Review: Burn For You by JT Geissinger

BURN FOR YOU
Series: Slow Burn #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: October 17, 2017

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?


AMAZON
 

She was my religion. My north and south, my heaven and earth, the axis of rightness around which everything had suddenly aligned. For the first time in my life, all my polarized parts worked as one, humming happily along in harmony with the universe, finally understanding their place. 

Looking for a perfectly paced slow burn romance? Well, I’ve got your fix right here! This series is so appropriately titled, and for this slow burn lover? I gobbled it right up.

Bianca Hardwick is a talented chef that’s determined to get her restaurant off the ground and make her mother proud. Her signature menu created around her favorite bourbon is keeping her restaurant packed, but it also brings the attention of a particular brute apply known throughout Louisiana as “The Beast”. And after being on the receiving end of his attitude, Bianca can see that title is more than earned.

The first time I laid eyes on the man known throughout the state of Louisiana as “the Beast,” I thought he couldn’t possibly be as bad as his reputation. As it turned out, I was wrong. He was worse.

Jackson is the name behind the Boudreaux bourbon that is his family’s legacy. But what starts as a look at a woman that’s using his family’s bourbon to get guests in her restaurant, actually turns into something else. At first it’s an offer to cater his fundraiser dinner. Next? A proposal of marriage.

Jackson needs to be married by the time he’s 35 in order to receive the rest of his trust. The problem is? His birthday is quite literary right around the corner. Knowing he’ll never trust a woman with his heart ever again, he knows the best alternative is Bianca. She needs money for her ailing mother’s medical care and he needs a wife in name only. What’s a mutually beneficial arrangement between two people that can barely stand to be in the same room together?

But the more you get to know Jax, the more you see beyond the grumpy and brusque personality to a very broken and vulnerable man beneath. The more time he and Bianca spend together, the more he yearns for what could be but likely never would. Bianca goes from hating him to tolerating him to something so much deeper. This is a slow burn in every sense of the word. It takes these two a while to finally see beyond their assumptions of each other. It takes a while for Jax to really open up and let Bianca in to the dark crevices of his heart and memories. But when she gets in there? There’s no turning back.

No one calls me Jax. No one but you.” When her lips curved up at the corners, I felt like I’d been living my life up to then at the bottom of a dark well filled with trash and slimy water, and someone had just lifted the lid and lowered me a ladder.

With a colorful cast of secondary characters, a sweet and sassy romance, plenty of emotions, and an enemies to lovers trope unlike many I’ve read lately, Burn For You was one fantastic read.

Jenn’s Review & Exclusive Excerpt: Burn For You by @JTGeissinger

BURN FOR YOU
Series: Slow Burn #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: October 17, 2017

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?


AMAZON
 

See the BURN FOR YOU trailer: https://youtu.be/hpKswDZve24

“Ladies. How’re we doing?”Jackson stood in the doorway of the kitchen, looking at Claudia and me. It was the first time I’d seen him since I’d arrived at his house early this morning to start the setup.

“Everything’s under control,” I said. “Claudia’s doing a great job.”

She smiled tightly and adjusted her glasses again. I felt her gratitude for my small show of support. It was obvious how intimidated she was by Jackson. She could barely look him in the eye, probably because he was wearing a scowl as black as his outfit.

But I was used to that by now. I didn’t let it alarm me.

I asked him, “Is that what you’re going to wear?”

Jackson looked down at himself, then looked up at me with his brows drawn down over his eyes.

Seeing his murderous expression, Claudia ran out of the kitchen like her pants were on fire. “Fifty minutes, Bianca!” she called over her shoulder, then disappeared through the French doors.

Jackson didn’t seem to notice she’d left. He demanded, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

I shrugged. “Nothing, if you want people to think you’ve been living under a bridge.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. I tried to ignore how that made the muscles in his biceps bulge.

He said, “You must be mistaking me for someone who cares what people think.” Propping my hands on my hips, I examined his untucked T-shirt, wrinkled jeans, and scuffed boots, his unshaven jaw, and his hair that appeared to have last seen a comb when he walked by one that had fallen out of someone’s pocket into the street.

I said, “Lord knows I’m no style maven, and I dress for comfort more than anything else, but your guests deserve the best version of you, Mr. Boudreaux. I’m sorry to say this isn’t it.”

His glower was so searing it could have melted a weaker woman. But after the past few days I’d had, I was in an ornery mood. An ornery truth-telling mood, because I’d recently decided life was too short to beat around the bush.

Plus, his check had already cleared the bank.

“Oh, really?” said Jackson, his voice acidic.

“Yes, really.” We stared at each other. It must have been my imagination, but it felt like the temperature in the room jumped several degrees.

He snapped, “So what would you recommend I wear, then?”

“Do you own a suit?”

His expression turned even darker. “I hate suits.”

“But do you have one?” When he didn’t answer and just stood there glaring at me like he hoped a stray asteroid would smash through the ceiling and land on my head, I said, “That’s what you should wear. With a tie.” I looked at his boots. “And dress shoes.”

He ran a hand over his face— probably deciding whether he was going to pick up the toaster from the counter and throw it at me— and I added, “Also, a shave wouldn’t kill you.” His looked at me with a strange new expression.

“You don’t like beards.” He said it flatly. It wasn’t a question.

“Beards are fine. But that thing carpeting your jaw? Honestly, I’ve seen tidier jungles.”

For a moment I thought he would let loose a string of expletives so loud it would deafen me. But then his lips twitched, and I realized he was trying not to smile.

He said, “You’re in fine form today, Bianca.”

It was the first time he’d used my given name. I nearly fainted in surprise but managed to control myself. “I’m sorry,” I said, looking down at the schedule I still held in my hands. “You’re right. It’s just . . .” I cleared my throat. “It’s just been a rough few weeks.”

There was silence for a moment, then he walked closer. “What’s wrong?” he demanded, gruff and growly as a bear.

I glanced up at him and was surprised again. I could’ve sworn he was looking at me with concern in his eyes.

Concern and something else a little hotter.

My heart decided it was time to run a sprint. It took off like a jackrabbit chased by a pack of hounds. I said, “Just some personal stuff. My mother . . .”

I trailed off, dazed for a moment by his eyes. I hadn’t noticed before, but they weren’t only blue. He had tiny flecks of green and gold around his irises, warming those steely-blue depths.

And by God, the man smelled delicious. If that was his natural scent, he could make a few more billion by bottling it and selling it to men with less scrumptious—

Wait. What am I doing? Why am I mooning at him? Am I out of my ever-loving mind?

“Your mother?” he prompted, but I quickly stepped away, smoothing a hand over my hair.

“It’s nothing. I’m so sorry, I’m being unprofessional. If you don’t mind, Mr. Boudreaux, I’ll just get back to work now—”

“Jackson,” he said. He gazed down at me, eyes burning. His voice dropped an octave. “I want you to call me Jackson, Bianca.”

My sprinting heart tripped all over itself and fell flat on its face inside my chest. Heat rose into my cheeks. I said haltingly, “Um . . . okay.”

His gaze dropped to my lips.

Every muscle in my body tensed.

When he abruptly turned around and left, my knees shook so badly I had to lean against the counter for support.

What on earth just happened?

J.T. has that kind of writing style that I feel in my Romeo & Julep, and by that I mean my heart, but yes that could be an innuendo (Leave me alone! Yes, it can!). But seriously, her writing style is poetic and pulls all the feels out of my Cheesecake. Ugh, sorry. I couldn’t help it. Let me explain.


If you haven’t guessed yet, this book centers around food. The heroine is a chef and includes the Bourbon that Jackson’s family is famous for into her recipes. When Jackson enters her restaurant, she freaks out because the man of the hour is there, in her restaurant. But Jackson is the asshole that she does not tolerate. He may be a billionaire, but her sassy ass doesn’t care because he is being rude and arrogant and treating her staff with no respect.

Jackson. The Beast. Well, lasso me up and give me a Slap, Slap Kiss Cocktail. He is scarred on the inside and outside. He is SO MEAN to her. Like, reeeeeally mean, and I loved him for it. I just want someone to cuddle me in a big, comfy blanket and be an asshole to me. Is that too much to ask? He has been hurt, by his family and a previous love. He has many many scars, and he carries them on his sleeve and his face. He is perfection all trussed up in in his leather jacket and worn jeans and scruffy beard. It’s like J.T. created a man just for me.


Bianca. This chick. Serious girl crush. I love that she doesn’t give Jackson the time of day. It doesn’t even matter that he is THE Bourbon legacy. She has a business to run, and she is the mother hen to her employees. When Jackson is in a pinch, he has no choice but to ask Bianca to help him with a major charity event. This gives Bianca a glance into a side of Jackson that she has never seen before, even if it is a façade. One thing leads to another, and Bianca finally meets the family that Jackson does not want to see ever again.


This is a love-hate relationship, which should be the only relationship ever because it’s the best and gets my Jambalaya going every damn time. Ok, so I may have taken all of the recipes in the book and twisted them a little bit. Can you blame me when J.T. uses recipes like Dixie and Gumbo?! Ok, maybe you can blame me. I have a perverted little mind. But this mind loves all things J.T. Geissinger.

I love all of J.T.’s alpha heroes.
I love all of J.T.’s sassy heroines.
I love all of J.T.’s books.

Are you getting hungry yet?

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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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

Review: The Opposite Of You by Rachel Higginson

THE OPPOSITE OF YOU
Series: Opposites Attract #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachel Higginson
Release Date: March 30, 2017

I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.

AMAZON 

 

He’d told me I was bright, but not compared to him. He was the sun, and I was a flower turning my face to his heat. He was the stars in the clear summer night sky, and I was the stargazer mesmerized by the mysterious beauty I would never fully understand.

Well color me giddy, because I just found a new author to love. I love a good opposites attract story almost as much as I love an enemies to lovers one and this book combined both into one witty romance packed with plenty of feeling, charm, and swoon.

Date him?” I laughed. “Hardly. And not just because I’ve sworn off men for the rest of all eternity. He’s too… He’s too familiar. I don’t want a guy like Killian Quinn. I want the exact opposite of him.”

Vera bet everything on a man once…and lost. Now back home to lick her wounds and start over, leaving her potential dream of becoming a famous chef behind, she’s starting from the ground up. She still has dreams of having her own kitchen in a fancy restaurant one day, but for now she has Foodie the food truck. Her brother is even letting her use the parking lot across from his shop rent free. The only problem? That problem is right next to one of the best and most well known restaurants in town. It’s a restaurant where she would have loved to work, and also one where the kitchen is ran by the renowned and super grumpy Killian Quinn. World famous chef and notorious pain in her ass. Killian is less than thrilled about her food truck darkening the parking lot and he doesn’t hesitate in letting her know…at every opportunity…what he thinks about it.

Sparks fly between these two from the very first insult and keep sparking hotter with each additional encounter. What begins is a hilarious back and forth that’s had such a potent sexual tension beneath it that I thought I’d catch on fire with every page I read.

He threatened everything. My business. My sanity. My vow of celibacy. The carefully constructed walls I’d built around my heart. My fragile courage I’d only just regained. He’d bulldozed into my life and shaken up everything I’d thought was true about men and chefs and people.

Now I love food, so I absolutely loved how engrained the story is in food and cooking. I felt like I was right there in the kitchen along with the characters. But beyond that, I simply loved the slow burn romance that starts as an unwilling friendship. These two seriously burned up the pages with their chemistry. So much so, that I didn’t care that this wasn’t my typical steam packed romance. It had just enough of a taste to satisfy but the budding romance is truly what took center stage here and I appreciated that so much.

The writing is witty and engaging and full of humor. The characters are phenomenally developed and full of depth. The romance is swoony and the story completely unforgettable.

As soon as I opened the door, you became more. You were significant and important and right. You settled inside me like you were always meant to be there. I found you, Vera, because I was supposed to find you.”

I’m thrilled that this is the first in the series and can’t wait for more. Especially knowing that the mysterious Ezra is next. I can’t wait to see what happens with him and Vera’s BFF. Or at least that’s who I’m assuming will be the one to bring the grumpy millionaire to his knees.

Review & Excerpt: The Thing About Love by @juljames

THE THING ABOUT LOVE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Julie James
Release Date: April 18, 2017

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.

“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”

“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”

There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”

The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.

They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.

As he knew well.

“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”

Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.

Professionally-speaking.

“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.

Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.

She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.

“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”

“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”

She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”

Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”

He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.

Enough to get the jump on you.

Not for long, sweetheart.

Time for him to get cracking on that case file.

Nearly fifteen thousand special agents in the FBI, spread throughout the United States in fifty-six field offices, and she had to show up in Chicago for what was quite possibly his last undercover assignment. As his new partner.


God but I love this author. She writes stories that are funny, swoony, full of witty banter and humor, and they just keeps getting better and better! First of all, if you haven’t read anything by her yet, you need to rectify it immediately by reading her FBI/US Attorney series. One, because it’s AMAZING. And two, because you’ll definitely appreciate a few of the cameos in this book. But let’s get back to the matter at hand; all of the awesome that was this book.

So let’s see? We already know that enemies to lovers is my catnip, and no one seems to write it better than Julie James.

In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.


What makes it good is not just the humor interlaced flawlessly throughout the story, but the wit and sarcasm. Her characters are perfectly balanced and equals of each other. I love how James has a knack for writing incredibly endearing and strong female leads. They’re just the right amount of witty sarcasm and strength and Jessica Harlow was no exception. After her dedication to her job cost her her marriage, she’s looking to dive in further into her work and forget men. She doesn’t need them. She certainly doesn’t need an incredibly cocky, smart mouthed, Thor lookalike that made her months at Quantico training a living hell. Too bad it appears that he’s her new partner for an undercover sting and she’s stuck with him. He may know how to start a fire with two sticks and the ass end of a lightning bug, but he’s a royal pain in her butt and she won’t let him forget it. Digs and sarcasm galore, you guys!

John Shepher is on the track to make the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. He has one final assignment before he finds out, and it may be the longest assignment of his life because his new partner is as equally infuriating as she is sexy. The sparks flew between them when they first met but a simply misunderstanding of intentions turned them into rivals. Now they’re older, at a different point in their lives, but the spark hasn’t diminished even a little.

Feeling her body tremble, he leaned down and reached between her legs, the words pouring out of him in a low, possessive growl. “I love when you’re on the edge like this. You’re so goddamn sweet. So mine.”

The chemistry between theses two was through the roof hot. What I especially loved was how balanced to each other they both were. John didn’t come charging in and unermine Jessica’s ability as an agent. She was fully capable and he knew it. They were perfect equals and that’s so rare to find in today’s romance.

As per usual James fashion there was plenty of sexual tension and humor to keep you glued to the pages. The Thing About Love was a laugh out loud, swoon till you melt, keep you turning the pages well into the night sort of read. I adored it. I simply adored it. I will never get enough of this author and I can’t recommend her enough if you love smart contemporary romance with swoony heroes and capable, strong heroines. It was perfection!

Okay,” he repeated. She knew that look. “You’re going to kiss me, aren’t you?” He pretended to consider this. “Well, with all the emotions flying around, it just feels … expected.”


MEET JULIE JAMES

Review: First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Review-First Star I See TonightFIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT
Series: Chicago Stars #8
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Release Date: August 23, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

FSIST

A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.

Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker.Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants of fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview-DGR4 starsFirst Star I See Tonight-DGR teaser

She was a woman who attacked life instead of waiting for it to unfold around her. And her general imperviousness to him had stirred up some kind of primitive bullshit need to conquer.

#HappyFeels
This book.
*Attempts to wipe goofy grin off of face*
*fails*
*grins even bigger*
I mean…THIS. BOOK.

As a long time fan of SEP and especially her Chicago Stars series, when I heard the news that she’ll be releasing another book in one of my most beloved contemporary romance series, I downright wet myself in fangirling excitement. True story. Well…maybe not the wetting myself part. But close. I was dang excited, mkay?!

I mean let’s face it, no one, and I do mean no one does an enemies to lovers romance quite like this author. She delivers these irresistible grumpy alphas that are just the perfect amount of endearing and sexy. They’re not perfect, but that’s what makes them perfect. Am I even making sense here? Let me put it this way; have you ever read about a hero that has a trigger happy moment yet manages to come off all the more endearingly sexy for it? Yeah? Didn’t think so.

If you love quirky, sassy, and adorably awkward heroines with just a dash of crazy to them, you will simply adore Piper. The woman is a downright nutter and I couldn’t get enough of her antics. If you’ve read any book in this series, you already know that SEP can deliver some of the best banter, and this book certainly didn’t disappoint in that department.

Did I ever mention what a bad lover I was when I first started out?”
“I don’t believe you did,” she said.
“I got lots of complaints, so I had to work at it. Treat it as a job.”
“Put in the extra practice time, right?”
“Precisely. When I think of the mistakes I made…”
“Mortifying, I’m sure.”
“But I kept my eye on the ball.”
“Only one? Curious. Oh, well, I hope your deformity didn’t make you too self-conscious. I’m sure you could still-”
“I finally got the hang of it when I was about-”
“Thirty-six?”
“Eighteen. I was a fast learner. All those older women willing to take a young kid like me into their loving arms…”
“Blessed are the merciful.”

20173970I love a slow burn, and that’s exactly what I got with this romance. Sparks flew between Cooper and Piper right away…but not of the sexual variety. Oh no! Piper is hilariously failing in her job to trail former Chicago Stars quarterback. The problem? He makes her right away and is not entirely pleased about the slightly deranged woman that seems to be everywhere he turns lately.

The fact is…” She released her breath in a whoosh. “I’m your stalker.”
“Stalker?”
“Not a dangerous one. Lord, no. Merely obsessed.”
“With me.” A statement, not a question. He’d been here before.
“I don’t make a habit of stalking people. This…quite got away from me, you see.” She didn’t know exactly how this tactic will save her, but she plunged on. “I’m not full-out barmy, you understand. Just…mildly unhinged.”
He cocked his head, but at least he was listening. And why not? Lunatics were always fascinating.

This book will make you laugh, and laugh some more. Piper’s antics are downright hilarious.

Watching the unwilling development of a relationship between these two go from antagonistic, to grudging respect, to something more, was pure gold. I couldn’t get enough of the two of them. Of course it didn’t hurt that I got plenty of cameos from one of my favorites. If you’ve read Match Me If You Can, you’ll definitely appreciate it.

First Star I See was everything I’ve come to love about this author and so much more. It was full of fun banter, swoony moments, fantastic secondary characters, and the perfect slow building romance.

What about your scruples? I’m still the hired help.”
He leaned forward and nibbled on her bottom lip. “You’re not the help. You’re the obstacle.”
She nuzzled the cleft in his chin. “To what?”
“My peace of mind.”

It was the perfect light hearted sort of read I needed and I loved every single page of it. It reminded me exactly why I fell in love with this series in the first place. SEP fans are in for one delicious treat with First Star I See Tonight. If you’re in the mood for laughs and swoons, this book has EVERYTHING. The perfect contemporary romance to satisfy any romance lovers!


CHICAGO STARS SERIES

IT HAD TO BE YOU (Chicago Stars #1)
Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2)
Nobody’s Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3)
Dream a Little Dream (Chicago Stars, #4)
This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars, #5)
Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6)
Natural Born Charmer (Chicago Stars, #7)

★DGR’s Ultimate List of Hate-To-Love Romance★

DGR-Ultimate list of hate-2-love Let’s talk about hate-to-love for a hot minute here, shall we? It just so happens that this is easily my favorite trope to read…EVAH. No joke. Something about the banter, that repressed sexual tension, the sparks that fly between the H & h when they argue yet you know they’re probably 2 seconds from jumping each other. *shivers* Delicious. So obviously what this means is that I’ve read a lot in this genre…like a lot. So much so, that when I started to put together my list, my brain began to hurt. There are so many books that I wanted to put on this list, but they’ve also been in my previous ones and so I decided not to mix genres. A lot of the hate-love I read in my dark romances, but since that’s not everyone’s cuppa and I already made my ultimate list of Anti-Heroes, I decided not to be redundant and skip this particular genre. If you’re curious about the Anti Hero list, you can read it HERE.

If you’re new to my blog, my Ultimate List is a monthly feature that I do on the last Saturday each month with my favorites in various categories, tropes, and whatever else. If you’ve missed any of my previous ones, you can read them all here:

★ULTIMATE LIST OF DIRTY TALKERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ROCK STARS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF FIGHTERS★

★ULTIMATE LIST OF ANTI-HEROES★

But let’s get back to hate-to-love. You’ll notice my list is random and features books that were recently published and some from quite a while ago. I’ve read all the books on the list and they’re my go-to recs for this trope. I loved them! Of course there’s probably plenty that I haven’t read yet, so I’d love to hear about any of your favorites that I may have missed in the comments below. Now without further ado, let’s get to the list!


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