Jenn & Lana’s Review: Follow by @mstessabailey

FOLLOW
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: October 30, 2017

He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it.

Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior’s motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship…

Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York’s financial scene…and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he’s exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane…and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.

Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They’re strong enough to overcome a little betrayal…aren’t they?

AMAZON
JENN’S REVIEW

Will is going down in the books as one of my favorites!!!! Definitely Top favorites of Tessa’s and Top favorites….EVAH!!! Checks all of my boxes and clenches all of my inner muscles (wink)!!!


Tessa has never written a book like this. Almost all of her books are written in the third person, except Unfixable. In Follow, we have both pov’s and both are written in the first person, and Gah! Tessa needs to write first person more often!! This is also her first independent book, and I am so glad Will and Teresa wouldn’t leave Tessa alone until she wrote their story.

Teresa is trying to save her brother from working for the mob for the rest of his life. She is taking names, walking right up to the boss and demanding he let her brother go. Who does that?! Teresa does that! I absolutely loved this chick with tits of steel. She does what she has to do to save her brother and that includes doing a favor for the mob boss. That favor is to bring his son to New York, using whatever means she can.


Will. Will. Will. (Is what I said over and over in my dreams last night!) Rugged. Intelligent. Sexy. Businessman. Perfect. Alpha. Dirty Talker. I could survive on nothing but Will. He’s the bastard son of the mob boss, and he doesn’t want to be. He doesn’t want anything to do with his father. He is taking an extended leave of absence, taking a cross country trip with his dying dog. Will is Teresa’s mark. They are immediately suspicious of each other, trying to keep their guards up against each other, but they aren’t able to keep away the sexual chemistry. The meet cute…is more like a meet sexy, and omg perfection. Teresa doesn’t want to give in and have sex with Will because that would be drawing a line that she doesn’t want to cross. But Will is a very determined man, and he wants This book is HOT. This book is FIRE. I continue to be scorched by every single Tessa book.


Of course, we all know that Tessa is the Queen of Dirty Talk. She owns the Dirty Talking Universe, and if you don’t know that….I’m totally judging you right now. Because reading a Tessa Bailey book should go down as One of the Top Things to do Before You Die. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating….but I don’t think I am.


LANA’S REVIEW

You make me crazy, too. Crazy in a way that makes me want to rearrange the earth so it’s laid out exactly the way you want it.”

Oh. My. GAWD.
*pats self down*
Can you feel if both of your ovaries exploded? I swear to god, I felt it. There is no way that both of those suckers survived Will Caruso. No freaking way. So, Tessa Bailey, you now owe me a new set of ovaries. You better hope that Prime carries that shit, because I still can’t even. Give me a dang second here.
*dunks into ice bath*
And I’m back!

Tessa Bailey brings the sass and the steam with this read-in-one-sitting standalone. It had EVERYTHING; memorable characters, suspense and a bit of action, an adorable giant (and I mean GIANT) dog, and a dirty talking GOD that is Will Caruso.

Oh my God. Have I ever been spoken to like this? I mean, there’s dirty chatter. And then there’s Will’s Fantasyland of Fuck Talk.

Mmm hmm. *fans self*
Dang. Now I need a another minute.
….
And I’m back!

Teresa Valentini will do anything for family, especially when her little brother Nicky is all she has left. So when he finds himself neck deep in the worst sort of trouble, she doesn’t think twice before making a bargain with the devil himself to get him out of it. The deal? Follow a crime bosses errant son as he takes a cross country trip for his dying dog and bring him back to the multi million dollar empire he left behind in New York. But Will is nothing like the man Teresa was prepared for. Sure, he’s handsome as a devil and has a mouth on him that will drive a saint to sin, but there’s also something about him that calls to her. Something that can prove dangerous to her mission and her heart.

When she realizes I’m watching her, she meets my gaze head on, her expression half bemused, half serious…and I can feel a barrier forming that wasn’t there a moment ago. I’ve known this woman less than a day. But I’m going to knock that barrier down.

Now you’ve already guessed that I’m salivating for Will. I’m not exactly subtle about it. But beyond this sexy man and his dirty, dirty mouth, this book had a story that wrapped me up in the pages. I was hooked. Completely and totally hooked. I think I fell just as hard for his adorable dog as I did for Will. I adore the personality that Tessa instilled in all secondary characters, even those of the four legged variety.

The romance was a low burn and crackled with every page. And my sweet baby Jesus, when these two finally give into the undeniable chemistry between them? LAWWWWWWWD.

No matter what comes out of my mouth, I know you’re Teresa. I respect you,” I whisper against her panting lips. “You’re going to work this little kink out on my lap so we know its flavor, woman. Understand?
Then I’m going to hold the door open for you on the way into that restaurant. Going to pull out your chair and dare anyone with a dick to look below your neck. I’m going to be the same man after you take off that dress for me.”

Teresa was an awesome heroine, full of spunk and sass. She’s in a bit of a predicament between loyalty to her brother and the man she’s slowly but surely falling for.

The chemistry between these two was unbelievably hot. The story was unputdownably addicting. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that Tessa takes pity on this poor reader and writes a book for Nick as well, because I need more. This book was ridiculously satisfying, yet like the addict to her words as I am, I’m already salivating for even more.

Review: Cuffed by K. Bromberg

CUFFED
Series: Everyday Heroes #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: October 23, 2017

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them.

“I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville—at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade, ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons—sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.

What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?

*** 

I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for—like that’s a hardship—but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

 

His kiss is thunder and lightning, a tornado and a tsunami, all in one fiery package that makes me forget about the here and the now, makes me want more when more with Grant scares the shit out of me.

Don’t let that ridiculously sexy cover fool you. While this book certainly brings that steamy punch that we’re used to from K. Bromberg, it’s also incredibly full of depth. The story hooked me and kept me riveted to the pages.

Grant and Emmy were childhood best friends and neighbors. They were everything to each other, until Grant broke Emmy’s trust and everything changed. The last words he heard her utter is that she hates him and never wants to see him again.

Years later, a chance encounter brings them together once more, but Emmy is not the shy ten year old girl that Grant remembers from his childhood. She’s sassy, wild, and still wants nothing to do with him.

I only live in the now. I only live in tomorrows. I can only cope with the future I make for myself.

Grant is a character I easily fell for. Now a cop, Grant has a protective hero streak a mile long. It’s not only reflected in his memories of Emmy, but those memories ultimately framed him into the man that he is now. A dedicated officer and an honorable man. While Emmy refuses to give him the time of day, Grant is determined to wear her down. He never stopped caring for the young girl he knew, and the beautiful woman she grew into dominates his thoughts.

You’re exhausting.” I sigh. “And you’re infuriating, but we already knew that twenty years ago . . . so what’s your excuse going to be now, huh?”

I loved the sexually charged back and forth that Emmy and Grant had going. I loved watching him slowly wear her down and lower her defenses enough to take a chance on him. And the more details you learn about Emmy and her past, the more you fall for her too.

He brings calm to the chaos spinning out of control around me and within me. For the first time in a very, very long time, I allow myself to accept that.

Cuffed was this perfectly balanced mix of emotion and romance. It had depth that you couldn’t help but feel from the very beginning. It was perfectly paced, wonderfully swoony, and ridiculously sexy. I couldn’t get enough of these two together.

It seems I have forgotten my handcuffs.” He chuckles and lands a smart slap on my ass.
“Oh, am I under arrest?”
“Definitely.” The palm of his hand slides down the line of my spine.
“What’s the charge?”
“Making me want you. Every minute of every goddamn day.”

I’m hooked, line and sinker on this series. And can we just take a hot minute to discuss the rest of the Malone brothers? Because hot damn! A firefighter and a rescue pilot? Yes, please! I’m already salivating for my next hit!

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales HERE

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author | Driven Group

Review & Excerpt: Drive by Kate Stewart

DRIVE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.

The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.

At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.

You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.

Two days.

One playlist.

And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.

AMAZON EBOOK | AMAZON PAPERBACK

Breathe. Breathe. This is in the bag, Stella. You can do this, so do it.
I clicked on the camera and quickly glanced at my notes.One minute.


Electricity shot through my veins and seeped through every pore, reminding me that this was it.

Thirty seconds.

I took a sip of water and set it beside my laptop as I waited.

Ten seconds.

A flicker of doubt processed for mere seconds before I wiped it away.

Five.

I expelled a stressed breath, clicked Go Live, and addressed the camera.

“Womanizer, bully, genius, recluse, and the world’s greatest MC. Even with all those labels, Phillip Preston, also known as Titan, is still a bit of an enigma. Despite the universe he’s constructed with storytelling lyrics, he’s always left it up to us to decipher his truth from his fiction. He burst onto the music scene fifteen years ago, an underdog in the belly of rap, with chaotic and desperate rhymes that resonated and pushed him into an unexpected level of stardom. With one hundred and eighty million records sold, he still holds his title as heavyweight and remains a household staple for his die-hard fans, collecting an army of new followers over the past two decades. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated when I sat down with him this past weekend in his Chicago fortress. I, like millions of others, am a huge fan of his genius. The simplicity of our surroundings in his home studio was shocking, to say the least. The feeling was a bit clinical and there were no platinum records on his walls, no personal photos, and there was no hint of the history he’d made as the world’s most notorious rap star. He sat in a leather chair next to his soundboard, water bottle in hand, and spoke about his love of rap, while subtly redirecting questions about his personal life—though we know he recently broke up with his long-time girlfriend, Jordan Wilson.”

My eyes nearly watered as I watched the live view box tick to a hundred thousand. I had a hundred thousand people watching my podcast in a matter of minutes. I took a deep breath.

“But it seemed my reputation had preceded me because when I sat down with the rap mogul, Phillip appeared ready for the firing squad. We dueled well as I asked the hard questions—the questions of a fan. Questions I know so many of his loyal listeners want answers to, and I think you’ll be surprised to hear his answers. So, without further ado, take a look at my exclusive with the man behind the myths. Feel free to form your own opinions, but above all, remember it’s the music that matters most.”

I linked my pre-recorded interview and watched the ticks explode as soon as his face hit the screen.

That was the moment my career peaked.

With pride, I watched my interview with the white whale, the Moby Dick of the music industry. Gorgeous, brilliant, and highly elusive, Phillip Preston was the hardest artist to get personal with in an interview. And I was the woman he reached out to, to break his silence about his road to success, his parents, his ex-wife, and finally—after some careful eggshell coaxing—he spoke about his recent relationship. He had delivered to me, on a silver platter, highly personal details about his life where so many other journalists had failed, and it was nothing short of miraculous.

It was my greatest accomplishment as a music journalist. I was flying, soaring as my phone began to blow up with message after message. I hadn’t told a soul, not a single person about my exclusive. I was high on adrenaline when the notifications began to ping on my phone. A hundred, two hundred messages, and then I saw the viewer ticks had jumped drastically to half a million. Half a million! I laughed out nervously and checked Phillip’s social media. He had just posted my podcast link to our interview. My jaw dropped. He had over eighty million followers on one forum alone.

And the viewer counts just kept rising. I had done it. I gasped when the ticks went past a million.

A million people were watching my podcast.

A million people were watching my podcast!

“AHHHHHH!” I screamed to no one as I looked around the vacant room. I raised both hands in the air when the ticks rolled past two million. “Oh my GOD!” I shot up from the desk, my eyes full of incredulous water.

I’d never had more than a million views. Ever. And those took months to accrue. It was the greatest career high of my life. I looked back down at my phone, anxious to talk to someone, anyone. Lexi’s middle finger popped up on the screen, and I couldn’t resist answering her call.

“AHHHHHHHH!” I screamed into the phone..

“Stella?”

“Yes! Is it good? You think I asked the right questions? I edited for like nine hours.”

“What?”

“What do you mean, what? Titan’s interview.”

“You interviewed Titan?”

A small amount of my excitement dispersed. “Yours was the wrong call to answer.”

“You fucking interviewed Titan?”

“Yes. I wanted to surprise everyone.”

“And you didn’t bring me?”

“Sorry. I’ll feel guilty later.”

“Yeah.” Her voice dropped. I heard a toilet flush. “Yeah, Stella, that’s so cool.” Another toilet flushed.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the bathroom at the Marquee.”

“Okay. Well, I’m buzzing right now, woman. Like, literally, my phone is exploding. Five million hits, Lexi. Five million!”

“I’m so happy for you, Stella.”

I frowned. “Yeah, with that amazing monotone, I can tell.”

“I’m so sorry.” And then her voice broke. My best friend doesn’t cry. Ever.

“Oh, shit. What’s up?”

“I’ll call you back, okay? I don’t want to ruin this.”

“You aren’t ruining anything. You couldn’t ruin this. I promise. I’ll be high for days. So, tell me. Why are you in the bathroom?”

“I’m on a blind date. He took me to a wedding.”

“Okay. You need an excuse? That’s not like you. You’re ballsy. Just give him your usual, it’s not me, it’s you.” I chuckled because she’d used it in front of me on a bass player with a cowlick and halitosis.

“Stella.”

I knew that tone. That tone was the bearer of bad fucking news.

“What? Say it.”

“It’s his wedding.”

I eyed the clock while I zipped my suitcase. I had an hour and a half before my flight. I was cutting it close. “Whose wedding?”

“Stella.”

“I know my name. Damn, who—” Realization struck and my heart met the floor. I stayed mute while she rambled on nervously.

“What are the odds? What are the goddamn odds? I don’t know what to do. Do you want me to leave? There’s no handbook for this. Did you even want to know this? That he’s married? I can’t believe I just watched him get married! Who in the hell ends up at their best friend’s ex-boyfriend’s wedding? I couldn’t not tell you.” She sniffed as the toilets repeatedly flushed around her.

“Stella, please say something.”

I pressed the sting back. “I’m alright, of course. I’m fine. Why are you crying?”

“I don’t know.” She sniffed. “Ben called me last night, and things are just so fucked up, and today this shit happens, and I know you’re happy. I know you are. But . . . I mean, this is—”

I put my hand up as if she could see it. “Don’t tell me anything else, okay? I’m good.” I looked at my reflection in the mirror from the bed into the adjacent bathroom. Nothing had changed. I wasn’t leaking. I was fine. “I’m okay. I’m glad you told me. I have to leave for the airport now, or I’ll miss my flight.” A slew of questions was on the tip of my tongue. Did he look happy? Was she beautiful? And more questions I hated myself for that Lexi would never be able to answer. Still, my head and heart refused to keep those questions bottled.

Was she prettier than me? Did he look at her the same way? Did he propose to her with half his heart? Did he think of me when he did it? Was any part of him thinking of me now? Was I in his dreams the way he drifted through mine sometimes?

All my thoughts were selfish. All of them. And of all the thoughts I could have had that day, self-loathing was not the one I expected to nudge its way front and center. I forced myself to speak.

“Stay.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, of course. I’m fine.”

“This freaky shit always happens. Always with you.”

“I know.”

“It’s like karma or God or someone hates you. It’s so fucked.”

I laughed ironically, though inside my heart was pounding.

Silence passed over the line as we both waited for some sort of solution that wasn’t coming.

“Stella, God, I’m so sorry.”

“About what? Stop. You know I would have told you if the situation were reversed. I should go. Love you.”

“Love y—” I hung up the phone before she could finish, frozen in the middle of the hotel room.


He was my song, my soul, my everything, and his love had propelled me forward into the woman I wanted to be. And that woman would burn out with the man who was made to keep her warm.

Wow. WOW. Seriously, wow. This book. This was quite possibly one of the most unique, memorable, and captivating romances I’ve read in a long while. I have no idea how to even go about reviewing this book because I feel like you really need to go into it completely blind to get the full effect, but I’ll do my best.

I used to think I was cursed for having fallen in love with two men. But, in hindsight, I realized what a gift it was. They were my lovers, my teachers, my best friends, and I would love them both until I took my last breath.

There are a few authors I would break my no love triangles rule for, and Kate Stewart happens to be one. Though, I feel it’s fair to say, this is unlike any other love triangle I’ve ever read. It almost didn’t feel like one because as you read the story, you feel in your heart who Stella belongs with. I’m not sure how it’s possible that you feel her love for the other man as well, but you do. No one is a consolation prize. This was such a powerful and emotional story of love, growing up, and chasing your dreams to that one minute past desperation.

The story is cleverly told in alternating past to present, though the majority takes place in the past. It’s interactive with each chapter tied to a song you can play. This made the story that much better.

Young Stella moves to Dallas to chase her dreams as an entertainment journalist. Moving in with her older sister, she experiences life from the bottom up. She works the dead end jobs to make ends meet, she barely has two dimes to rub together, but that never stops her. She’s passionate in all things, including chasing her dreams. Along the way she meets two men that irrevocably change her life. Each owning a different piece of her heart equally, though one does it in an overwhelming way. She experiences the rock and roll culture from both sides of the stage. And you experience it right along with her.

It took three seconds to close the distance between us, two seconds to lock together like we’d been doing it our entire lives, and that last second . . . that last second when his lips devoured mine was the second I lost a piece of myself I could never get back. 

Stella was such a captivating heroine. Her emotions just roll off of her. She’s this combination of strength and fear, love and indecision. You see her grow from a naive girl that knows what she wants to a strong woman that goes after it. You see her fall in love and have her heart shattered. You feel it right along with her.

This isn’t a book you read, it’s a book you experience. It’ll frustrate you, it will anger you, it will make you laugh, cry, and swoon. I have experienced such a myriad of emotions, I was almost exhausted when I got to the end.

You exhaust me. You make me tired, Stella, so fucking tired. I want you and I want to do it right, but I’m so annoyed right now. All I want to do is make you wet and fuck you until it hurts.”

I’ll admit, it took a bit to fully get into it. Kate Stewart really takes her time to set the scene with this story, and it was a touch slow going at first. But after the 40% mark, it was completely unputdownable.

If you’re a fan of unique, angsty, and captivating romances, this is a book that’s an absolute must read. It will be a story that I won’t forget any time soon and I’ll recommend blindly to ANYONE.

I couldn’t say anything. I was too far gone. Doused in gasoline with no match in sight, the aching, the longing, and the burning all there.

Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.

Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

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Blog Tour & Jennifer’s Review: Scandalous by LJ Shen

SCANDALOUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: September 21, 2017

They call him The Mute for a reason.

Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.

When he does, it’s with disdain.

When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.

When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.

He is thirty-three.

I am eighteen.

He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.

I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.

He’s emotionally unavailable.

And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.

Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.

And yet, I can’t stay away.

A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.

And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.

AMAZON 


Trent’s gaze cut to mine and stopped when his grays met my blues. The fading noise of Vicious barking at people to move along, and my father finally letting go of my arm to move toward Jaime and Dean—probably trying to gain both allies and sympathy—died down.“I don’t like you,” Rexroth whispered under his breath, his voice harsh.

“I never asked you to.” I shrugged.

“You won’t be working here.” His arm brushed my shoulder, but I didn’t think it was by accident. I let loose a sugary smile, scanning his face and torso for no other reason other than to taunt him. “Good, you’ll be doing me a favor. My father is the one forcing me to work here. He’s pissed I turned down five Ivy League colleges. Remind me, Mr. Rexroth—which top tier university did you attend for your degree?”

The low blow was supposed to retrieve some of my lost dignity, but bile burned my throat, shotgunned from my stomach. Trent Rexroth was known in Todos Santos as an exhilarating success story, rising from the gutters of San Diego. He went to a shitty state college that accepted even the illiterate, working as a janitor on campus after hours. Those were given facts he’d recited himself in an interview for Forbes.

Had I really just tried to make him feel less worthy because he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth? It made me sicker than wearing my mother’s designer garbs.

Trent smiled, leaning into my body, into my soul. His smirk was more frightening than any scowl, frown, or grimace I’d ever seen. It threatened to tear me apart and sew me back together however he pleased.

“Edie.” His lips were dangerously close to my ear. A delicious shiver moved down my spine. Something warm rolled inside of me, begging to unknot and flower into an orgasm. What was happening, and why the hell was it happening? “If you know what’s best for you, you will turn around and leave right now.”

I elevated my head to meet his gaze and showed him my version of a grin. I was born and raised in a world of intimidating rich men, and I’d be damned if I go down like my mother—addicted to xanax, Gucci, and a man who paraded her on his arm for a short, glorious decade before keeping her solely for public appearances.

“I think I’m going to go find my desk now. I’d wish you a good day, Mr. Rexroth, but I think that ship has sailed. You’re a miserable man. Oh, and one for the road.” I fished for a Nature Valley bar in my mother’s purse and plastered it to his hard, muscled chest. My heart slammed into my neck, fluttering like a caged bird.

I hurried after my father as he glided down the vast, golden-hued hallway, not daring to look back. Knowing I’d started a war and arrived unequipped. But I also knew something else that gave me a surfer’s rush—if I could slam the final nail in my employment coffin and make Rexroth vote against me, I’d be off the hook.

I had just the plan for it. All I had to do was act like a brat. Game on.

Start the Series of Standalones Today!

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DEFY | VICIOUS | RUCKUS | SCANDALOUS

I didn’t think this book would rip my heart apart at the seams.


Trent. We don’t get much from Trent in the previous books. He is dubbed The Mute because he rarely speaks, only when absolutely needed. Trent has a daughter, and she doesn’t speak at all. She can, but she doesn’t, and it is Trent’s thorn. He doesn’t know how to help her. He is there for her in every way that he sees fit. He is a good father, but he is a flawed man that needs….something, or someone. To help put the pieces of his broken self back together. And that someone….is Edie. She is the girl he doesn’t see coming.


Edie. Is Trent’s opposite. While Trent is a straight businessman, Edie is a relaxed surfer. Only LJ Shen would think of putting these two together! And I loved them! Edie is badass, and I loved her sassy attitude. And does the fact that he is very much older than her stop Trent? Not even a little bit. I thought she was very mature for her age, so I honestly didn’t think the relationship was weird at all. I loved Trent and Edie. They are uber hot together. The fact that there is such a big age difference makes it even hotter. Their story was a lot like the ocean…unpredictable, turbulent, and very mischievous. *giggles


BUT….my favorite part of this book was LUNA. I usually cannot stand children in books. But this girl stole my heart…and wouldn’t let go! Her character was written so well. I could see her facial expressions. I could feel her pain. I absolutely loved how Edie trickled her way into Luna’s heart. I could imagine her side smirk, and her little giggle. She was a tough cookie to crack, but once Edie was in, she was in. I loved watching Trent’s struggle as a parent, which is so real. His parenting wasn’t perfect. He loved Luna, but he didn’t know how to be what she needed.

L.J. Shen is one of the best, and maybe THE BEST, writer of THE ALPHA-HOLE. Her books always make me FEEL. Her words are utterly beautiful…all the time.

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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Review: The Learning Hours by Sara Ney

THE LEARNING HOURS 
Series: HOW TO DATE A DOUCHEBAG #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: September 26, 2017

He’s not a douchebag; but that doesn’t stop his friends from turning him into one.

MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO GET LAID.

So much so that they plastered my ugly mug all over campus, in bold printed letters:

Are you the lucky lady who’s going to break our roommate’s cherry?
Him: socially awkward man with average-sized penis looking for willing sexual partner. You: must have a pulse. He will reciprakate with oral. Text him at: 555-254-5551

The morons can’t even spell. And the texts I’ve been receiving are what wet dreams are made of. But I’m not like these douchebags, no matter how hard they try to turn me into one.

THIS ISN’T THE KIND OF ATTENTION I WANT.

One text stands out from hundreds. One number I can’t bring myself to block. She seems different. Hotter, even in black and white.

However, after seeing her in person, I know she’s not the girl for me. But my friends won’t let up–they just don’t get it. Douchebags or not, there’s one thing they’ll never understand: GIRLS DON’T WANT ME.

Especially her.

 Amazon | iBooks | B&N | KOBO


This is a story of “hot girl gets the average guy,” and I LOVED it!! He is a champion wrestler, so he has a hot body, but apparently, his face is below average. But she is hot!!! All of the insecurities that a shy, backward girl might have in a typical romance was, instead, on the guy’s side, except from a guy’s point of view. He wasn’t a pansy. Not at all!! He just doesn’t really understand the social cues of a girl who is TOTALLY into him, which makes him adorable and charming without even knowing it. I just want to put him in my pocket. There were so many moments when I said, “Awwww, Poor guy. He doesn’t even see that she is into him.” He’s completely clueless, and even when his friends try to convince him, he still doesn’t believe it because he is so humble and doesn’t think a hot girl would ever go for him.

This “average” guy has a secret weapon when it comes to foreplay and the bedroom, and I clenched Every. Damn. Time he pulled his secret weapon (No, I’m not talking about his penis. Get your mind outta the gutter). Despite the non-typical romance of this book, it was still able to be scorching hot!!! Once these two start hooking up…SWOONY & YUMMY.

What is absolutely bat-shit crazy is that he isn’t an alpha, and I loved him!! You guys, I am an alpha whore. So me saying that I loved this guy is a big deal.

Because I don’t wanna spoil anything, I can’t say the characters’ names. But I will say that Sara Ney wrote each of these characters perfectly, and I have no regrets. I would not have asked for a different book because this story is so UNIQUE, and I especially love that it was low on drama. I can safely say I have not read a book like this. Nor, have I ever read a couple like this.

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Review: Scandalous by LJ Shen

SCANDALOUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: September 21, 2017

They call him The Mute for a reason.

Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.

When he does, it’s with disdain.

When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.

When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.

He is thirty-three.

I am eighteen.

He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.

I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.

He’s emotionally unavailable.

And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.

Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.

And yet, I can’t stay away.

A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.

And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.

AMAZON 

The ocean is her drug. She is mine.”

The Sinners of Saint is my crack, and LJ Shen, my dealer. The woman writes some of the most addicting and sizzling enemies to lovers romances I’ve ever read. Trent Rexroth has always seemed like the most tame of the HotHoles, when compared to Vicious’s vicious streak and Dean’s shenanigans. If you think Trent was the nice one of the bunch, think again. You know what they say about those quiet ones, don’t you?

A dark, deprived animal lived inside me. Whenever I let it out—and I always let it out in bed—it bloomed. Freedom gave the savage inside me a good buzz, which was why I sometimes got a little carried away.

The only female to hold Trent’s heart is his adorable daughter. After the baby mama up and disappeared on them both, he’s been doing his best to keep his head above water with the whole parenting thing. Having a daughter that won’t utter a word or so much as smile at him certainly doesn’t help matters.

But when it comes to matters of the heart? Well, Trent doesn’t believe in all that jazz. A rough, dirty screw is all he has to offer, and he makes no qualms about it. He doesn’t promise hearts and flowers and he never will.
Enter Edie Van Der Zee. His new partner’s daughter, and eighteen year old pain in his ass. An entitled, spoiled little rich girl that bends to every single one of her daddy’s commands. Or so he thinks. But not all is at it seems with Edie. She’s drowning in her own world, barely keeping her head above water, stuck between a needy and helpless mother and a vicious, power hungry father.

I’d finally found him. The one man scarier than my father. Not that I was looking. Because while Vicious made a lot of noise, Trent Rexroth was the silent hunter who would circle you for hours, striking when you least expected it.

Trent and Edie play a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Barbs and insults being their flirting and antagonization being their foreplay. I have mad respect for LJ for keeping true to her characters with this book. Trent is no knight in shining armor. The man is so far from perfect and he certainly puts Edie through hell.

Whatever we were, we were toxic. A lullaby on a thoroughly scratched record that keeps hiccupping again and again on the line that you hate. This can’t happen. This can’t happen. This won’t happen.

Not only is a relationship forbidden, Edie’s father has sets his sights on Trent and is determined to push him out of the company. Falling for his daughter can cost Trent everything. But this is a man that likes playing with fire.

I wanted what was forbidden, and wrong, and fucking crazy. I wanted my partner’s daughter, who was nearly half my age.

If you’re looking for a sweet and emotional romance, you’ve picked up the wrong book, my friend. When I say Trent and Edie are absolutely toxic for each other, I mean it. But they also burn up the pages together. Their connection is palpable and the sexual chemistry between them, undeniable.

Trent makes his share of decisions that I wanted to hate him for. But they made sense for the man that he was in the beginning, so I begrudgingly forgave him.

You’re my Delilah, Edie, and I’m your Samson. You want to ruin me, destroy me, strip me of my power, and betray me. I should stay away from you, but I want you too fucking much. And when it’s all over, when all that’s left of us is sweaty flesh and shattered minds and torn hearts, you will remember me as the man who made you cry, and I’ll remember you as the girl I had to break to stay afloat.”

Scandalous was a delicious, sizzling and angst filled ride from beginning to finish. This series just can’t seem to disappoint and you’ll never find this reader complaining.

Admittedly, I had a little bit of a tough time getting fully on board with Trent and Edie at first. There was just something missing that made me completely connect to them as a couple, which kept this being a full 5 stars for me. But they totally won me over in the second half and I ended up absolutely loving them.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

DEFY | VICIOUS | RUCKUS | SCANDALOUS

Geri’s Review: Forever With You by Beverley Kendall

FOREVER WITH YOU
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Beverley Kendall
Release Date: September 12, 2017

I’d never fallen harder for anyone than I did for Graham Prescott. The British hottie was like no other guy I’d ever met. And the attraction between us was mutual and red-hot.

I would have done and said almost anything to be with him. So I’d told him one harmless, little lie…

But it hadn’t been.

Harmless or little.

That lie nearly destroyed his life.

Seeing him again after four years stirs up feelings I have no right to feel.

So I tell myself the only thing I want from him is his forgiveness.

But first I have to earn his trust—something easier said than done.

Especially when he makes it clear there’s only one thing he wants from me.

To stay the hell out of his life.

AMAZON

This book had all the elements I was looking for in a book, from its flawed characters to the almost impossible situation that was the result of those mistakes.

Graham Prescott’s life was nearly destroyed because of one little lie that Emily Leighton told. It set off a chain of events that had Graham hightailing it back to England and out of Emily’s life. Wracked with guilt, Emily was waiting for a chance to make things right and apologize. Her chance came about four years later.

The premise for this book is quite unique. I had some suspicion based on what happened in the last book but I wasn’t 100% sure. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to like it.

Fortunately, the author did a great job at telling the story as it is. She didn’t shy away from the difficult story line and the implication it would have on the lives of the characters. There were moments in the book where I thought, “I don’t think they’re going to get past this.” The situation they were in was quite bleak, and worse, it could’ve been avoided if only Emily hadn’t told that lie.

The angst almost killed me. And the thing is, I hated what Emily did but I couldn’t hate her. I wanted to but I couldn’t. I did like that she also suffered the consequences especially when it came to her relationship with Graham. I couldn’t fault Graham for how he acted in the book especially after it was revealed how much Emily’s lie affected his life.

I was a little worried about the transition from hate to love because as I’ve said, the rift between them was humongous. I didn’t know if the transition would feel organic at all. Once again, Beverley Kendall proved me wrong. The shift from hate to love was handled very well and the chemistry was fantastic. The story flowed well and the third act was anxiety-inducing but the ending more than made up for it even though it was tied up too neatly for my taste. Even then, the ending did my heart good.

I really, really enjoyed this book. I read this in one sitting and didn’t regret it one bit. I highly recommend this book. You like angst? Characters that messed up? This book is for you!

Review: Drawn To Him: A Romance Collection

DRAWN TO HIM: A ROMANCE COLLECTION
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Authors: K. Webster, Willow Winters, M. Never, Jade West, L.J. Shen, Isabella Starling, A. Zavarelli, K.L. Kreig
Release Date: September 19, 2017

There are some men who make you helpless.

You know the kind.

They steal the breath from your lungs and make your heart beat a little faster with a single look. Y

ou can’t stop staring, but the moment they pin those gorgeous eyes on you, you’re done for.

The kind that’s too hard to resist.

This is a collection of men just like that.

Handsome, confident and all for you.

DRAWN TO HIM is a collection of eight exclusive never-before-seen novellas you can’t resist, complete with HEAs.

They have all the book feels and angst you’ve been wanting.

AMAZON

This anthology was filled with so much deliciousness, I never wanted it to end. There’s 7 novellas to be found here, and while I didn’t get all of them yet, I did read a good majority and I was so hooked!


Bad Cop by A. Zavarelli

I was a wild child and Justice was the shiny forbidden apple I was never meant to have. All I ever wanted to do was hold his hand and go on crazy adventures with him. But it was a dream that wouldn’t come to fruition.

This novella was, hands down, my absolute favorite in the collection. This was my introduction to this incredibly talented author, and I immediately binged myself on her entire backlist. She managed to pack so much feeling into a short story that had amazing character development and an emotional second chance romance.
A wild child that hasn’t had an easy life, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks whose heart she broke now turned town sheriff and all the untold truths lost in the years that since passed. This story was incredible. Ginger and Gray were amazing together.


DR. DREAMY by LJ SHEN

This is sexual harassment.”
“What it is is a delicious foreplay that’s about to materialize and blow your fucking mind. Maybe not tonight. Maybe not even this week. But I’m watching you, Miss Martin. All the time. You fucking want me, and you’re going to get your way. Sooner than you think.

Can this woman write a hero that I don’t completely salivate over? Hell no! And I hope she never does.

This wasn’t as angst ridden as her usual. But it was super sexy, ridiculously fun, and with a good dose of her signature alphahole. The heroine was sassy and gave as good as she got. And lemme tell you, she got PLENTY. Pun intended.

Dr. Matthews in bed, Rhys outside of it. Your choice when we fuck on any type of surface that isn’t the bed.”


ONE NIGHT by KL Kreig

I want her gratitude hanging like an apology between us. I want to punish her until she begs for mercy I won’t grant. I want to fuck her until she’s boneless, mindless, and thoughtless. Until memories of our night together assault her with a relentless, battering force.

I adore KL Kreig’s words. This was a deliciously sexy romance of a chance meeting and what was supposed to be just one night turned into something much more. We get a sexy, intense alpha. We get a sassy, take charge and snarky heroine. Put them together and you get a whole lot of sizzle. I loved it.


Fifth Avenue Blues by Jade West

I’m pure filth,” I growl. “You should stay away from trouble like me. You’re such a nice girl.”
“I want it…” she whimpers. “I want all of it…”

So…um. Wow. If ever there was a really well written porn script, this story was it. Holy hell. I mean HOLY HELL. My ovaries were sweating, man. If dirty (and I seriously mean DIRTY) talking men are your thing, meet your catnip. We’re talking of the gaping holes, facials, and butt sex variety. It was freaking hot. But honest to gawd, it made this pervert feel like a prude at times, and if that’s not a feat, I dunno what is. I love the concept of the shy, awkward girl finally getting the man of her dreams that happens to be the popular boy that she had a crush on in high school now turned successful actor. It was dirty. SO DIRTY. ALL OF THE DIRTY. It was downright filthy. And I kinda sorta maybe liked it. I think. My ovaries are still recovering.


INFATUATION by Willow Winters

I never stood a chance with this man. Not that I ever wanted to run. He made me want to stay; he made me want him just as much as he wanted me.

I’m not really sure how I felt about this one. This was my first book by this author, and I already know I’ll be reading more because I enjoyed her writing style. This novella, however, just didn’t do anything for me. It was a sexy insta-love romance and if that’s what you’re craving, it’ll certainly hit the spot. I was missing a connecting to either of the characters and found the development lacking for my personal tastes, so I struggled with connecting to the story. It wasn’t bad. Just wasn’t my favorite in the anthology either.

Review: Eye Candy Anthology

EYE CANDY Anthology
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Authors: Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Tara Sivec
Release Date: September 5, 2017

A frightfully good time! Dive into these Halloween novellas from bestselling authors Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Bella Jewel and Tara Sivec. Featuring stories set in the worlds of their popular series.

Tijan’s Fallen Crest crew are back for a weekend of mischief that takes a sinister turn; all four couples from J. Daniels’ Alabama Summer series gear up for Halloween in their own sexy ways, with a special surprise at the end; Helena Hunting’s characters from Shacking Up plan a Halloween gala that features a few ghouls and witches; Bella Jewel brings the chills and thrills in her suspenseful take on Halloween night; and Tara Sivecgathers the Holiday family together one last time as they try to make this ghostly holiday one to remember—or one they’d rather forget…

Cozy up with a mug of hot cider on a dark night and fall under the spell of this Halloween anthology!

AMAZON | iBOOKSI read only two stories out of this anthology; Tijan’s Fallen Crest Nightmare and J. Daniel’s So Much More and my rating for the anthology is an average for those.
———————-

SO MUCH MORE by J. Daniels
5 STARS

Goo! I’m a pile of goo! This story was just perfection. Sweet, sexy, giddy smile on your face perfection. J. Daniels brings her entire gang back in her Alabama Summer Series, and it was GLORIOUS. Mia and Ben, Reed and Beth, CJ and Riley, and my favorite couple, Tessa and Luke all get a story here and it was like the ridiculously perfect icing on the already tasty cake. I loved this series, but getting this additional peek into these couples lives was fantastic. And then there was Nolan. OMG NOLAN! You guys! This is easily one of the most vivid, most endearing characters J has ever written to date and he’s just a kid. But oh man, he steals my heart each and every single time I read about him. And that final chapter? PERFECTION!
——————–

Fallen Crest Nightmare by Tijan
4 STARS

Firstly, how am I only discovering this author now? What sort of rock have I been living under? This novella was a fun and spooky bonus to the Fallen Crest series and I. Am. Hooked.
There were so many characters that I was just discovering and I had no issues keeping up. If anything, this novella just whet my appetite for more. This was a fun hybrid of Scream and NA goodness and I gobbled it right up. Then I went and immediately one-clicked the Fallen Crest High series. I feel a reading binge coming on in my very near future.

Excerpt, Review & Giveaway: Can’t Hardly Breathe by Gena Showalter

CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: August 29, 2017

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with an irresistible Original Heartbreakers story about a woman who’s never felt desired and the man who wants her more than air to breathe…

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis’s past is full of memories she’d rather forget. But there’s one she can’t seem to shake—her longstanding crush on former Army Ranger Daniel Porter. Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves the curvy Dorothea night and day, he’s as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Book Depository

Powell’s | iBooks | BAM | Kobo | Google Play | IndieBound

Daniel, having served multiple tours of duty, had come back a hero.His life had meaning, hers didn’t. He and two of his friends had started a security company right here in Strawberry Valley. He took care of his ailing father, and in his free time he dated a plethora of city girls.

Dorothea knew about the girls because he’d stayed at the inn every time a date had ended…successfully.

Her flush returned full force as she considered the other five rooms he’d wrecked since his return…all the pleasure he’d been having…all the pleasure she wished she could experience.

Not with him, of course. With someone she liked and respected. Someone who liked and respected her, too, despite the fact that she was still too round for society’s unhealthy standards, a lot too freckled and trapped in a dead-end job.

Daniel Porter would never qualify.

Dorothea found him attractive, yes, but to her, ap­pearance would never outshine personality.

My man must be my equal. She had a lot of love to give. She’d even grown to like herself…kind of. Maybe. Fine, she was trying to like herself.

Avoiding Daniel’s gaze, she said, “No, you stay. I’ll go.” Words her mother had drilled into her shouted in­side her head: the customer comes first. “I’ll finish your room later.” She rolled the vacuum toward her cart.

“You live here, right?” he asked. “You own the inn?”

“I… Yes.” Technically she lived in the attic. The more rooms she had available for guests, the more money she would make. At least in theory.

Money was the number one reason she cleaned the pig­sties herself, rather than hiring a maid. She was saving her pennies to turn every plain, ordinary room into a themed paradise. Then Strawberry Valley residents would hap­pily pay to stay just for fun.

Again, in theory.

So far she’d decided on six themes. (1) Four seasons—the weather, not the hotel chain. (2) An enchanted forest. (3) A techno dance club. (4) The underwater world of Atlantis. (5) A royal palace. And (6) an inner sanctum, aka a superhero’s wet dream.

Also up for consideration? A beach hut, an igloo, an insane asylum for her more daring patrons and a des­ert oasis.

With twenty-three rooms in total, she needed other ideas fast. And more money. A lot more money.

Maybe, when the transformations were completed, the feeling of accomplishment would finally chase away her anger and bitterness. Maybe she would feel alive. Happy.

“If any part of your stay was subpar,” she said, “I will personally—”

“No, everything has been great.” He looked over his shoulder and winked at her. “Just wanted to make sure you weren’t going to get into trouble with the boss.”

Every pulse point in her body leaped with excitement. He’d winked at her. Her!

I think you’re perfect just the way you are.

Red alert! She would not read more into his words than he’d intended. Not this time. He was a flirt, plain and simple. Always had been, apparently always would be.

“Why would I get in trouble?” she asked.

“For not finishing the room.”

Oh. Right. “Well, as long as you plan to come back to the inn, I won’t fire myself. Not because I’m desperate to see you or anything,” she added in a rush. “I’m not.” Dang it! “I mean, I’m always glad to see you here. I mean, I just want your money.” Okay. Enough!

He laughed, his amber eyes twinkling.

Air caught in her throat and sizzled. He had the sexiest laugh on the planet. His entire face softened. He pulsed with new life; fresh and vibrant, he was the epitome of spring.

Then he frowned, as if he couldn’t believe he’d found humor in, well, anything.

Her brow furrowed with confusion. Why the doom and gloom?

“In that case,” he said, his tone flat, “I think I’ll stay another night.”

“Really?” She licked her lips. “What about your girl­friend?”

He stiffened. “She isn’t my—”

“No, don’t tell me. I’m sorry I asked. Your love life isn’t my business.”

“I live in Strawberry Valley. My love life is every­one’s business.”

His wry tone made her chuckle, and he stiffened all over again. Great. What had she done wrong this time?

“I’ll be alone tonight,” he said, looking anywhere but at her. “Apparently I hover over my dad when I’m home, so he’s asked for another night off. But I swear to you, this room will be clean in the morning.”

She snorted. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The corners of his mouth twitched. “Doubting Dot­tie.” A pause, then, “Would you like a cup of coffee be­fore you go?”

“Oh, uh, no, thank you.” While she no longer viewed Daniel through the wounded eyes of high school betrayal— he’d been a nice boy doing a nice thing for a vulnerable girl in desperate need of a white knight—she’d endured too much heartbreak over the years to risk getting to know him better and reigniting her crush.

Look at the way she’d reacted to him already.

He appeared…disappointed? No, of course not. A trick of the light, surely. “Well. See you around, Daniel.”

“Yeah. See you around, Dottie.” He returned his at­tention to his toiletry bag, dismissing her.

Irritation had her snapping, “My name is Dorothea.”

Before he could respond, she stepped into the hall and closed the door with a soft snick. Hands trembling, she hooked the vacuum to the cart and rolled the cargo to the supply room…where her younger sister Holly was smoking a cigarette.

Nightmares didn’t really come to life. Nor did pornos. Not that she watched those…very often. But dang it, this had to be one or the other. The sexiest man on the planet had just strode into the room. He was shirtless, sweat glistening on his eight pack—and his name was Daniel Porter. The Daniel.

I love an underdog heroine with a backbone and who’s full of sass and witty banter. I love a broody hero that goes after what he wants with single minded intent. I love Gena Showalter’s humorous writing. I love a delicious slow burn. And I LOVED this book! SO HARD.

Dorothea Mathis was a heroine that was impossible not to love. I remember being intrigued by her in The Hotter You Burn and she completely stole the show here. Bullied in high school, she still feels the remnants of it with her self esteem. But the one memory that truly bruised her heart was of the boy that she fell for in high school that proved to her that while nice guys exist, she’s never going to be the one of the pretty girls that gets his attention.

Now she’s older, wiser, and no longer the naive girl she once was. A failed marriage only served to drive home the point that a passionate love is something that will always allude her. She tried chasing her dreams but her choices led her back to her small hometown, licking her wounds, running her family’s failing inn, and trying to regain the trust and love of her snarky and grumpy teenage sister. The last man she expects to darken the doorstep of her inn is the one boy that she never forgot, that now grew into a man that makes her heart beat even faster in her presence.

He was the human equivalent of a brownie. Yummy, but oh, so bad for her.

Former army ranger Daniel uses women to escape memories. A sweaty nights between the sheets with no strings attached is his version of therapy. He’s always had a thing for the beautiful Dorothea, but she refuses to be just another notch on his bedpost and that only serves to intrigue him more.

Say yes, and I’ll spend the first hour in bed making you come over and over again, doing anything you want. Everything you need. The second hour, I’ll make the first one look like amateur night. By the third, there’s no place on your body I won’t have explored—no place you won’t ache for me.”

This book had some of the most delicious banter I’ve read in a while. It was humorous and sexy and ridiculously fun. I loved how hard Daniel chased and I loved the way that Dorothea really made him work for it. She may be the underdog, but she’s no pushover. She’s got sass for days but her vulnerability served to make her so incredibly endearing. I couldn’t get enough of these two.

There’s also a slew of secondary characters that are introduced that I’m already hooked on, line and sinker. Especially the womanizing bad boy, Brock.

To Ryanne, Brock said, “Baby, kissing your go-tohell is what I’ll be doing for twelve of your fifteen minutes in heaven.” “Lucky me.” She pretended to gag. “By the way, your dates are wearing pants so tight I can see their religion.”
“I saw you bend over earlier. Yours are tighter, doll.” His gaze swept over her, his eyes twinkling. “Tsk-tsk. Haven’t been to church in a while, have we.”

I absolutely adored this slow burn romance. I loved watching Daniel fall harder and harder even if he refused to acknowledge the fact. I loved watching Dorothea really come into her own and grow into a sassy, confident woman that finally goes after what she wants.

He was hot, his lips soft, his jaw prickly. The taste of him…mint and…sin? Crack? He kissed her deeply, dreamily, slow and easy, sweeping her up in the gentlest of storms. A soft summer rain. An exploration.

I’m absolutely giddy for more in this series. GIDDY. Yes, it’s slightly campy, but in the best possible way. It was steamy rom com perfection. If a feel-good romance with plenty of laughs, amazing banter, and swoon for days is what you’re craving, Can’t Hardly Breathe will deliver in spades. I loved every page of it.

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

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