Lana & Geri’s Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

TEMPORARY
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Authors: Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry
Release Date: September 12, 2017

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 LANA’S REVIEW4

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the one who can ruin everything…”


A woman barely making ends meet and a playboy that holds a piece to one of the world’s most powerful business empires couldn’t possibly have anything in common…or could they?

I had ignored the fact that we could not have two more wildly divergent lifestyles. I had ignored everything and let myself get swept away.

Grace is barely keeping a roof over her head while taking care of her teenage sister. With an addict for a mother and a father long out of the picture, Grace is all her sister Olivia has. A temp job for the Walker empire is exactly the chance that she needs. The possibility of turning it into a permanent position is what she hopes. But finding herself at the beck and call of the powerful and cold head of the business is not what she expects. When her assignment is to make sure that the estate of her boss’s recently passed brother are documented and quickly taken care of, the last thing she needs is the meddling of the prodigal son.

He wasn’t looking to strike up a thing with a cash-strapped temp who acted as guardian to her teen sister, and I was not looking to have a fling with a playboy ladies’ man I found way, way too likeable.”

Callah has left behind everything that made him a Walker. A ruthless mother that cares nothing for his happiness, and a sister blindly serving his mother’s whims, his beloved uncle was the only person that showed him any love. He’ll be damned if he allows his estate and life to be packed up in boxes with a cold efficiency that only his mother is capable of. The one thing he doesn’t anticipate is the beautiful temp sent to do his mother’s bidding.

No flirting, no touching, no eye-fucking, no dirty-talk between nine and five. And that includes lunch.”

Temporary was a slow build that admittedly I struggled a bit to get into at first. The first 30% really sets everything up, but at a pace that didn’t quite hook me. I immediately fell for the main characters. There was always so endearing about both Grace and Callan. Perhaps it was the fact that there’s so much more to them than first meets the eye. Callan is not the typical bad boy and playboy that you expect. This is a man with plenty of depth to him, and the more you find out about him, the harder you fall for him. Grace is a woman that’s barely getting by, but there’s this tenacity to her that you can’t help but respect. She’s doing her best and try as she might to ignore the pull to the handsome man that she has no business getting involved with, inevitably it proves to be too much.

Don’t get used to it. This is only temporary.”

The secondary characters of Claire and Olivia added to the mix perfectly and come the second half, I was hooked. This was a delicious slow burn romance with characters that you can’t help but root for. It was swoony, sexy, humorous, and utterly endearing.


GERI’S REVIEW

Everything about Callan Walker was a little more glamorous than I was used to. A little brighter, a little more perfect.

I love both Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry so when I heard they’re co-writing a book, I was ecstatic! I mean, two of my faves in one book? Take my money already! My expectations are quite high and fortunately, I liked it! I liked it a lot!

This is another slow burn romances where their feelings sort of built over time. I personally love stories where the hero underestimates the heroine at first and vice versa, only to have that expectation slowly turned on its head. Temporary is like that.

Callan thought that Grace is another shark in heels, willing to do anything to get a position at his family’s company. His prejudice is a result of his past experience with his family and how his mother runs the business. Nevertheless, Callan is wrong on both counts. One, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious. Two, Grace’s motivation is so far from what Callan initially thought.

Don’t get used to it. This is only temporary.”

At first I was nervous about the clear power imbalance between Grace and Callan. But Grace has agency and she uses it despite being attracted to her son’s boss that when she gave in to her attraction, it didn’t feel like she was manipulated in any way. It was clear that she knew the score and she knew what could happen but did it anyway because she was starting to have feelings for him.

The conflict between Callan and Grace felt organic. It was set up perfectly and wasn’t just added for drama sake.

I have some issues with the main antagonist in this book a little bit because she seems like the typical Disney-esque villain with cliched motivation. But that said, I do feel like there are some things about this character that hasn’t been revealed yet. And we might get more of it in the next book about the hero’s sister. Or at least that’s what I feel. I could be wrong.

Speaking of sister, I want Claire’s story. I’m intrigued by her and there’s something more to her than just her mother’s pawn or something. I also liked Olivia. Sarina & Sarah was able to capture teenage angst very well.

Despite not being 5-star perfect, Temporary is a solid start for this new duo. And yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more!

Lana & Jenn Review: Thrill Seeker by Taryn Quinn

THRILL SEEKER
Series: Sinful In Seattle #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Author: Taryn Quinn
Release Date: August 15, 2017

He saved me…

I wasn’t paying attention that night after work. I was just in a hurry to get to my car.
But someone was watching.
A stranger waited in the shadows, and he tried to hurt me. But another man also came out of the darkness, ready to defend me.
I serve billionaire Max Chapel his dinner every evening.
He’s powerful. Mysterious. And just as dangerous, but in a much different way.

He destroyed me…

But is it destruction if I asked him, the man who’d saved me, to tear my clothes? To take me roughly while the fear and helplessness still raged inside my belly?

He made me whole again…

Not just physically, but emotionally. He unlocked a side of me I never knew existed. But he knows.
He practically owns this whole town.

Now he wants to own me.

Author’s note: If you like sweet love scenes, this isn’t the story for you. Max and Georgia learn they like dangerous games. And they want more of them.

Author’s note part deux: Thrill Seeker is a 19K novella that ends on a cliffhanger, and there are two more parts to come of this story.

AMAZON
LANA’S REVIEW

I wanted her laid out and bare. I wanted to grip her hair as I took her from behind. I wanted to leave bite marks on that glorious ass that swung with each brisk step across the courtyard to my favorite table. I wanted to lick her from clit to ass and own it all.
Oh no, my wants were not the hero kind.

Sweet.
Baby.
Jesus.

This book should come with an additional warning: Do NOT read in public. For the love of ovaries! For just 19k words, this quickie novella packed a heck of a punch. Wowza!

Sassy restaurant hostess meets millionaire playboy and sparks don’t just fly, they explode. Yes, this is short, but it’s surprisingly satisfying and serves to whet the appetite for more deliciousness to come. And considering the sexy games these two allude to? I’m not sure I’ll survive the next two books.

As for that cliffhanger? Let’s just say the authors were getting a 12 AM death threat though messenger when I finished. But it’s nothing they didn’t expect. These two sadists know full well what they were doing when they teased the readers with what’s to come. And having a pretty good idea of what it is (it just happens to be a HUGE fave of mine), I’m pretty sure I’d part with an ovary to get my hands on book two IMMEDIATELY!

And authors, if you’re reading this review, if I don’t have book two in my grabby little hands in the next 3 months…

Just kidding!
*whispers*
I’m not kidding.


JENN’S REVIEW

Marshmallows.

Chocolate bars.

Graham Crackers.

Yep, I’m about to roast it up because this book was FIRE and I want S’MORE!!!!

 smores GIF
Too cheesy???
Georgia has been eyeing Max for a while. She is the hostess of a restaurant that Max frequents, and they continue to dance around each other. They don’t know that they want each other…..BAD. When something happens to bring them together, they cannot resist each other. Things, clothes, body parts…..GET…HOT….FAST. And they like it rough, y’all….*giggles like a giddy school girl.
 tv dancing jimmy fallon tv show tonight show GIFI gorged myself on this book, and I’m not ashamed. I loved every second of this shortie. Of course it wasn’t long enough, but I would go back and reread it already.

I’m sad to say that I had no idea there was a cliffy and I have to wait for the next one, but that did not affect my view of this book because it’s THAT good.

As for you, Taryn Quinn….

 the sandlot sandlot killing me smalls GIF

Lana, Geri & Jenn swoon over THE DUCHESS DEAL by @TessaDare ‏

THE DUCHESS DEAL
Review: Girl Meets Duke #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Tessa Dare
Release Date: August 22, 2017

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

LANA’S REVIEW

Emma Gladstone had learned a few hard lessons by the age of two-and-twenty. Charming princes weren’t always what they seemed. Shining armor went out of fashion with the Crusades. And if fairy godmothers existed, hers was running several years late. Most of the time, a girl needed to rescue herself.

Is it possible for my swoons to have swoons? Because I’m pretty sure they all mated together in a swooning frenzy and had swoon babies. I mean all of the swoons! ALL OF THEM!!!! This book was everything. EVERYTHING. It was romance perfection. I think my goosebumps had swoons, for goodness sake. No really. I’m not exaggerating even a little. This book was a little peace of romantic heaven. It was everything I love about a great romance; great banter, humor, sizzling steam, and two main characters that you can’t but help and fall head over heals for.

Emma Gladstone

Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel.

I. Loved. Her. Here’s a woman that didn’t live an easy life. Not even close. And yet she never loses her fire, her sparkle, her incredibly gentle heart. When she faces down a broody duke in order to receive payment for a dress she made for his ex fiancé, the last thing she expects is a proposition of her own. The man is impossibly stubborn, grumpy, with a penchant to blasphemy in the most creative of fashions, and perhaps slightly deranged…

Are you—” There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?”
“Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?”
“Listening, yes,” she muttered to herself. “Comprehending, no.”
“I’ll have my solicitor draw up the papers.” He returned to his place behind the desk. “We can do it on Monday.”
“Your Grace, I don’t—”
“Tuesday, then.”
“Your Grace, I cannot—”
“Well, I’m afraid my schedule is quite booked for the rest of the week.” He flipped through the pages of an agenda. “Brooding, drinking, indoor badminton tournament…”

The Duke of Ashbury has returned from the war, a scarred, shell of a man he once was. A monster he no longer recognizes in the mirror. But a duke needs an heir, and to get an heir, he needs a wife, and to get a wife, well…he needs a miracle. When the beautiful Emma comes charging into his house, he believes she holds the answers to everything he desires. But what he doesn’t expect is for the witty beauty to tilt his world on its axis.

she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page. His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink. She did it again. Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.
He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched. He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

The chemistry between these two was instant and fiery. I couldn’t get enough of it. Their banter, their daily push and pull of Emma attempting to break through his walls and Ash retreating further behind them. I loved it so hard. I loved Emma’s backbone and take charge attitude. She was no wilting wallflower but there was also this endearing softness to her. It wasn’t long before everything about her began to tear down the walls that Ash has built around himself and questions everything he once thought. I loved watching that wall of his break down slowly. I loved the way that Emma slowly but surely healed his heart even though she couldn’t heal his scars. I love that he was the most perfectly imperfect hero. There was something so completely endearing about the man. GAH.

You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

This book is why I read romance. I can’t believe this is my first Tessa Dare book and I plan on rectifying this immediately. I loved every chapter, every page, every word. If you’re a fan of swoony and steamy historical romance with incredibly vivid and multi-layered characters, this is simply not to be missed!


GERI’S REVIEW

This was one of swooooooooooniest book I’ve read this year. The only other books that can compare in terms of the swoon factor was the Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas and The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean. All three are historicals and all three worked like a charm.

War had taught him two things. First, life was fleeting. Second, duty wasn’t.

The hero, the Duke of Ashbury became a recluse and withdrew from society due to the injuries he sustained in the war. His face and his body was so scarred that people turned away from him, and even started calling himself a monster because of the way he looks. Because he a duke, one of his duties was to provide an heir. Something that he was adamant of doing or else his whole estate would be inherited by a cousin who is an irresponsible bloke. He didn’t want the people depending on him to have the misfortune of getting a spendthrift for a lord so he had the motivation to really find a wife and have an heir.

Emma Gladstone is the seamstress tasked to create the wedding gown for the Duke of Ashbury’s mistress until the wedding was called off. Unfortunately, she wasn’t paid. Desperate to get money to pay for her rent, Emma went to the Duke to ask for payment.

I have an unfortunate habit of looking for the best in people, and it makes me blind to their flaws.”

This is where their story begins, and man, what a story it is. What started off as a marriage of convenience turned into one of the most romantic and life-affirming stories I’ve read this year. Their meet-cute was one of the most hilarious I’ve read in a long time. t’s full of lighthearted and funny moments, and the romance is just, ah-mah-zing. I was swooning from beginning to end. Tessa Dare is known for her clever, witty banter and this book is brimming with it.

If you say so, my treasure.”
“I daresay I do, you little baggage.”

Emma is fantastic heroine. Her backstory was really sad and it made her into a person she is. I love how she’s not cowed at all by Ashbury’s appearance and temper. In fact, she revels in it. I enjoyed how she was able to coax her scarred husband out of his shell and made him a better person.

At first, I thought the Duke of Ashbury was going to be just this brooding temperamental one-dimensional character at first. I mean, I love me some grumpy, brooding hero but Ash is so much more than that. His sarcasm, his wit and deadpan humor added so much to what could have been a dreary and bitter character. He does have a chip on his shoulder, something that his character had to deal with throughout the book. But this hero was seriously funny.

And you claim to be feeling this way. Floatish. Singsong-ish. About me.”
She sighed. “Yes.”
“That’s absurd.”
“I know, but I can’t seem to stop it.”

There were some subplots in this book that might feel unnecessary but I thought that they were perfect because they add so much not only to the characters, especially the Duke, but also to the place where the story is set. And these subplots did a great job at setting up future storylines in the series, which is always a win for me.

The Duchess Deal is a book that you read in one sitting. Once you open it, good luck to your chores or doing anything else because all you’d want to do is read straight through. I had a biggest smile on my face reading this book. It’s romantic and full of characters that you can embrace and root for. So well done!

If you leave, I will follow. Do you hear me? I will follow and find you and cart you home.”


JENN’S REVIEW

I begged for this ARC. Literally. And I’m not even sorry. Was I surprised by how much I loved this book? Absolutely not. I will always love Tessa Dare….always. I always giggle in her books. I always swoon in her books. There is almost always a hate-to-love relationship, which is perfection for me. The Quirk! The Dry Humor! The Witty Dialogue! ALWAYS!

 always GIF

SWOONS!

All the swoons!

Did I say swoons? Oh yeah, I did!

à la Mode St. » fashion

“You are wet, and you are cold. You don’t like being cold. Therefore, I despise you being cold. I would go about murdering raindrops and setting fire to the clouds, but that would take slightly more than an hour. Perhaps even two. So we’re here, and you will cease complaining about it.”

à la Mode St. » fashionEmma. Complexion: cream. Lips: rose petals. Lashes: sable. Backbone: steel. A seamstress, not only in deed, but also in heart. This is what she loves to do. In seeking out payment for a discarded fiance’s dress, Emma goes to the formerly intended groom for payment of the dress she made, which happens to be Ashbury. He needs a wife, so he proposes a marriage of convenience. These two are so different that at first, she doesn’t even believe him. Even after getting married, these two find it very difficult to get along (Ugh. I love it.).

Ashbury. What a brooding, scarred, perfect character. He is VERY scarred from a war injury. And jaded. And ill-tempered. And I love him. What can I say? He’s an asshole, and this dirty girl loves her assholes. He needs a wife to make an heir….and that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t believe anyone will truly desire him because of his disfigurement. I love scarred heroes so much. They are always assholes. yes yeah nod cowboy clint eastwood GIFThis book definitely had a slow burn. Ash promises to visit her bedroom every night (in the dark so she cannot see his scars) in order to conceive as quickly as possible. Of course, things take an unexpected turn into awkwardness and it doesn’t go as planned. Both Emma and Ash have their own insecurities (but still being awesome and not whiny bitches), so they vow to themselves and each other to not get attached and to take precautions so that emotions don’t get involved in their marriage. (Psh! Please. Who are they kidding? Am I right?)

 yes yes gif yes gifs GIFà la Mode St. » fashion

As he stood in the doorway watching, she tucked a stray wisp of dark hair behind her ear. Then she licked her fingertip and turned the page.

His knees buckled. In his mind, he scrambled to piece that half second into a lasting memory. The crook of her slender finger. The red pout of her lips. That fleeting, erotic glimpse of pink.

She did it again.

Ash gripped the doorjamb so hard, his knuckles lost sensation.

He wanted her to read the whole cursed book while he watched.

He wanted the book to have a thousand pages.

à la Mode St. » fashionWhat I love the most about Tessa Dare’s books?

EVERYTHING.


 

Geri & Lana’s Review: Royally Endowed by @EmmaChse

ROYALLY ENDOWED
Series: The Royally Series Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: August 14, 2017

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.

***

Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N 

Ellie

But then the mood shifts, as if the air becomes thicker, weighted, more . . . sultry.

Because slowly, Logan sinks down to one knee in front of me—looking in my eyes the whole time. In this position, I could touch his shoulders, comb my fingers through his thick, dark hair. He’s the perfect height for me to bend down and kiss his mouth—the perfect height for him to kiss me back . . . in a lot of places.

My breath hitches. And I wonder he feels it too.

There’s a sound of tearing Velcro, and Logan takes something off his ankle—a holster, with a small silver knife, about three inches long.

“Keep this on you all the time,” he says seriously. “Just in case. If you wear a skirt, the strap will fit around your thigh.”

And I almost laugh. Most girls get a ring from a guy on his knees. I get a murder weapon. But still, it makes me feel safe . . . watched over. Like I’m something precious that deserves to be protected.

I take the knife from him, testing the surprisingly solid, heavy weight of it in my hand. I press my index finger to the tip.

Logan grabs my wrist tightly. “Careful. It’s sharp.”

There’s a small, painless nick, a tiny bead of blood, so I put my finger in my mouth, sucking.

And Logan’s watching me again.

Watching my mouth.

His chest seems to rise just a little faster, and his throat ripples when he swallows. He bends his head, curves his strong back, and then I feel his hands on my ankle, securing the strap. His touch is warm and self-assured. It’s the way he always moves—confident and experienced. Logan knows his body and he knows how to use it, in every way possible.

I almost moan. The sound is in the back of my throat, but I keep it trapped. I never knew the ankle was an erogenous zone, but it sure as hell is now. A hot pulse of pleasure streaks from Logan’s fingers on my bare skin, up my thigh, between my legs.

And I throb there, growing swollen and heavy as he keeps his hands on me.

Can he tell? Does he know? He’s so aware of everything, always so attuned, I wonder if he can sense my arousal . . . feel it in the air that clings between us.

LANA’S REVIEW

Hey Logan?”
“Yeah?”
“One of these days . . . I’m going to save you back.”

Oh.
My.
Swoons.

I can barely form a coherent thought right now. I’m a melty pile of swoony goo at the hands of Emma Chase. The woman is incapable of writing a book that I devour in one sitting with a goofy grin on my face for the entire time. As much as I adored Royally Matched, I think this book totally topped it. I don’t have the words to describe all the ways I loved it. And oh my god, you guys, how I loved it!!!

Somebody once told me a slow-burning fire is the hottest—and it must be true. Because Logan and I are a fucking inferno.

If you love an incredibly written slow burn romance with a hero that’s simply to die for and a heroine you’ll want for your best friend, this book will be going straight to your top favorites shelf. GUARANTEED. It wasn’t just swoony, it was EPICALLY swoony. Logan owns my heart AND my ovaries. I don’t ever want them back. EVER.

I don’t know if I’ll be any fucking good at love. I’m not quite sure how it’s done. But, for her, I’ll learn. And I’ll do my damnedest to get it right.

You may remember Ellie Hammond as Olivia Hammond’s baby sister in Royally Screwed. Ellie has always been a bit of a free spirit. Sassy, a little quirky, optimistic and a bit naive in her youth, her brother in law feels like she needs someone to protect her when they’re not around. And the only man he trusts for the job is royal guard, Logan St. James.

They first meet when Ellie is a senior in high school. The chemistry is there, but it’s on a low simmer. Then over the years as Logan sees Ellie grow into a beautiful woman, that low simmer begins to turn into a sizzling inferno that proves almost impossible to resist.

I love a good slow burn romance, and this was easily one of my favorites. I love the playful nature that first forms between Ellie and Logan. I love the way he tries to deny his feelings for her while still falling in love with her. I love the way that Ellie goes after what she wants and I loved the way that Logan finally gives in. These two were some of the most endearing characters I’ve read in a while and I just couldn’t get enough of them.

This book had everything you’d expect from the incredible talent that is Emma Chase; humor, witty dialogue, fantastic characters, and a romance that’s so swoony, it may leave you in a pile of melty goo! This series is just perfection. It’s my indulgence when I need a light and easy romance that will give me the warm and fuzzies and leave me with a smile on my face. Suffice it to say that I. LOVED. IT.


GERI’S REVIEW

Life changes us, with its twists and turns, in ways we don’t always see coming. It changes what we want, what we dream, lays blessings in our hands better than anything we could’ve imagined.”

Emma Chase did it again. Royally Endowed is wickedly sexy, funny with loads of heartfelt moments and characters that you can’t help but root for.

Logan St. James is the dutiful royal bodyguard tasked to guard Princess Olivia Hammond’s baby sister, Ellie. Since her sister married into the royal family, Ellie’s life changed. Part of that change is the stable of bodyguards following her every move and keeping her safe. And provide Ellie with some eye candy along the way.

Logan is the hot, heroic, silent type and unsurprisingly, Ellie developed a crush on him from the get go. As Ellie grew older, that crush developed into something more. But Logan has always been a loyal and dutiful bodyguard. He wouldn’t jeopardize his job or his relationship with the royal family. So even though he started to see Ellie as someone other than the princess’ younger sister, he can’t be with her the way Ellie wanted to. Or so he thought.

Royally Endowed is probably the most romantic of all the books in this series. And that’s because Logan is just something else. He might not be a prince but man oh man, he gave Nicholas and Henry a run for their money. And for me, he’s my favorite hero in this series. Don’t get me wrong. I love Nicholas and Henry but there’s just something about Logan that puts him above the rest.

His loyalty and dedication to his job, not to mention the way he handled Ellie’s crush on him was endearing. I never felt like he took advantage of her especially since she’s way younger than him and basically still in high school when the story started.

Ellie is just as endearing. She’s a free-spirit and even though people see her as nothing but an airhead, she’s more than that. She displays a maturity that’s unexpected considering how young she is. She’s loves her family and is loyal to a fault. I love how she loves Logan in her own way, at a distance at first and then up close.

For the first time since I met him, my hero looks lost, my guardian angel has a broken wing. And I want to mend him, save him the way he’s always saved me. I want to love him until he feels found.

Their relationship was never easy because of the difference of their status. Ellie is the sister of the princess of Wessco, while Logan is just the lowly bodyguard. But their differences is superficial. At the heart of it, Logan and Ellie have more in common than anyone else. I really enjoyed the way their relationship unfolded.

And Logan…*swoon He made this book for me. He had so much too lose with pursuing Ellie but once he decided that she’s it for him, he’s there 100%. And I loved him for it.

You see the good in people, Ellie. You trust. That’s a good way to be, a brave way. I’ll watch more closely from now on; I’ll make sure this never happens again. You just be who you are. Leave the rest to me.”

Emma Chase has another winner in her hands. If you’re a fan of her writing, then this book is a must read. And if you’re looking to be swept away by romance, yes, this book is for you.

 


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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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Jenn + Lana’s Review: The King by @skye_warren

THE KING
Series: The Masterpiece Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: June 27, 2017

The highest stakes…

My father gambles every night, falling deeper and deeper into debt. When he hits the bottom, he places a new bet: his daughter.

I’m his entry bet to the biggest underground poker game.

Every kind of danger circles the velvet-covered table, but only one man makes me tremble.

A trailer park princess.

The son of a criminal king.

We don’t belong together, but I’m caught in a twisted game.

His eyes meet mine with dark promise.

And when he puts down his cards, I know I’m going to lose more than my body. I’m going to lose everything.

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LANA’S REVIEW

Damon Scott traded himself for me. He’s the only reason I’m safe. And I’m the reason he’s not.

Well…holy hell. I mean, damn, people. When Skye Warren first intrigued me with Damon and Penny back in The Castle, never in a million years did I imagine the depths of hell that these two truly go through. I don’t know how I’ll survive the wait until book two, because this book completely ruined me. It’s dark and gritty with barely any ray of hope to it. It builds the foundation to one incredibly powerful backstory and I couldn’t tear myself away until I read the entire book in one sitting.

Frustration flits beneath his calm surface. Even a hint of vulnerability. How many people can see it? I know that not everyone sees the kind side of him. He has weapons and suits and a million kinds of armor, all designed to shield his humanity.

Growing up in poverty to an drug addict mother and a gambling addict father, Penny barely had a chance for a normal life. Her genius mind and her gift for numbers her only hope to escape the meager life and hope for something more, until she catches the eye of one of the most dangerous men, a man that will eventually cost her everything.

The King takes you back years before the events in The Endgame trilogy; when Damon was just a young boy and Penny a seven year old girl. That fateful meeting sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change the course of Penny’s life.

Damon is the son to one of the most ruthless and evil underground criminals. A desperate attempt to escape his fate doesn’t go the way he hoped. To save a young girl from a fate worth than death, he makes the ultimate sacrifice. Now years later, when his father may be the King, he’s now the Prince of the underground crime. Dealing in drugs and women, his name is almost as feared as his father. When fate brings Penny crashing into his life again, nothing will ever be the same again.

There’s this heat coming off him, like he’s a fire and I’m thawing out. I know it’s not safe, being this close. He could burn me. But there’s also a small part of me that feels alive, only when he’s here. Only when he’s on top of me, his warm breath on my forehead.

Don’t expect much light with this book. It’s dark. Penny’s life is not an easy one and her ultimate fate is beyond devastating. The time transitions are smooth and flawless, eventually bringing us to parallel the time line in The Endgame. While you knew from the events in The Castle, that Penny suffered something horrendous, nothing prepares you for the true reality of it.

Admittedly, it was a tough pill to swallow, Penny being only 15 years old (eventually 16) in the present part of the book and Damon being 25. The age difference should be cringeworthy, and yet, it’s not. It’s hard to explain, and not wanting to give away parts of the book, I won’t even attempt. But if you’re worried about the age gap, don’t be. Penny lived a hard life and her 15 would be a sheltered girl’s 25. Skye Warren truly knows how to develop incredibly multi-layered characters full of depth. The King gives us only a hint, a small taste of the story between Damon and Penny. It gives us the backstory that I’ve been desperately craving, but now it leaves me even more desperate for the conclusion.

While this is a spin-off from The Endgame and could technically be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading The Endgame first to truly appreciate everything that is Damon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere until September.


JENNIFER’S REVIEW


I couldn’t gush enough about Skye Warren. If you know me at all, you know I am a HUGE fan. This series is one of my favorites of hers, after the Stripped and Endgame series. Lol. Ok. I love all her books. Leave me alone!! Her writing is able to capture beauty in the darkness. And there is A LOT of darkness in her books. Just gimme all the darkness.

à la Mode St. » fashion

We have something in common now. We’re both monsters. Not the kind you can see on the outside. He wears a secret smile on his handsome face. Bruises faded back to pale skin on my naked body. It’s only inside that something can never be repaired. Only inside that I never really leave the water. Inside that I learn to need the dark.

à la Mode St. » fashionThere was a turning point in this book that I loved. I could literally FEEL the words turning to a dark place. There is a pivotal before and after to Penny’s story, and to be completely honest, I prefer the AFTER. Skye’s writing just hits me harder when it’s darker and gritty and honest.

Penny. She is young and very smart, like genius with numbers, rain man style. Penny’s father has a gambling addiction, and Penny gets caught in the crossfire of her father’s addiction, and it doesn’t end well. Her body and mind are dragged through the fire, and let me tell you, I am glad that Skye didn’t give us all the details on this because I don’t think I could have handled it. Penny is ruined in this book, and Damon is on the other side to throw his soul off a cliff for her.

Damon. He is a tortured soul….literally. His father tortured his body and his mind when he was young. I am aching for more of him. I really appreciate that Skye included The Prince as part of the prequel to this story because it gives us more little morsels into what makes Damon tick. But I really do need MORE of Damon!!

Damon & Gabriel. Gabriel & Damon. Just put me in the middle of that delicious sandwich, please. I loved the snippets of Gabriel in this book (BECAUSE HE’S MINE!!).
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Gabriel Miller is as bold as thunder, rumbling, unmistakable. Damon Scott is lightning, so bright he’ll blind you. They’re both forces of nature but only one will kill you just to touch him. Only one will burn you in a flash.

à la Mode St. » fashionMost of this book is a re-telling of the Endgame series, but from Penny’s pov. It definitely helped to fill in the blanks with Damon and Penny and how they get to where they are at the end of the Endgame series.

Yes, this ends in a cliffy. Do I care?

Not.

One.

Bit.

Skye could write cliffhangers all day long, and I wouldn’t stop reading them. It’s her words that matter and her words that I love.


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#DGRFave, Lana and Jenn’s Review: Ruckus by @lj_shen

RUCKUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: May 24, 2017

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.

AMAZONLANA’S REVIEW

Dean Cole was nothing like people pegged him. He was the worst kind of devil. One that hid behind a polite smile, preppy clothes, and good manners.

Confession time: I was equally ready to part with an ovary to get my grabby little hands on this book and dreading it. I know! I know! Quit looking at me like I’m crazy, I’ll splain everything. I was excited as hell for this book because I live for LJ’s words. LIVE for them. But a part of me was dreading it because Dean happened to date Rosie’s older sister in the previous book, Vicious, and even though their relationship was nothing big and happened when they were young, the last time I read that particular plot device, I absolutely hated it. I should have known better than to doubt the magic that is LJ Shen’s writing, though, because not only did she pull it off, she did so FLAWLESSLY.

She had no clue, this girl. No. Fucking. Clue. Who she was dealing with. I might’ve been nicer than Vicious, but I was still a HotHole. I was still a sinner…and I was still the wolf her grandmamma warned her about.

Dean has always had a thing for the baby LeBlanc sister; ever since he first laid eyes on her as a teenager. But then life happened, and in an effort to protect her older sister, Emilia, from his fellow HotHole Vicious, they began to date…entirely killing his chances with the younger sister. But his obsession with her never ended. Now she’s in New York, renting an apartment in the same building as him, and he knows nothing will stop her from having her now…not even her.

Because giving up was not in my dictionary. When I wanted something, I took it. And I fucking wanted her. A lot.

In the previous books Dean came off as the fun loving, quick to smile, anything for a good time party boy. It’s easy to write him off as a shallow party boy, but boy would you be wrong. This is a man of so many depths, it’s incredible. Shen wrote such a multifaceted character with Dean, it’s impossible not to lose your heart (and your ovaries) to the man. There’s so much beyond the party boy and dirty talker. But let’s be fair here, because the dirty talk?
Was.
On.
Point.

What am I doing to you?” He sounded menacing. Almost evil.
All-American, fresh-faced, lovely Dean had a very dangerous side, and he allowed me a sneak peek into it.
“You’re…” I stuttered. He tugged at my hair harder for the answer. It was painful, but at the same time, extremely hot.
“Say it, Baby LeBlanc.”
“You’re fucking me.”
“Hell, yeah, I’m fucking you. Feels good?”
“Y—yes.”
“Am I too deep?”
“N—no.”
“Am I too rough?”
“N—no.”
“Good. ’Cause I’m about to be.”

Rosie was an amazing heroine. Here’s someone dealing with a life-altering illness, yet it doesn’t diminish any of her spark. She has sass for days and isn’t afraid to put Dean in his place. Constantly. I loved how hard she made him work for it. And boy did he work for it.

Rosie was never the prey. She was, at times, the motherfucking hunter.

I loved the way these two complimented each other. I loved how their individual jagged pieces somehow fit together so effortlessly into something so beautiful and poignant.
Ruckus was everything I’d hoped it would be and yet so much more. It was angsty deliciousness filled with enough chemistry you felt like your fingers will burn just from turning the pages . It was packed full of feeling and so much depth, you can’t help but fall into the vortex of the story. It was beautiful. It was tragic.
It.
Was.
Everything.

There was zero menace in his tone. Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucked you over with a polite smile on his face. In that sense, he was the Joker. In his mix of confidence, cockiness, good looks, and money, there was a dash of insanity thrown in. Enough to let you know that he meant every word he said.

LJ Shen is a freaking unicorn. Every book she releases is better than her last. If she gets any better at her craft I may have to build her a shrine and stalk her incessantly (at least more than I do now.)

What I’m trying to tell you here is…
Read.
The.
Damn.
Book.

Period.


JENN’S REVIEW

5 “after the flip, comes the boom” Stars!!!!!
Me going into this book:

Me at the end:
I knew I would love this book. But I didn’t expect my love for this book to compete for my love for Vicious’s book. To follow up after Vicious, which was basically perfection, I was skeeered. BUT LJ Shen just shoved her way into my heart with Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole. How?! I have no idea. It was sneaky and genius.
à la Mode St. » fashion

Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucker you over with a polite smile on his face. In that sense, he was the Joker. In his mix of confidence, cockiness, good looks, and money, there was a dash of insanity thrown in. Enough to let you know that he meant every word he said.

à la Mode St. » fashionI didn’t expect him to be mean. I expected to love him to death, but LJ Shen blew my mind out of the clean, crystal water and into the dirty gutter. Her words. Her feels. I loved the parallels the Shen draws in this book. There is NOTHING that I don’t love about LJ Shen’s books.

Rosie. WOW. Again, did not expect to love her show much. Stop making me FEEL so much shit, LJ Shen!!!! Rosie is sick. This is no secret. We know this when reading Vicious. We don’t know how strong she is, and the background story between Dean and Rosie. They love each other from the first sight, but they can’t be together, and they hurt each other left and right, and time is not on their side. But love is still there, after all the hurt and after all pain (AND DAMMIT, LJ SHEN, I’M CRYING WHILE WRITING THIS REVIEW!!!!!). Ok, breathe.

Dean…..dear god, where do I begin? He’s a manwhore. And don’t we just love a good manwhore? Hell, yes. He is an asshole, like Vicious. I mean, all 4 of these guys are called the Hotholes. Lol! But there is a goodness to Dean, deep down. It takes him a while to find it. And Rosie isn’t the one to change him. Again, it’s what I love about this series! The girl doesn’t change the asshole. The asshole essentially stays an asshole but tweaks the slightest parts of themselves to be loved by the girl.

It’s funny that I’m touching on all the emotional parts in this book because damn, it was all kinds of hot. And not like a little steamy hot…..like your brain can’t even wrap around the temperature of this book.
à la Mode St. » fashion

”You’re fucking me.”
“Hell, yeah, I’m fucking you. Feels good?”
“Y-yes.”
“Am I too deep?”
“N-no.”
“Am I too rough?”
“N-no.”
“Good. ‘Cause I’m about to be.”

Did you just feel that quote in your ovaries??? Yeah, you did!!!
à la Mode St. » fashionI didn’t know what to expect from the ending. To be honest, I was expecting the worst. I was gearing up for it because I didn’t want to lose my heart and my mind if something bad happened. And I can’t even tell you if there is a happy ending because just saying whether or not there is one will give it away because again…..LJ Shen is genius…..but I will say that I was happy WITH the ending. 🙂

Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over trying to pick up the pieces of my heart and tears after this book.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

DEFY | VICIOUS | RUCKUS

Blog Tour & Jenn + Lana’s Review: The Castle by @skye_warren

THE CASTLE
Series: Endgame #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: April 4, 2017

THE CASTLE by SKYE WARREN IS NOW LIVE!
The trilogy is now complete! #OneClick now!

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!

Safe in the ivory tower…

Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.

Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?

There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.

No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

 

 

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LANA’S REVIEW

So bright. So beautiful. I used to wonder if it would burn to touch you.”
“Now you know. It doesn’t.”
“Oh, little virgin. You definitely make me burn. And I’m addicted to being ash.”

Alright, confession time.
True story. And usually the mere thought of a trilogy is enough to make me break out in hives. Why? Because I’ll usually find book two to be more filler, and I’m pretty much bored and uninterested by book three. So you may be asking yourself, why on earth did this crazy heifer read a trilogy then? And to that, my doubting friend, I only have one answer for you. Skye Warren wrote it. It doesn’t matter what this woman writes. She can write the damn alphabet and I’ll read it.

If I can describe this trilogy for you in one word, it’ll be intense. And not only does it start that way in book one, but it only gets more and more intense as the story progresses.

He fucks me like I’m the enemy, like he can vanquish me.”

Not only was I still riveted to every single word of this book and story, but I was fully invested and addicted. It doesn’t get more intense than Gabriel. It just doesn’t. And the man only gets better and better with each look into the depths of his dark soul.

A sense of inevitability overcomes me, the same as watching the moon rise in the sky. There’s no way that we can change the tides. All we can do is cling to the mast, the way I’m clinging to Gabriel now. He’s my ship, my center. My only hope for surviving the night.”

Skye Warren is a literary genius. The way she weaves her words is downright magical. Greek mythology, chess analogies, and dark intensity all wrapped around a romance that’s as erotic as it is forbidden. An innocent virgin falling for her captor and protector. A man who has seen too much darkness in his life to be anything less than a monster, allowing some of her light to seep through his heart’s cracks. All of it blended flawlessly through a captivating story of betrayal and vengeance that goes to show that monsters are real and can break even the strongest of spirits.

I’m not made of marble or anything hardy like that. I’m built from crystal flutes and rare silk. From the brushstrokes of my mother’s portrait. I’m a shadow of a human being, only a cautionary tale whispered from mother to daughter. A collection of dangerous words. I’m a myth. And as long as I don’t speak, I can bury myself.”

The Castle was the perfect conclusion to a series that captivated me from the very first. The Endgame trilogy was a story that kept me glued to the pages. The intensity built with each new book. With each secret that gets revealed. With each depravity that comes to light. It was addicting. It was heart pounding. It was completely unputdownable.

Oh, little virgin. I love you with every cold bone in my body. I love you with every dark thought, every violent impulse. I love you enough to leave the walls I’ve carefully built, the iron bars I refined, the castle I made.”

I forever worship at the altar that is Skye Warren and kept wait for more. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere, drinking my feelings, until The King comes out. Because DAMON!!!!


JENNIFER’S REVIEW

5 – Do you even have to ask how many stars I’m giving this??? – Stars

A Love Letter to Skye Warren…..Maybe more like a Crazy Fan-Girl Letter….Same thing.

Ok, this should be a book review for The Castle. But let’s be honest. Everyone KNOWS The Castle was brilliant, and if you don’t, then you should obviously read it (After The Pawn & The Knight). But what I really want to do is write a love letter to Skye Warren. Because I’m in luuuurve with her. Ok, not really….Well, maybe a little.
GABRIEL. Can I have him? Seriously, I want you to write a Gabriel story EVERY…..DAY and send me the story. No one else. Just me. Especially not Lana. BECAUSE HE’S MINE!! That’s why I want you in my basement. So no one else can have Gabriel. It’s a completely reasonable request.
Dear, Skye. I’m just over here with your favorite thing to lure you into my house so I can lock you up in my basement. (Jk. I’m not a crazy person…..not really.) Seriously. I want to meet you. And brunch with you. And just…..talk. Because you are brilliant. I love your words on pages. I love your STORIES. Ugh, your stories. I love those people in your head that talk to you and make you put them on paper. Ugh, all your characters. I am completely intimidated by you. This whole series and all of your books leave my jaw on the ground.

Ugh. This letter is getting cray. I should probably go before people think I’m cray.

Actual Review for The Castle:

Seriously.


Start the series today with THE PAWN!

TOTALLY FREE!

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grab THE KNIGHT now!

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Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Contact Skye:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skye_warren
Instagram: https://instagram.com/skyewarrenbooks
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyeWarrenBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sk

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