable, accomplished and ambitious. She’s also heartbroken and vulnerable. And boy, her past with Mike was a doozy. It’s tragic and it’s one of those things where you really don’t have any choice in the matter. And that’s what makes Lauren’s heartbreak even more relatable.

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I was prepared to hate Mike for what he did with Lauren. But when I started reading this book, I realized that things are more complicated than that. Mike had to make the best decision he can for his family, and while I feel for Lauren and I wish he didn’t break her heart, I understand where his coming from.

It also really helped that Sarina Bowen didn’t write Mike’s wife as this shrew who had no personality except to be the bad guy in the story. Again, it was more complicated than that. I actually felt sympathy for Mike’s family especially his daughter. Okay, I admit I was a little leery when it seemed like Elsa is going to be the “obstacle” that’s going to keep our main couple apart. But again, Ms. Bowen did her character justice. She’s not just a prop but a real character with a story arc.

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The whole team featured prominently in this book as they chase the Stanley Cup. I enjoyed seeing them in action. My only complaint about this book was  

Click to view spoiler

Apart that, I liked this one a lot. I’ve always enjoyed Sarina’s writing. Her characters are simply likable and her stories tends to really resonate with me and with a lot of readers. Pipe Dreams is an enjoyable, low-angst, second-chance romance that shouldn’t be missed.

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#DGRFave Review: The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan

THE HOT SHOT
Series: Game On #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: April 18, 2017

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.
No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

AMAZON | iBOOKS

So were going to…What? Be friends.”
He looks almost boyish then. “Yeah. We are.” His eyes spark. “Fair warning. I’ll still be picturing you naked half of the time. So get used to a bit of leering.”
I snort. “You just had to go and ruin the moment, didn’t you?”
“Probably should get used to that too.”

GAH. All of the stars! ALL OF THEM!

Do you know why I love that one quote up there? Because it’s the perfect summary of this book. It’s this incredibly endearing combination of humor, emotion, and passion. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it! Opposites attract in this sweet and sexy sports romance and I was absolute putty reading it. A happy pile of swooning goo. Can goo swoon? Hmm…no matter. What’s important is how much I seriously loved this book!

From bickering, to unlikely friendship, to roommates, to lovers, Chess and Finn stole my heart…and I never want it back

Like an inevitable collision with a charging linebacker, I suspect Ms. Chess Copper is going to take me down and make me feel it. Bitch of it is, I’m not sure if I hate the idea or kind of like it.

The last place Finn wants to be is in front of the camera. When the photographer hired by their team to shoot their annual calendar doesn’t automatically swoon at his feet like so many other women, he’s intrigued. She’s so far from his usual type, but there’s something about her sharp wit and sarcasm leaves him hooked.

Chess has just about given up on relationships, and the last person she would ever date is the playboy quarterback with the easy smile and a horde of women in his past. But then when she sees the depth hidden beneath his easy smiles, she’s intrigued, and what soon begins is the unlikeliest of friendships even when both of them yearn for something much more.

I want her with a ferocity that aches low in my gut, and I find myself reaching for her without thought, only to restrain myself at the last second. Because she is not mine.

I loved reading their budding relationship develop. There’s so much more than first meets the eye with Finn and watching his layers reveal themselves was utterly delicious. He’s so much more than Chess expected and watching that slowly crumble her walls left me a grinning fool. I adored their easy camaraderie. They were so different and yet so perfect together. I loved the slow burn; until the sexual tension was sprung so tight, I thought I might explode if they didn’t finally didn’t give in to the pull between them.

Finn was the perfect easy-going humor to off-set Chess’s prickly sarcasm. I simply couldn’t get enough of these two together. I loved their friendship but I definitely loved watching it develop into something more.

Finn, what am I going to do with you?” His smile is an easy glide, but his eyes hold mine a beat too long. “Keep me. I’m pretty sure I’m good for no one else.”

And then there was that epilogue. GOD. That epilogue deserves 5 stars for it alone.

Book four in what’s become one of my favorite sports romance series delivered on the promise with one swoony, funny, and sweet read. I adored every single page of it. If you’re a fan of this series, this book is an absolute myst read. I’m already in need of my next fix, I just don’t know who I want more, North or Jake.


THE SERIES

THE HOOK UP | THE FRIEND ZONE | THE GAME PLAN | THE HOT SHOT

Release Tour & Geri’s Review

PUCKED OFF
Series:
Pucked #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO 

For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.” 

Full disclosure: This my first Helena Hunting book ever. And I know it’s already the 5th book in the series and all that but this was marketed as a standalone. Not only that, the blurb/summary for this book spoke to me. This is my kind of book.

Lance is an NHL defeseman known for his excesses and hotheadedness on and off the field. Despite being successful at hockey and surrounded by people everyday, Lance still feels lonely and isolated. It’s a theme throughout his life.

His pain and loneliness was exacerbated when he got into an ill-advised relationship with their team trainer. The relationship crashed and burned and it left Lance more broken than ever.

I kept hoping she’d decide I was enough. Stupid, huh?”
“It’s not stupid, Lance. Sometimes it’s hard to tell your heart not to want someone, even if all they do is hurt you.”

Enter Poppy, a woman who shares a history with Lance. For Poppy, Lance is her “what could have been.” She has this idealized version of Lance that is far from who he is now. The problem is Lance doesn’t quite remember her.

What I really loved about this book is the way Lance and Poppy’s story sort of came full circle. Not just their love story and how that developed but also with their character arcs. Poppy is the perfect foil for him. She’s light to his dark. She’s everything that Lance craved and wanted for in so long but never succeeded in attaining.

There’s something about a broken hero who strives to be good but fails most of the time. He’s also the kind of hero who made mistakes and has to pay for those mistakes. Lance embodies that perfectly.

You’re all the good things I didn’t know I was missing.”

My only complaint–and this is probably because I’ve never had a chance to meet her before this book–is Tasha. She’s bordering caricature villain. The only perspective we got is from Lance, which isn’t flattering to say the least.

Again, maybe those who’ve read the book will have deeper understanding about her character but for me, meh. Despite all the “bad” things she’s done to Lance, her character is uninteresting. And while her presence served as a conflict at the beginning of the story, it got weaker and weaker towards the middle and through the end.

Despite my issues, this was a book that captured and held my attention from beginning until the end. Lance and Poppy’s HEA was well earned and well deserved. And that sweet epilogue was just icing on top.

My darling girl. I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

Armed with my clipboard, I walk down the hall to the waiting room. Lance is impossible to miss. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a sweatshirt and the hood is covering half of his face, he’s more than six feet of broad, hockey-playing man.

He’s so wide his shoulders encroach on the chairs on either side, which would explain why no one is sitting next to him. He’s slouched down so his head rests on the back of the chair, and his hands are clasped in his lap, a baseball cap hanging off one knee. His lips, plush and soft—I know since I’ve had them on mine; it might have been a decade ago, but I remember it clearly—are parted. He looks like he’s asleep.

I clear my throat. “Lance Romero?”

He doesn’t move.

Bernadette, the receptionist, gives me a meaningful look.

I clear my throat again and call his name a second time. He jolts awake and the hood falls back, exposing his face. It’s not in good shape. He has a black eye and bruises on his left cheek. There’s a fly bandage across one eyebrow.

Sadly, he’s still hot.

He blinks a few times, yawns, and smacks his lips, his tongue touching the split in the bottom one. His gaze sweeps the room and finally lands on me. Heat explodes in my cheeks and courses through my limbs, warming me from the inside out as he starts at my sneaker-clad feet and roams up over my yoga pants to my company-issued T-shirt before stopping at my face. I can’t look directly at him for more than a couple of seconds. I sincerely hope he doesn’t remember me. I cannot go there and also be professional.

I’m sure the smile he gives me has melted many a panty off a slutty bunny. Mine stay right where they’re supposed to, wedged up my ass.

I force a polite, professional veneer. “I’m ready for you now.”

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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New Release & Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

downed-reviewDOWNED
Series: Gridiron #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Jen Frederick
Release Date: December 1, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

downed

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

Buy LinksAMAZON Review-DGR4 starsdowned-dgr-teaser

He likes to take control—on and off the field. He plays hard, loves hard. I should’ve been prepared for him, but I wasn’t.

Well spank my butt and call me Larry, I did NOT expect to like this as much as I did. Now, now, don’t go getting all hissy on me, let me ‘splain. See, the thing is, for as much as I loved Ace in Sacked and was salivating for his story, I was torn between wanting to sack him in the nuts and whacking him with a blunt object until he sees reason in Jockblocked. He single-handedly ruined the book for me. The man was a damn drama queen is what I’m telling you here. I didn’t think anything was going to redeem him after that mess in my eyes, but I was definitely willing to give it a go. Turns out, all Ace needed was a sugary sweet souther girl, who’s as pushy as she is nice.

I chalk it up to unfinished business. She’s an itch I need to scratch. I get in bed with her, screw her, repeat my no-relationships speech, and then we’re done. Over. Finito.

Ace lost everything after his ego and actions led him to almost see his budding football career go up in flames. Now he’s at a new school, hoping for a fresh page and a new start. But some things are hard to escape and it’s not long before he finds himself in a similar predicament, but with a different girl.

There are two things I’m good at: sex and football, and right now I need to concentrate on the latter.

Everyone loves Bryant Johnson, and it’s not hard to see why. She’s sweet as sugar, never cusses, ready to help anyone at the drop of hat, is a phenomenal cook and an even better friend, and the football coach’s daughter. But it’s not all shiny perfection that it seems. Bryant’s actions are all centered around a very painful loss. Everything she does now is all in an exercise to fix the future, so her loss isn’t experienced by some other woman. But nothing quite prepared her for the full impact of JR “Ace” Anderson

You going to come for me when I tell you to? You going to be there with me—really be there, when I’m fucking you so hard and so deep that you won’t be able to walk the next day?” A strangled noise escapes her mouth. “Y-yes.”

So confession time; I don’t usually like the sugary sweet heroines. But something about Bryant just grabbed me. Perhaps it was because there was always that little crack to the shiny foundation that everyone sees on the outside that humanized her. She was almost too perfect at times, but it also worked for her. She was the perfect balm that Ace’s ragged edges needed.

I hadn’t come looking for it, that’s for damn sure. But I don’t regret it. All of the acts of my past—both good and bad—led me to her.

Did Ace redeem himself in this book? More than. THIS is the man that I was hoping was under all that false ego and bluster. You really got to see the heart of him here, and suddenly all of his past actions begin to make sense.

Downed was a delicious combination of sweet and spicy, sexy and romantic. It was one of those perfect college sport romances that made me remember why I enjoy NA in the first place. It had just the right amount of angst and just the right amount of steam to keep me reading well into the night. Dare I say, it was my favorite in the series

Football is a game, but Bryant’s my future. And I’ll keep fighting for her for as long as it takes. Good thing I know how to win.


THE GRIDIRON SERIES

 

SACKED: BUY | READ MY REVIEW

JOCKBLOCKED: BUY | READ MY REVIEW

 

 

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

the-goal-reviewTHE GOAL
Series: Off-Campus #4
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: September 26, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

thegoal-ibooks

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview-DGR3.5 stars

I hate to tell you this, Sabrina. But you’ve made a big mistake.”
“What? Why?”
His fingers draw my thong tight, the fabric cutting into my swollen lips.
“Because I’m going to ruin you for all future guys. I apologize in advance.”

Time out. Did anyone else just have a pervy hot flash here? No? Seriously? You’re a bunch of lying liars, is what you are. You totally did. Admit it. That line right there just totally revved your engines.

It’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it? Well if I had known the mouth that beard of Tucker’s was hiding all this time, I probably would have been stalking Elle Kennedy down on a daily basis and waving my fist menacingly at her to write his story sooner. What? I like pervy bearded heroes, and don’t you judge me either! Those BILFs get things done, I tells ya. But I digress.

Tucker has always been the calm, quiet, rational and unassuming one of the hockey bunch. Compared to the likes of Dean and Garrett, he always kinda shied away in their spotlight…or so it seemed. BOY was I wrong. Because when this man has a target he goes after, he spares no apology and isn’t afraid to play dirty. But Tucker is also incredibly sweet, humble, and beyond patient and understanding. All those things make him absolutely perfect! And dirty…so very dirty

Oh sweet baby Jesus. Sex with Tucker is dirtier and hotter than I thought it would be. He doesn’t look like he’d be this way, but isn’t it always the quiet ones?

The Goal runs parallel to the events in The Score, so if you haven’t read that book yet, I highly recommend reading it prior to this or some details may be lost on you. Admittedly, I hated Sabrina in the previous books. She was extremely waspish and off putting, to put it frankly. Luckily having her background and really getting down to the truth of why she is the way she is helped connect more with her character. That’s not to say she’s my favorite heroine of the series, but I certainly understood and liked her more in this book than the previous ones.

She’s not certain of me yet. I need to bide my time, but as long as I’m in the game, I’m not worried about the outcome.

Sabrina is driven and highly independent. She doesn’t want or need a man, unless it’s for one night of tension relief. But that all changes when the man is Tucker, because Tucker wants more than a few orgasms from her, and he’s not hesitant to show her what she’s missing. Did I mention I adored Tucker?

So why the lower rating? Weeeelll….I actually wasn’t a fan of a particular trope used in this book. The hows of it seemed a little eye raising in the believability department, and the back and forths of it drove me a little bonkers. There were parts that I wanted to hug Sabrina, and others where I wanted to beat her with the nearest blunt object…or a really really big stick. But I digress once more.

Was The Goal my favorite in the series? Probably not. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Ultimately it was an entertaining read that kept me invested in the story and their characters and especially the romance. Tucker definitely is a large part as to why, but Sabrina did grow on me at the end as well.

Fans of this series will certainly enjoy this newest installment. And if you’ve been curious about the silent bearded one, you surely won’t be disappointed.


THE OFF-CAMPUS SERIES

THE DEAL | THE MISTAKETHE SCORE  |  THE GOAL

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Rookie Move-Review ROOKIE MOVE
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: September 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

rookie move

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold… 

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

Review-DGR3.5 starsRookie Move-DGR Teaser

You and I don’t have one-night stands. We have forever night stands.”

If you love second chance romance with a hero that’s so sweet and devoted it will make even the most cynical heart swoon, then you’ve just found your next read! It seems the romance genre is well saturated with a good share of alpha-holes lately, and I have to say that Leo Trevi was a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, alpha-holes happen to be my crack of choice. But every now and then it’s also great to get a genuinely nice guy that fell hard once for the love of his life and never fell out of it.

Georgia and Leo were high school sweethearts, until the Georgia broke Leo’s heart at the end of their senior year and they haven’t seen each other since. Now Georgia is trying to live her dream as the publicist for the NHL and gets the surprise of a lifetime when the new player to the team her father is now coaching is none other than the boy she’s never forgotten or gotten over.

He inhaled, and the familiar fruity smell of her shampoo misted his already hazy mind. Slowly, she lifted her chin, her nose tracing a line up his cheek. Then their lips found each other’s effortlessly, like magnets realigning.

Their reunion was not angst filled but it was certainly full of tension and emotion. It’s hard not to fall for Leo the very second he appears on the pages. The man is swoon with a capital S. Seriously. He doesn’t hide from his feelings or try to punish Georgia. He’s so incredibly pure with the depth of his emotion, that it practically jumps off the pages at you.

There’s plenty of tension from outside forces like the team coach and Georgia’s father and his mystery loathing and hate for Leo, Leo being the rookie to the team and trying to prove himself, and of course trying to deal with the event that led to the ultimate breaking point of their relationship.

As much as I love a good second chance romance, I have to admit that I did find myself a little bored in the first half. Leo was swoony and sweet, but alas I love my men with a little more edge to them, so while I was full, I wasn’t quite satisfied if that makes sense. The second half more than made up for the first and the story read a whole lot quicker. I was antsy to finally get the full reason about why the coach has it out for Leo and the progression of Leo and Georgia’s relationship really picked up while making me curious about the slew of other characters that were introduced like Silas, O’Doul, Becca, and Nate. I’m already salivating for their books….O’Doul especially.

So while this was a little tame for my tastes and so sweet it almost made my teeth ache at times, it also made perfect sense for this story. I could’t see it play out any other way. I loved the ending and while I wasn’t reading this with my usual devour pace, it was still a light and easy romance that I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s definitely the start of what looks to be a fantastic new series and I can’t wait for more.

Are super sweet heroes my thing? Not really. *ducks head in shame* But Leo made a believer out of me just this once.


BROOKLYN BRUISERS SERIES

ROOKIE MOVE (Brooklyn Bruisers #1)
GOODREADS | AMAZON

HARD HITTER (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) <– available January 3, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

PIPE DREAMS (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) <– available May 2, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

Review: ★Jockblocked★ by Jen Frederick

Review-JockblockedJockblocked
Series: Gridiron #2
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Jen Frederick
Release Date: February 10, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

27069828

She’s always played it safe…

College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule—avoid risk at all costs. She’s cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffeeshop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she’s willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who’s determined to sweep her off her feet?

He’s always played around…

Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew “Matty” Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it’s his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge—the hottie he’s lusting over just happens to be Ace’s childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it’s time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she’s not sleeping with the enemy.

Buy LinksAmazon | B&N | Kobo | Google Play | iBooks

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Review: ★The Final Move★ by Victoria Denault

Review-TFMThe Final Move
Series: Hometown Players #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Denault
Release Date: December 8, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

Denault_The Final Move_E-Book

Hockey legend Devin Garrison thought he blew his shot. But his relationship with Callie Caplan just went into overtime.

Sexy, rich, and one of the biggest stars in the NHL, Devin Garrison has always been the one who had it all. That is until his marriage falls apart and he realizes he has to start over. If he’s honest, there has only been one woman who ever really excited him-Callie Caplan. They shared a night that was hotter than the late-summer sun, but in an instant-Callie was gone, pretending it never happened.

Callie Caplan isn’t the wild child people think she is. It’s true she’s avoided relationships, but only because she’s seen how crazy love can be. And her messy, imperfect life is crazy enough without opening her heart to a man-even one as picture perfect as Devin. But when fate brings them back together-just as they need each other most-Devin is determined to convince Callie that what she’s feeling is real. And this final play may be their chance at forever . . . 

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM

Review2 Stars

Minor spoilers to follow, please don’t read my review if you don’t want to know. I’ll spoiler tag the big stuff.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since One More Shot. The mix of angst and swoony romance just did it for me. And ever since I first met Devin Garrison in that book I’v been not so patiently waiting for his story.

As the calmer and more settled of the Garrison brothers, Devin was refreshingly different. Being married and a daddy also made him even more appealing. But the reader also got a peek into his life and began to understand that not everything in his marriage is quite as perfect as he’d like to make it appear. At first I assumed that Devin’s story would be more of marital issues than reconciliation with his wife, but after the events of Making a Play I realized that he’d be ending up with the other Caplan. After reading the preview in book 2 I have to admit that I was curious as to how this would play out. After finishing it? Well I kind of wish I could unread it, because it made me absolutely hate Callie and strongly dislike Devin in the process. *sigh* Where are those men in black when you need them?
I get what the author was trying to do with this story and while I appreciate her effort, it just didn’t pan out for me. Not even a little. Why?

Issue 1

Villinaize the wife as the catalyst.

Was this really necessary? Couldn’t it just be an “issue” they were dealing with and have them just fall out of love as they clearly were already well on the road for. Did she have to (Highlight to view spoiler)cheat (end spoiler)? I just didn’t find it necessary for the story. Sure, it served as the catalyst for Devin’s decisions, but it just felt like an easy way out.

Issue 2

Devin’s regression.

Oh boy. Where do I even start. So your wife (Highlight to view spoiler)cheats(End spoiler) on you, what do you do? Proceed to drink yourself stupid and have a one-night stand because…why? It felt like revenge and punishment more so than anything else. Hey, I was the perfect husband for so long, I need to slut it out now just to see how the other half lives. It didn’t make sense. And yes, I understand that he was hurting. But what he also was, was still married. Sure, I also get that this is a common occurrence and I shouldn’t judge. But do two wrongs really make a right? Considering how Devin has been for the past two books and always being the voice of reason, I wanted him to take the high road.

Issue 3
Callie.
Now I hate to name call, so I won’t. I also hate slut shaming, so I won’t. What I will say, is I absolutely hated her decisions and treatment of Devin for basically the entire book. One, she’s dated and flirted with his teammates. She proceeds to go on a date after her and Devin finally sleep together. Then there was her decision to go down on him after she finds him in the middle of a drunk hookup and throwing the woman out of the house they’re currently sharing. Also knowing how Devin is, her decision to continuously sleep with him but refuse anything more was downright infuriating. Considering everything Devin’s been through it was almost callous.

Issue 4
Did I mention that Devin is still technically married (though separated and no longer living with his wife) through all of this?
Again, I understand that this happens, and if this was any other character, I could have looked past it. But with Devin? No. I felt like he regressed and just wasn’t the Devin that I ultimately fell in love with throughout the series. I did not like him for a good 75% of this book.

Issue 5
And this is ultimately what lowered my rating even more. I felt zero, no connection between Callie and Devin. There wasn’t an undercurrent of sexual tension or longing throughout the series between them. Not even in this book did that come into play. It felt like they just ended up together because it was convenient and not because it was meant to be. I couldn’t connect to them as a couple. Hell, I didn’t believe in them as a couple. And what’s more, I didn’t like them as a couple.

Le sigh.

To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement. I love this author, and I will definitely read any of her future work without a second thought. But sadly this book didn’t work for me at all. Maybe because I had such high hopes? Who knows. It is what it is, and I have a feeling this is just one of those books you’ll either understand and enjoy, or you won’t. I don’t see much middle ground here. But that’s just my opinion. Clearly I’m in the minority with my opinion so read it and judge for yourself.

New Release & Review: ★The Game Plan★ by Kristen Callahan

Review- The Game PlanThe Game Plan
Series: Game On #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: November 1, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friend. That ends now.

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.

Dex is looking for a forever girl, but they live vastly different lives in separate cities. Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he’s her forever man.

Game On

Buy LinksAMAZON

Review4.5 starsTGP- Dirty Girl Romance

I didn’t expect you, Ethan.”
His eyes search my face. “I’ve been waiting two years for you to see me.”

See that utterly pathetic pile of melted, swooning goo on the floor right now? Yep. That’s me. Who would have thought I’d meet my end at the hands of a bearded, pierced, and man-bun wearing virgin?
Because if anyone was going to make my manwhore and asshole loving self fall completely head over heals for a virgin, it had to be Kristen Callihan. Having read 2 other male virgin books before this and being mostly underwhelmed, third time was most certainly the charm for me. Because this book? I loved it. I beyond loved it. I want to marry it and have it’s babies. I want to rub myself in it and roll around basking in it’s pure awesome all day. I want to lick it. Alright, you get the point here I think.
The Game Plan teaser-DGREthan “Dex” Dexter has always been he voice of reason. The calm and collected one. The unassuming lumbersexual. Sexy, sure. A little shy, maybe. But there was also always something clearly swimming under that calm surface and you just knew that it would come out when he got his own book. And if you haven’t? Clearly you haven’t read the Game On series yet. I suggest you rectify that immediately.

Dex has had his eye on Fionna since the first day he met her. Fionna happens to be his college teammates and best friend Drew’s sister in law. Two years ago she may have been too young for him. But now? All rules are off. As an NFL center, Dex is accustomed to assessing the defense and finding a way to run right through it. And it doesn’t matter what defenses Fi throws out at him; they don’t live in the same city, she’s not into professional athletes…because when Dex sets his eyes on her, all bets are off. Game on.

I’m insanely attracted to you. I want to fuck you. I want to know you. I want to be with you. If you want that from me too, I won’t let something as small as inconvenient living locations get in the way.

What I love particularly about this series, aside from the swoony heroes that somehow get better with each new book, is that the timeline progresses. What I mean is, with The Hook Up started when the boys were in college, and The Game Plan finds them as NFL professionals. The timeline for them progresses and isn’t just stagnant with each new couple, which makes the story that much better. Because with each new book, you always get a little more about the couples from the past ones and I will never have enough of that.

Ethan is quite easily my favorite hero in this series to date. It just doesn’t get any better than him. For once an author managed to give the readers a virgin hero, but actually have a good reason to go along with it. The character development is what makes this as good as it was. Dex is a character that you will fall for after just the first chapter, and continue to fall even harder with each new one. He’s this perfect balance of sweet and sexy. Dirty talker and romantic.

I see Ethan Dexter; he shines for me. And I burn hotter than the sun when I’m in his orbit.

The Game Plan teaser 2-DGRFionna was the perfect ying to his yang. She may fight anything serious with him for a hot second, but it doesn’t take Dex long to tear through all of her defenses. I really loved her personality and vulnerability. I really loved that she’s just as protective of him as he is of her. She’s not a perfect character, but she owns her imperfections. As a matter of fact she makes you like her for her imperfections.

Kristen Callihan has written yet another deliciously swoony romance in her addicting series. This book had a little of everything and all of it perfectly balanced; great story, incredibly sexy, swoon worthy romantic, all tied together with wonderful secondary characters that just bring it all together. I couldn’t get enough of it. There wasn’t one thing about this book that I didn’t love. But at the center of everything was Dex. *dreamy pervy sigh* Who would have ever thought I’d be raving this much about a male virgin. But this sweet guy had just the right amount of edge to him to appease even perverts like me. I loved him to absolute pieces.

If you haven’t yet discovered this series, you’ve been living under a rock and need to come out immediately and see the light. If sexy sports romances are your thing, it just doesn’t get better than Game On. Period. If you’ve read it and loved it, prepare to have your heart stolen by Dex. Considering each book just keeps getting better and better, I can’t wait to see what Kristen Calliahan has in store for us next.


Read the rest of the series

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The Hook Up
Game On Series Book 1

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The Friend Zone
Game On Series Book 2

Review: ★Sacked★ by Jen Frederick

Review- Sacked SACKED
Series: Gridiron #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Jen Frederick
Release Day: September 6, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

sacked-400x592

What he wants he gets… 

Knox Masters is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. And…virgin. Knox knows what he wants–and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he’s set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she’s the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

…but he’s never met her before. 

But Ellie isn’t as sure. She’s trying to start a new life and she’s not interested in a relationship…with anyone. Beside it’s not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother’s teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

Buy LinksAmazon / iBooks / B&N

Review

3.5 starsSacked- Dirty Girl Romance

 

When you meet the girl who’ll be sitting on the front porch holding your hand when you’re eighty, you don’t let a thing like cool dismissive looks, big brothers, or fucking rules stand in your way.

Now before you start reaching for rotten tomatoes and pitchforks, allow me to clarify my rating here. See, here’s the thing, I liked this book. It was wonderfully written and being my first book by this author I already know I’ll be reading all her others. I’m also completely hooked on this series and absolutely loved the set up as well as all the secondary characters. I also truly enjoyed both MCs here. At this point you’re probably sitting there and thinking, then why the hell are you marking this only 3.5 stars?
Well…bluntly put…it was just too sweet for my tastes. *ducks flying tomatoes*
I know! I know! Clearly there’s something wrong me with me and obviously this is a case of me and not the book if ever there was one but it just wasn’t quite my cuppa and I’ll get to the exact reasons why now…
Knox Masters is the All American Defensive End, football superstar, walking wet dream…and virgin.
Now I loved that this wasn’t a source of shame or secret for him. He owned it. It wasn’t a secret and he didn’t make it one, nor does he make it a given to spread it around campus either. The problem? I just don’t buy it. Ugh. I’m sorry! It’s that damn cynic in me, but a college junior, surrounded by football groupies, all his teammates are male sluts, but he’s a virgin because…reasons.
But this was also wonderfully…refreshing. This is my second time reading about a male virgin and I believe Jen Frederick pulled it off very well. Knox is just one of those characters that you can’t help but love. He goes after what he wants with a single-minded intent and feels no need for immature mind games that you’d find with most heroes in the NA genre.

I’m not experienced, but I know when a girl is into me, and you’re into me. You want to play it casual, then that’s how we play it…for now. But fair warning, I’m bringing everything I’ve got to tear down your resistance. my specialty is reading plays and then overcoming the barriers.”

It also doesn’t hurt that the man is packing more than shoulder pads…uhem.
What ultimately brought my rating down was 2 specific things.

(1) The insta-love.

Right now, as the sun peeks over the top of the stands and lays a solid ray of love on the field of my greatest accomplishments to date, and the girl sitting by me waxes poetic about the greatest game in the world, I get it.
Her.
This one.
The universe is talking to me.

This was at 4%!
In the book’s defense I am not, nor will I ever be a fan of insta-love, no matter how well it’s pulled off. And it IS pulled off wonderfully here. It’s just not my cuppa. I can’t help it. I gave it the old college try (pun intended) but could never really see past it. Perhaps because he was also a virgin on top of everything else? Whatever the case may be, I suppose I just wanted a little more interaction between them before this came into the mix. Like say, at least 12%?

(2) The last 20%.
Oh the cheese of it all. Now before you toss the rest of your rotten tomatoes at me, I will say that most readers will love this. For me it was just too much. (view spoiler)

I believe most readers will absolutely adore Sacked. It’s just one of those light and sexy, sweet and easy feel good romances. It’s wonderfully written with endearing characters and it’s definitely a series that I plan on following. I just don’t think that male virgins will ever be my cuppa.

I highly recommend this book for any fans of New Adult romance. If you’ve avoided this genre because of the male manwhores and super angst, this is the perfect book for you. A guaranteed love 🙂

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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