Review: The Guy On The Right by Kate Stewart

THE GUY ON THE RIGHT
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: July 29, 2019

Strike One-My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk.

Not cool, Mom.

I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work.

Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself.
There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot.

Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well.
And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect.

That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams.

Everything is perfect.

That is, until Troy takes a good look at her.

I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game.

I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.

Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.

AMAZON

We shouldn’t fit, but we do, and our fit is nothing short of spectacular. There’s no wool in the world thick enough to make me blind to that. 

If you’re a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope, this is simply a must read. The Guy On The Right was one of those books that sneaks up on you and makes you fall head over heels. It’s cute, light and somewhat unassuming at first. You meet Theodor, Teddy to his annoying sisters, and his fall fast and hard for his subtle and down to earth charm. The guy is roommates with the biggest manwhore on campus and football royalty. So he’s used to flying under the radar of Troy’s hotness. After his last relationship left him decimated, he’s not exactly the most confident of guys. But then an accidental meeting changes everything.

I’ve most definitely been friend-zoned, or in my case, Teddy’d.

Laney just got out of another disastrous relationship. After coming to the conclusion that she’s been dating the wrong men, she decides that a break from penis is exactly what she needs.

I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m done with Batman.”
“What?”
“It’s a syndrome. A type. I’m done.”

“Think about it, Batman is the booty call superhero. Sexy-half face, looks amazin’ in the uniform, BUT, he only answers to the signal, at night. He never takes off his mask and only reveals his true colors once he’s already bedded the girl. I’ve been dating nothing but Batmen.”

When Theo accidentally overhears her drunken breakup and later runs into Laney again, an unlikely friendship blossoms between them. This soon turns to something that catches both of them unaware. The bond between them becomes so strong that it soon leads to the realization that there’s definitely something else beneath the friendly jokes and camaraderie. Something that Theo and Laney are both too nervous to act on so that they don’t ruin their friendship.

Admittedly, the first 40% of the book had a lot of dialogue. The buildup between these two was very much a slow burn. While I love a good slow burn, I did struggle a little to get into the story. There’s a lot of camaraderie that happens that was cute to read about but didn’t feel…necessary. At least not for me. But then, right around the 40% mark, the story totally snuck up on me and clobbered me over the head with the cute feels. I was completely enamored with the characters and the story and couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. I was totally sucked in!

The second half of this book was absolute swoony perfection. I loved watching Theo really come into his own and let that hidden dominant side out. I loved that he was a genuine nice guy but still very much an alpha. I adored his protective and sweet side. And I absolutely fell head over heels for his insecure and vulnerable side.

Laney was a wonderful heroine. I loved her sass and backbone and the way she wasn’t shy about fighting for Theo, even if it was Theo himself. I loved how she loved him. But I especially loved watching their relationship slowly and organically blossom into something more. At first I was afraid that she had more chemistry with Troy and Theo would fade into the background. But I was so happy that wasn’t the case. Theo was very much the center of the story.

This was one of those light hearted and funny romances that’s slow to start but sizzles oh so hot when it finally gets going. Adorably sweet with just the right amount of sexy, it stole my heart and kept a smile on my face from beginning to finish. I can’t wait to get Troy’s story next!

Review: The Fadeaway by @RebeccaJenshak

THE FADEAWAY
Series:
Smart Jocks #2
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Release Date: March 14, 2019

This college jock is a total player. He’s used to getting who and what he wants. Until her. . .

Katrina
The hottest guy on campus won’t stop asking me out. I know that sounds like a good problem to have, but this guy… this guy has no idea how complicated my life is trying to juggle being a single mom and college student.
Every Thursday, he shows up at the café where I work. His cheesy pickup lines and arrogance should have me completely annoyed. I’m not. I can’t say yes, but Thursday is my favorite day of the week.

Joel
The hottest girl on campus won’t go out with me. I know, I know, that sounds presumptuous, but this girl… this girl has gotten under my skin, and I can’t seem to walk away.
Every Thursday, I show up at the café where she works. She’s fed me every excuse in the book. I should give up and bang one of the many girls blowing up my phone. I’m not. Even when she says no, Thursday is my favorite day of the week.

AMAZON

Come on. I’ve been asking you out for five months. Throw a guy a bone.”
Or, you know, let me stick mine in you.

OH MY GOD! Where did this book come from?! I have so many feelings! SO MANY FEELINGS! Marry me, Rebecca Jenshak. And read me bed time stories like this forever. What? Too much? Fine *huffs*. I’ll tone it down. Maybe. Probably not. WHATEVER. Stop judging me. This book was fantastic, ok?!

Now look, it’s no secret that I’m a picky s word. I own it. And I’m especially picky when it comes to New Adult romance. But this book? This was EVERYTHING I love about this genre. It was utterly charming and completely unputdownable. It was refreshingly sweet with just the right amount of sexy. It was humorous and a touch quirky. It was all of the things, people! ALL OF THEM!

I love me a playboy hero, and you can’t spell playboy without J-O-E-L- M-O-R-E-N-O. OK, so you can, but I’m trying to make a point here so just go with me on this. Joel caught my attention the second he appeared as a secondary character in The Assist and I’ve been itching for his book ever since. What’s more delicious than the man that can get any woman he wants on campus having to work for it with a woman that seems to want none of his charm while secretly mooning over him? NOTHING. That’s a trick question. NOTHING IS MORE DELICIOUS.

Katrina is too busy jugging being a single mom of an adorably sweet three year old boy and college to give the time of day to the campus womanizer. Joel may be a hot jock with charm oozing out of every pore, but he spells bad news for her. Unfortunately for her libido, it’s been a while, and Joel is nothing if not determined to wear her down.

There is nothing more charming and entertaining to read that Joel’s wooing of “Kitty” and finally agreeing to go out with him. Actually, there is one thing, and that’s Joel showing her the real man underneath the manwhore persona. Under the good looks and playboy demeanor lies plenty of depth, and I was ravenous to unravel every layer.

Joel and Kitty together was pure magic. There was so much chemistry between them, it was downright incendiary. Katrina’s son was one of the best secondary characters and of course I loved the cameos by the rest of the team. I’m already dying for Z and Nathan’s books.

If you’re looking for a New Adult Sports romance that’s the whole package, look no further. The Fadeaway has everything; the charm, the feels, the humor, and all of the romance. I loved it from beginning to finish and I’m not officially obsessed with all things Rebecca Jenshak.

Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

THE ASSIST
Series:
Smart Jocks #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Release Date: June 11, 2019

You know those stories where the smart girl tutors the dumb jock? This isn’t it.

Blair
What’s the probability of insulting the one guy on campus I need to help me pass statistics? If I knew, I wouldn’t be standing in front of Wes Reynolds begging him to tutor me.

Basketball player, sexy, arrogant, always sleeping through class… these are the things I knew about him. What I didn’t know is that he is a seriously smart jock.

Wes
What’s the best way to get rid of the peppy and unrelenting girl that keeps asking me to tutor her? If I knew, I wouldn’t be staring at her tan legs and attempting to teach her statistics.

Sorority girl, fine as f**k, determined, ball buster… these are the things I knew about her. What I didn’t know is that she is all the things I didn’t realize I wanted or needed.

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

AMAZON

On the court, I saw everything. But off the court? I never saw her coming.

Sooo…would you judge me if I told you that the cover had a lot to do with me trying this book by a new to me author? Of course you wouldn’t! Because you’re probably drooling over it yourself right now, aren’t ya? Yeaaaaah you are. *grins evilly*

But in full disclosure, it was actually the series title that hooked me. Smart jocks? Sign me up. Rebecca Jenshak being a new to me author, I had no idea what to expect when starting this book and I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. This was really stinking cute. I’ve seen some comparison’s to Elle Kennedy’s books floating around in reviews, and I think that’s a disservice to this one. The one thing they have in common is that they’re college sports romance. But if you’re coming in with the expectation of Elle brand of romance, you won’t quite get it. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s different, and I wouldn’t compare.

The Assist is the first in a series and introduces the quintessential sorority girl who misjudges a sexy basketball player who sleeps through a class that she’s failing miserably…and gets an eye without even batting an eyelash. Literally. So what’s a girl to do? Cajole, beg, and apologize until said jock agrees to tutor you, of course. Thus begins a bit of an unlikely friendship that soon begins to turn into something much more.

I really liked this book and the characters. Wes was everything I love in a college hero. He’s confident without being cocky and is just a nice guy, which is refreshing. Blair took a bit for me to really get connected to, but by the end of the book I was rooting for her. She’s a devoted friend, which I found really endearing. I wished she had stood up to her ex more without having others fight her battles a bit, but alas, you can’t get everything you want. This was a cute and sexy read and I’m definitely hooked enough to read the next book in this series. I couldn’t help but feel there was just a little something for me with this one that I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was exactly. Either way, it was an enjoyable read.

Review: The Moth And The Flame by BB Reid

THE MOTH AND THE FLAME
Series:
When Rivals Play #2
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: BB Reid
Release Date: May 20, 2019

THE FLAME

Here lies Louchana Valentine. She was a homeless, orphaned virgin.

I never cared what my gravestone would say until I landed in deep with a powerful gangster. Lucky for me, my best friend happens to be ruthless too. I should feel guilty that he’s forced to turn on the man who’s been a father to him. Except I’ve always known that Wren’s soul wasn’t as black as he claimed.

He was good.

He was beautiful.

He was mine.

He just didn’t know it yet.

And with Wren keeping me safe, I’ve got time left to rewrite the end of my story. But if he has his way, virgin is already carved in stone.

THE MOTH

I’ve never known anyone as alluring as Lou. Or as frustrating. Since the night she saved my life and stole my wallet for her troubles, I couldn’t stay away.

She became my onus.

My light.

My…anyway.

With nowhere to run, I’m forced to trust someone I never expected. At least with Lou safe in Blackwood Keep—far away from me—I’ll die with my conscience intact. Because she no longer looks at me with friendship in her eyes. Those iridescent blues shine with a different need entirely, and I’ve never been able to deny her.

It is strongly advised that you read The Peer and the Puppet before diving into The Moth and the Flame. Content suitable for ages 18+.

AMAZON

I’m the moth to your flame, Lou. I’d rather be burned a thousand times than be free of you.”

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this story, and holy plot twist, batman! This was so much different than I had expected!

Firstly, this is NOT meant to be read as a standalone. You need to read The Peer and the Puppet to get a lot of the nuances of this continuing story arc. Ever since the end of Peer and the Puppet, I’ve been salivating for Lou and Wren’s book. And while the timelines of the two books cross over eventually, The Moth and The Flame begins earlier than the events at the end of PATP.

This is a much more character driven story than the first book. Lou and Wren have anything but a conventional friendship and it takes quite a few pages for the reader to be ingrained into their world. At times I felt like it was a little too long if I’m being perfectly honest. The first half of this book was much slower paced for me. It builds the backstory of how these characters met and the hugely antagonistic sort of friendship that they develop. Lou is an orphan that has prefers life on the street over putting down her walls around her heart that would allow it to be broken again. A chance encounter introduces her to a gangster with a heart of gold. Lou is anything but accepting of Wren’s choice to stay in Exiled. She also doesn’t agree with his desire to deny the chemistry between them and stay away from her because he’s not good enough for her.

There’s about two years of backstory here and there’s quite a lot that’s packed into it. And while I struggled a little with the first half of this book, I flew through the second half. There’s so much that gets unraveled here that it left my head reeling. Secrets get unearthed, and plot twist after plot twist keep you utterly riveted to the pages.

I loved Lou and Wren together. I love that Lou doesn’t back down from him and she’s not afraid to give as hard as she gets. Sure she can be a little immature with what she does at times, but she’s also fiercely protective of him, even if it’s from himself. I loved her fierce strength and unyielding love for her friend. I loved her broken heart and shattered pieces. Wren was EVERYTHING. This is a man that’s caught between a rock and a hard places and forced to make decisions that still haunt him. There’s just something so endearingly broken about him that you can’t help but love.

This installment was so much more than just a romance. So much happens in this book that I’m practically frothing at the mouth to get my hands on the next one. And if I don’t get my hands on Jamie’s story next, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be crying in a corner somewhere clutching a bottle of wine. True story.

B.B. Reid is a bestselling author of new adult romance. She grew up the only daughter and middle child in a small town in North Carolina. After graduating with a Bachelors in Finance, she started her career at an investment research firm while continuing to serve in the National Guard. She currently resides in Charlotte with her moody cat and enjoys collecting Chuck Taylors and binge-eating chocolate.

Please visit her website for more information: www.bbreid.com

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Review: The Lying Hours by Sara Ney

THE LYING HOURS
Series: How To Date a Douchebag #5
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: May 9, 2019

ABRAHAM DAVIS—Honest Abe to his friends—IS IN OVER HIS HEAD…

He’s a fixer and a do good-er. The all-knowing, resident “grandfather” on the wrestling team who everyone relies on to fix their problems. His teammates go to him for everything; advice, homework, or when they need a sober driver at three in the morning–whether he likes it or not.

Abe’s current mission is easy: mend his roommates broken heart by helping him find a girlfriend on the LoveU app–without getting caught in the lie…

SKYLAR GABRIEL. IS. OVER. IT.

Over her bad grades. Over her meddling older brother and his two best friends. And over dating douchebags. What she wants to know is: where have all the nice guys gone?

She longs for a handsome, sweet, and honest guy who can make her laugh. In one last ditch effort to prove that he exists—Skylar turns to LoveU.

On her worst day, Skylar has no filter (it’s a miracle she hasn’t been ditched mid-date).
On her best, she’s as wholesome, and sweet, as pie.
On Thursday? She matches with Abraham Davis’s roommate.

Skylar Gabriel is falling for the wrong guy—she just doesn’t realize it yet.

Why?

BECAUSE ABE DAVIS IS A LIAR.

AMAZON 

I’m the guy they go to when they want something fixed, like their car. Or their love life.

Looking for a fun, light-hearted New Adult romance that packs plenty of laughs along with a sweet and steamy romance? Look no further! The Lying Hours was everything I’ve come to love about Sara Ney and everything I love in New Adult romance. It had amazing secondary characters, a cameo from my TOP FAVORITE douchebag. Oh, and I’m pretty convinced that Skylar’s BFF happens to be my spirit animal. But I digress.

Contrary to the title, Abe is definitely not a douchebag. He’s the quintessential nice guy. He’s the fixer, the one everyone goes to with their problems. He’s also the one currently trying to pick out dates for his lazy roommate who’s trying to get over his ex. The only problem? His roommate is most definitely a douchebag. And the last girl that he matches him with on the university’s dating app happens to be a lot more of his type. But she thinks she’s talking to JB. And poor Abe is in way over his head.

Admittedly, this got off to a somewhat slow start with me. I’m not even sure why, or if I can put my finger on why exactly. But I also know that it didn’t last long before I was completely enraptured in this story. Skylark is everything I love in a great heroine. This girl takes zero sh*t. She isn’t shy about putting anyone in their place, including JB and then sooner or later, poor Abe too. Her best friend and roommate Hannah was the comedic relief of the story. This chick was AWESOME. I seriously couldn’t get enough of her quirky humor and loud mouth. I’m seriously thrilled to get a novella for her next. But I digress again.

I loved that Skylar makes Abe work for it. And I loved that even though Abe is a super nice guy, he’s also not perfect. The man messes up on more than one occasion but he’s not afraid to own up to it either. The chemistry between them was instant and potent. I loved the two of them together once they finally get there.

I would have loved to have an epilogue or another chapter for them, though. I couldn’t help but feel like I wanted just a little more of the romance at the end because it IS a slow burn for them for a while. I suppose I just wanted more of them together to appease my selfish wants. Le sigh. But that aside, I still seriously loved this book. It was quirky and fun and absolutely delicious! I adore this series and I adore everything Sara Ney writes. This was certainly no exception.

#DGRFave & Review: Pretty Reckless by LJ Shen

PRETTY RECKLESS
Series: All Saints High #1
Genre: New Adult, Mature Young Adult Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: April 26, 2019

From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

AMAZON

He gave me the rarest thing in the world, and I gave him heartache.”

Oh the angst! The angst of it all!!!

Welcome to your new addiction, angst addicts. Because this new series? It’s about to reach into your very soul and tear out all of the feels!

Pretty Reckless took high school rivals, added a splash of enemies to lovers, wrapped around heart-wrenching angst, and delivered one finger-licking utterly addicting page-turner! If NA angst is your crack of choice, then Shen is about to become your favorite dealer.

I don’t have enough praise for this book and everything that I experienced along with it. This is the stuff that my NA romance dreams are made of. Delicious angst, multilayered characters, plenty of plot twists, and an unputdownable story.

If you’ve read Shen’s Sinners of Saint series, then you’ll be familiar with the Followhill from Defy. Daria is the daughter of Melody and Jaime. And if you recall their forbidden union, then you already know that their daughter will have one big chip on her shoulder as she attends the same high school as her parents had their notorious relationship at.

Daria is easily one of my favorite heroines of LJ Shen to date. I love a female that can own the fact that she’s a queen B. But she’s also not the stereotypical do-gooder. This is a girl with a huge chip on her shoulder and she can be downright vicious to those that cross her path. She’s completely unapologetic about it, though being in her head, you see the glimpses of the vulnerability that causes her to lash out the way she does. Poor little rich girl.

As for Penn. Sweet mother of ovaries! I turned cougar for this man and I have no regrets. The turbulent enemies to lovers relationship that happens between these two kept me absolutely riveted to the pages. Daria may give as good as she gets, but Penn doesn’t pull any punches with her either. They are pure fire together.

I devoured and I mean straight up DEVOURED this book and was left desperate for more. Shen is a master of her craft and just keeps getting better and better with each new book. I’m already frothing at the mouth for more ASH!

#NewRelease & Review: The Perfect First by Maya Hughes

THE PERFECT FIRST
Series: Fulton U #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: April 25, 2019

“How long do you last in bed?” Those were her first words to me, swiftly followed up with, “And how big would you say you are?”

Cue the record scratching, what?!

Persephone Alexander. Math genius. Lover of blazers. The only girl I know who can make Heidi braids look sexy as hell. And she’s on a mission. Lose her virginity by the end of the semester.

I walked in on her interview session for potential candidates (who even does that?) and saw straight through her brave front. She’s got a list of Firsts to accomplish like she’s only got months to live. I’ve decided to be her guide for all her firsts except one. Someone’s got to keep her out of trouble. I have one rule, no sex. We even shook on it.

I’ll help her find the right guy for the job. Someone like her doesn’t need someone like me and my massive…baggage for her first time.

Drinking at a bar. Check.

Partying all night. Double check.

Skinny dipping. Triple check.

She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met. The walls I’d put up around my heart are slowly crumbling with each touch that sets fire to my soul.

I’m the first to bend the rules. One electrifying kiss changes everything and suddenly I don’t want to be her first, I want to be her only. But her plan was written before I came onto the scene and now I’m determined to get her to re-write her future with me.

AMAZON

I’d give her the other firsts, as many as I could, because if I gave her too much, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from never wanting to stop.

Calling all New Adult Romance fans, because The Perfect First is an absolute must read. It was a swoony, quirky, steamy, funny and utterly endearing page-turner. I devoured this. I binge read it. I couldn’t put it down for even a minute.

I’ve read my fair share of New Adult romance and some of these stories are a dime a dozen. But this was not one of those stories! There was this uniqueness to this book that just resonated with me. It made it into one of those books that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Shy virgin meets sexy college football superstar? Yes, please. But this book was so much more than that! I think what really made the story for me was Seph. On paper, she’s not a heroine that I gravitate towards. She’s a shy and totally sheltered genius. She has no friends because she has no idea how to handle social situations. She’s never so much as been exposed to them outside of school mixers with older professors and tutors. But she’s not the quirky introvert that I was expecting. Her father is a domineering tyrant that expects nothing short of extraordinary from her and it’s been a weight on her shoulders for her entire life. Being away from home and in college, she’s determined to have all of the firsts that she’s missed out on her entire life, even if she has to take an ad out for the perfect first to take her virginity.

Reece doesn’t answer her ad. He has no shortage of willing females on campus being the football superstar that he is. But when he inadvertently stumbles on Seph’s “interview session” he can’t help but be intrigued by the girl. What starts as an unlikely friendship soon begins to develop into something neither one of them were expecting.

I can’t tell you enough just how much I loved Seph’s character. There was this sweet and naive quality to her. It was so entertaining to see her grow into herself with each new experience she has with Reece. Until she finally grows into someone that stands up for what she wants. I loved watching her become more and more comfortable in her own skin. I loved the way her friendship with Reece slowly develops into that something more. I seriously couldn’t get enough of the two of them together.

The Perfect First was simply delicious! I’m talking finger-licking good sort of NA and I’m beyond excited for this brand new series. Every secondary character that’s been introduced already has my full attention and all of the grabby hands. I need LJ and Nix’s books like YESTERDAY. If you’re a fan of fun and quirky NA with plenty of steam, unique characters, and a romance that you will root for from begging to finish, The Perfect First is NOT TO BE MISSED!


Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.

Author Links

INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

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Excerpt: Nothing But Trouble by P. Dangelico

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE
Series:
Malibu University #1
Genre:
New Adult Romance
Author:
P. Dangelico
Release Date: March 26, 2019

Nothing But Trouble, an all new standalone Contemporary Romance by

P. Dangelico

Reagan Reynolds…

Water polo god.

Owner of a face that belongs under Wikipedia’s definition of drop dead gorgeous.

Too charming for his own good.

But most importantly––the worst driver on the planet.

No, really, I’m pretty sure his blind nana taught him how to drive.

I had no idea who he was until he almost ran me over. And frankly, I kind of wish I still didn’t because then I wouldn’t have a sprained ankle to show for it. And my leg wouldn’t resemble a boa constrictor that’s swallowed a feral pig.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

I’ve spent years saving every penny I’ve ever earned to be able to transfer to Malibu University. And now my entire future––including my scholarship––is in jeopardy.

So I either accept the help he insists on giving me, or lose everything I’ve sacrificed for.

In the meantime, I’m going to ignore the fact that we’re becoming friends.

And I’m definitely going to pretend he’s not turning into the object of my…umm, dirty fantasies.

That’s not happening.

Not even a little.

Because the minute I clapped eyes on him I knew he was nothing but trouble.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N

Alice

A strong gust of hot air invades the car and Reagan’s hair gets ruffled. It’s been like this the last few weeks. Crazy hot winds picking up now and then. Mine is literally standing on end. I’m forced to hold it down with both hands.

“The Santa Anas,” he says as if reading my mind. I look over and find him smiling at me. “The hot wind.” He swirls his index finger.

I let go of my hair, close my eyes, and let it have its way with me. It stands instantly upright, like I stuck my finger in a socket. I’m sure I look like an idiot but it makes me laugh, a burst of pure joy emanating from my chest that can’t be contained any more than the wind can.

“Nice hair,” he mocks with a teasing smile.

“Thanks, Flipper.”

“I thought we established that it’s not a dolphin.”

“You’re not going to like me saying this, but you’re more dolphin than shark,” I happily point out. He’s always perky and upbeat, likes to socialize, loves all the attention. He’s a dolphin––whether he likes it or not.

He levels narrowed green vengeance on me, offset by a sly smile. “I’m the top of the food chain, babe. I’m all shark.”

“That’s adorable. Especially coming from someone that wears a swim cap like my nana used to wear. Except yours has those darling cinnamon buns over the ears. Like Princess Leia.”

He fights his amusement. “Those cinnamon buns are meant to protect my ears from all the rough, manly activity. And I’m tellin’ on you. I’m tellin’ all the guys you said that.”

The Jeep comes to an abrupt stop. Only then do I realize we’re parked in front of the apartment building where my study group is being held. Scanning the parking lot, I see people I recognize from class pouring out of a car.

My attention returns to Reagan and I find him watching me. His smile melts. His expression grows serious like he rarely ever is. I rake my hair down and get my fingers snagged on a few knots. Unfortunately I’m not the comb-carrying type.

Mental note: purchase comb. Crazy winds are afoot.

“Thank you for driving me.” I look for some sign of what’s going on in his mind and finding the door shut.

“What time should I pick you up?” He reaches out and I lean away, staring at his hand. “Chill, Bailey. You have a piece sticking up.”

“Oh…okay.” He’s trying to be helpful and I treat him like he’s a festering case of the bubonic plague. How embarrassing.

I lean in and he sets about gently brushing down each and every one of my stray hairs, so gently I can barely feel him picking apart the knots. I can feel his breath on my skin. Fresh from a shower, I can smell his shampoo. My scalp tingles and goose bumps break out on my forearms. Lord give me strength.

P. Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

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Review & Excerpt: Kiss And Break Up by Ella Fields

KISS AND BREAK UP
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Ella Fields
Release Date: March 8, 2019

Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.

He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.

Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.

Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

 

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

 

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.

You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.

And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.

Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

FREE in KU

AMAZON KINDLE | AMAZON PAPERBACK 

I fell to the bed just as a thump hit the exterior of the house, and Dash launched himself through the window.“Can you ever land gracefully?” Or you know, use the front door. For as long as we’d lived here, he’d snuck in. At first, it was due to being unsure whether my mom would still want us hanging out, but it didn’t take her long to figure out what he was doing.

She didn’t care. When I’d shaken like a mouse cornered in a kitchen, she’d smiled and told me she’d never stop us from being friends. Yet the window always remained unlocked.

Dash kicked off his boots, and they hit the aging floor with two bangs. “I’m all man, baby. Not a fucking cat.”

Hearing him say that reminded me of why he was here. I sprang to my feet, hurtling out into the hall and into the bathroom.

“What are you doing?”

Too busy gargling mouthwash, I didn’t answer and spat it into the sink as he appeared in the weathered mirror behind me.

“Seriously?” he asked. “You burp in my face after eating garlic pizza, so this is just fucking dumb.”

“You burped in my face first.” I put the cap back on the bottle, not meeting his gaze. I couldn’t. I headed back inside the safety of my room.

But I had to wonder, as I heard Dash gargling mouthwash too, if it would be considered safe again after this. Would this ruin everything by making it awkward?

“Dash,” I said, wringing my hands as I paced the floor of my room. “We probably shouldn’t be doing this. What if––”

“What if it’s awesome and you fall madly in love with me? Well, we already know I don’t do commitment.”

A tiny laugh skittered out. “No, what if it gets awkward? I don’t want anything to change.”

He took me by the shoulders in the middle of my rainbow knitted rug and leveled me with his vibrant eyes. “We’ve done some pretty awkward shit, so what’s a little mouth to mouth going to change?”

I nodded, exhaling slowly, then I frowned. “Why are you doing this? I mean, I know why I want to, but you? What do you even get out of it?”

He grinned. “You might be my best friend, but I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to stick my tongue down your throat.” He tipped a muscled shoulder. “Let’s just say you’ll be killing that curiosity.”

“You’ve always wondered?”

“I’ve got eyes, Freckles. And I don’t need my glasses to appreciate the sight of something beautiful.”

I blinked. “Wow. That was actually really swe––”

“Shut your inexperienced mouth and kiss me.”

I was still laughing when he grabbed my face, and then I squeaked as the world changed color, and his lips lowered over mine.

My heart became a trumpet, blaring in my ears at the first touch of his lips.

I pulled away, startled and still laughing. “Oh, my God.”

Dash’s hands were warm on my face. “That good? They barely even touched.”

“No,” I choked out, pushing his hands away. “It’s just … a little weird.”

“Weird?” His brows scrunched. “We’ve barely even begun.”

I blew out a shaky breath, unable to look at him as my hands flapped at my sides. I stared at his white shirt, looking at where the cotton met his tanned skin. “I don’t know, Dash.”

“Wanna try again?”

I looked at him then, at the eager glint in his blue eyes. “It’s not weird for you?”

He chewed his bottom lip which was a little fatter than the top. And it’d just been touching mine. Oh, how crazy. “Maybe a smidgen. I can just picture Margot Robbie, and I’ll be good.”

I froze. “Margot Robbie?”

He gestured to my hair. “The blonde hair helps.”

“Jesus.” I swiped my hands down my face. “This is dumb. Let’s just forget it.”

He stood there a moment, glancing around my room. “Why don’t you imagine someone? That guy from the Thor movie. You like him.”

“Chris Hemsworth?”

“Yeah. Imagine him.” Then he grinned, waggling his brows. “Pucker up, baby.”

“You didn’t just say that.” I laughed, plopping down on the edge of my bed.

“Whatever. Are we trying again or what?”

The thought of Byron and that mischievous twinkle in his green eyes, the way he’d wasted no time moving in to kiss me … yeah. I needed to do this.

“Okay.” I shook out my hands, bouncing a little on the bed. “Okay, let’s do this.”

Dash’s lips thinned. “This isn’t a cross meet. We’re only swapping germs.”

“You just had to say that, didn’t you?” My pep had officially vanished.

Dash tugged me off the bed. “Close your eyes and relax.”

I tried, but I was as stiff as a board when his mouth met mine again. He tasted like spearmint and cigarettes, but his hands were gentle as one held my chin and the other glided through my hair to the back of my head. Slowly, with the soft press of his lips on mine and the gentle exploration of their shape, my limbs loosened.

“Open,” he whispered, his voice threaded, rougher.

I did, expecting the invasion of his tongue, but the velvet feel of it only traced the inner edges of my mouth.

Out of all the things I’d expected to feel when he’d suggested this crazy idea, it wasn’t relaxed, and it certainly wasn’t the buzzing sensation currently warming my insides.

“This isn’t so bad,” I said when he pulled back, my voice a low exhalation.

“Good. Now repeat the same to me.” My eyes were about to spring open, but he growled. “Keep them closed. Don’t think, just do and feel.”

Drawing in a quick breath through my nose, I found his stubble-coated cheeks with my hands and lifted myself on my toes. I tried to do the same thing he did to me, but my tongue plunged deeper, meeting the warm softness of his. I licked it, stroking cautiously until I heard him hum, the sound vibrating up his throat and causing our lips to mash together.

His hands became firmer around my head, his tongue greedier, sweeping inside my mouth before my teeth found purchase on his plump bottom lip, and pulled.

He groaned, and it had me staggering back, my heart racing and my breath an unsteady, embarrassing sound.

Dash swallowed, then cleared his throat as he shifted on his feet. His eyes met mine, and I looked away, down to where my mint green toes were curling over the abrasive fabric of my rug.

Awkward. This was so awkward, and I prayed we hadn’t just made a huge mistake.

“So that’s how it’s done.” He grabbed the TV remote and plopped onto my bed. “Got any popcorn?”

I shook my head. “Wait, that’s um, it?”

He started flicking through Netflix. “Well, yeah. Not much else to it. We can practice again before your date if you want, but I’m fucking starving, and we need to re-watch the last season of GoT before the new one is out.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said, remembering I’d promised him that weeks ago. Hungry myself, I stepped outside, then scowled at him from the doorway. “Don’t put your socks near my pillow.”

He grumbled but shifted and moved over to the other side of the bed.

Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Yours, but apparently, it’s taking some time for you to get the memo.”

If you follow my reviews, then it’s no secret that I’m a sucker for angst. So then it really should be no surprise that I am obsessed with all things Ella Fields. The woman can write angst like no one’s business, and she’s not afraid to go there. She’s not afraid to write raw, unapologetically real, and truly broken characters and make her readers fall head over heels in love with them each and every time!

So when I saw she’s coming out with a brand new NA romance, I jumped on it like a sugar addict at a cake factory. Yes I know that’s not a phrase, but just go with me here.

The queen of angst strikes again with Kiss and Break Up and she knocked it straight out of the park! She hit the home run of angst! I’m talking teenage angst overload here, people!!! And. It. Was. Delicious.

Dash and Peggy have known each other since they were in diapers. And they’ve been best friends since Dash essentially decided it so and practically bullied Peggy into it. She’s never had a choice in the matter, but it’s not like she minds. The guy may be rude, crude, and completely tone deaf when it comes to proprietary, but he’s her best friend. Through thick and thin. And their senior year of high school definitely brings a change in their comfortable dynamic.

Peggy is a bit of a late bloomer. But with her braces off and a new haircut, suddenly she begins to see her own appeal. And with that appeal, she wants to experience dating like all girls her age have already done. But when a cute boy asks her out, she realizes that her inexperience is a crutch that she needs to get rid off. And in comes her knight in tarnished armor, Dash, with an offer she can’t refuse; practice with him.

Now, suddenly, the lines get blurred. Years of friendship begin to get lost behind repressed feelings, unexpected connections, and a bit of unrequited love. In a word? ANGST!!! All of the sweet, delicious angst.

Dash is a character that you will love to hate and hate to love. He’s far from perfect and he makes plenty of mistakes. As hard as you want to hate him for the decisions he makes sometimes, you also can’t help but fall for him anyway. Peggy was the perfect balance for him. She accepts him in all his imperfect glory, but she also doesn’t take any of his shit. I loved the dynamic of the guy pining after the girl who takes a while to truly understand her feelings for him. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

There’s several secondary characters that are introduced, that I’m practically salivating for a book for. The set up for their books is utterly delicious. I have zero chill with getting my grubby little hands on their stories.

As for this one? I DEVOURED it. I’m talking binge read, people! Binge. Read. I loved every maddening, frustrating, and emotional page of it. I couldn’t set it down for even a second. It was infuriating and completely unputdownable. It was everything I’ve come to expect from the immensely talented Emma Fields, and so much more! A huge rec for all my fellow angst lovers! My one quibble was I wished for a little more development and character fleshing out. I didn’t have an issue connecting with either Dash or Peggy, but I did feel like I was getting to know them on more of a surface level rather than a true deep dive.

 

Ella Fields is a mother and wife who lives in the land Down Under. While her kids are in school, you might find her talking about her characters and books to her two cats. She’s a notorious chocolate and notebook hoarder who enjoys creating hard-won happily ever afters.

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Review: The Risk by Elle Kennedy

THE RISK
Series: Briar U #2
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Elle Kennedy
Release Date: February 18, 2019

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes…

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

AMAZON

It’s official. I’m hot for this girl. 

Reading an Elle Kennedy book is like eating your favorite ice cream; it’s a sweet treat that feels slightly naughty and you just love every minute of it. So what can I tell you about The Risk? I loved it! It was enemies to lovers goodness that I devoured from start to finish with a goofy smily on my face the entire time!

Ever since Jake and Brenna immediately caught my attention the second they appeared on the pages of The Chase. I love me a sassy heroine, and boy does Brenna tick all the boxes for me. It’s not often you read a perfectly endearing bad girl that oozes self confidence, has a razor sharp with, and doesn’t shy away from being a ball buster when necessary. Suffice it to say, I LOVED Brenna. She’s not perfect by any means, but she’s funny, is comfortable in her own skin, and has no problem speaking her mind. This is also how she finally gets on Jake’s radar.

Jake is the captain of the rival hockey team in Harvard. And when Brenna proves to be a distraction to one of his teammates, he’s not shy about warning her off. But no one tells Brenna what to do, so the only thing it accomplishes is stocking a fire that soon threatens to consume them both.

Jake is a bad boy in his own right. He’s on the path to the pros and nothing and no one will stop him. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t do repeats. He has no time for the distraction that a woman can bring. He certainly doesn’t see Brenna coming, but boy does she leave an impression. And once she’s on his radar, he can’t stop thinking about her.

This was a slow burn to beat all slow burn. The delicious push and pull between these two was EVERYTHING. Their banter and chemistry was like a fire that just burned hotter and hotter with each chapter.

Want to make out some more before we go?” Jake’s tone is boyishly hopeful.
“Nope.”
His gaze turns devilish. “How about a blowjob?”
“Aw, I appreciate the offer, but I don’t have a penis.”

There were the secondary characters that I’ve come to love; and I’m seriously hoping we get Hunter’s book next. But the two that really stole the show for me here were Rupi and Hollis. Of all the hysterical and dysfunctional relationships, this one took the cake. And oh my god, I couldn’t get enough of these two. They were absolutely nuts.

And while you get the funny and sexy, there’s also a good dose of serious here. There’s some things in Brenna’s past that continue to haunt her present, and I really loved the way that Elle Kennedy handled this particular subject matter. There’s also a really uncomfortable but honest look at gender inequality and misogyny that I wished we got a more satisfying conclusion for, but alas, that’s not how life works. So I suppose I’ll be happy with what we got.

Ultimately, The Risk was a fantastic second installment in another addicting NA series from one of my favorite authors. It was a perfect enemies to lovers romance with a slow burn and plenty of laughs. It had wonderful secondary characters and perfectly developed and multilayered main characters. I loved both Jake and Brenna and I especially loved seeing their growth throughout the book. A must read for any sports and hockey romance fans out there!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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