Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Rebel Queen by Jeana E. Mann

THE REBEL QUEEN
Series: The Rebel Queen Duet #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Jeana E. Mann
Release Date: October 15, 2019

“Shall we begin?” When spoken by my new husband, these three little words fill me with terror and anticipation.

In private, King Henry rules my body like he rules his country—with unrelenting control and passion. I crave his orders, his punishment, his commands. Outside the bedroom, we’re strangers caught in a web of lies and decadence.

Our marriage is a sham, a business arrangement devised to save my life and secure his crown. He doesn’t love me. He loves my body, controlling it, shaming it, worshipping it. To survive the dangers at court, I need to be smart, but it’s hard to think straight with a man like Henry between my legs.

Each night, he locks the bedroom door, determined to teach me a new lesson. Obedience, patience, trust. I lie awake in bed waiting for the sound of his footsteps and the latest installment in pleasure and pain. My heart pounds when the hinges creak and his broad shoulders block the door. I’m not ready, but I can’t wait to feel his hands on me. He shoves his bowtie in my mouth, binds my hands to the headboard, and whispers in my ear…

“Shall we begin?”

From USA Today bestselling author Jeana E. Mann comes this dark, contemporary romance filled with twists, turns, and unprecedented heat.

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START WHERE IT ALL BEGAN IN THE ROYAL ARRANGEMENT, BOOK 1 in the series:

The Royal Arrangement

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When his key clicks in the lock of the apartment door, my heart almost leaps out of my chest. I slip my hands into the fur-lined restraints. Anticipation heightens my awareness. The silk sheets are soft against my skin. They smell of his cologne and shower gel. I draw in his scent and try not to squirm. With each passing second, my mouth grows drier and the ache between my legs intensifies. I can hardly wait to see what he has in store for me tonight.

His light footsteps approach, sending my pulse rate higher. He doesn’t speak. He shrugs out of his jacket, loosens his tie, and sits in the elegant chair at the end of the bed. My skin prickles under the weight of his scrutiny. I’ve never been self-conscious about my body, but insecurity races through me. He’s the king. How many women has he had in his bed? If they’re anything like Lady Clayton, they’ve been the most beautiful women in the world. I tug on the restraints, wishing I could crawl beneath the sheets.

He drags a finger over his upper lip. “I’ve changed my mind.”

“What?” Mortification sends heat rushing into my face. Changed his mind? About me? About us? A knot clenches in my belly.

“I’ve always taken the lead in our lessons, but tonight, I’m giving you control.”

I slide my hands out of the restraints and sit up, clutching a pillow to cover my nudity, feeling vulnerable. “I don’t understand.”

“Take the reins, Everly.” He enunciates each word in his haughty British accent. “Show me how persuasive you can be. Make me want you.”

What I want is much more precious and infinitely more difficult to acquire. I want to own you. Inside and out.”


Well butter my biscuit, this was a sexy little page turner. If you’re looking for a guilty pleasure read that brings an intense thrill and a whole lot of deliciousness, look no further. I was immediately hooked on the connection between King Henry and Everly in The Royal Arrangement, and this brought the sinful conclusion.

The relationship between Everly and Henry is anything but ordinary. He’s a man that demands utmost control, and she’s a woman that’s fighting her every urge to give into his demands. Even though she’s almost a kept woman locked away in his tower in this book, she doesn’t take it lying down. Her spark and fire burns hot and I really appreciated that. Henry is as intense as ever, and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

I would have loved for the suspense element in this story to be better fleshed out. As it was, it felt a bit glossed over and overshadowed by the relationship dynamic. Granted, I didn’t mind that too much since I really loved the relationship dynamic, but I still couldn’t help but want a little more from the ending.

All in all, this was an addicting and sizzling read that I read in one sitting and I’m definitely a new fan of this author and will eagerly jump on all her future releases.

 

Jeana is a USA Today and Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author from Indiana. She gave up a career in the corporate world to write about sexy billionaires and alpha bad boys. With over twenty books and several awards beneath her belt, she’s never regretted her choice to live out her dream. She’s a free spirit, a wanderer at heart, and loves animals with a passion. When she’s not tripping over random objects, you’ll find her walking in the sunshine with her rambunctious dogs and dreaming about true love.

 

You can follow Jeana here:

Website:http://jeanaemann.net

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JeanaEMann

Twitter:https://www.twitter.com/JeanaEMann

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/JeanaEMann

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Jeana-E.-Mann/e/B00HI4KQB4/ref

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jeana-e-mann

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeana.e.mann/

Text Alerts: Text the word “Jeana” without quotations to 21000

 

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Review: Damage by Natasha Knight

COLLATERAL
Series: Collateral Damage #2
Genre: An Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance
Author:
Natasha Knight
Release Date:
October 15, 2019

We’re a match made in hell, Stefan and I.

He took me to exact his revenge. I went from being a pawn to my father to being a pawn to Stefan. The only difference is I have a ring the size of a boulder on my finger and a husband I don’t want.

And the hardest part is I thought he was different. I thought I was falling in love.

I guess my father was right. I’m not a very smart girl.

Stefan is a powerful man. He doesn’t play nice, not if you’re his enemy. But I’ve learned one thing about my husband.

He takes care of what’s his.

And I am his.

His enemies have become my enemies, but he’ll never let anyone hurt me. He’s fiercely protective. It’s the predator inside that scares me.

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It’s midnight when we’re back at the house and I carry her to my room. She doesn’t resist when I strip off her clothes, her underthings still damp, and put her in the shower under a flow of hot water. I strip too and step in beside her and there’s no resistance when I kiss her. When I take her in my arms and kiss her as the water washes sea salt from us.

She opens to me and I cup the back of her head. I don’t ever want to stop kissing her. Don’t ever want to stop holding her like this.

When the water begins to cool, I switch off the shower and dry her then myself before lifting her up and carrying her to my bed. I lay her down and lie down beside her, shifting so I’m on top of her but keeping most of my weight on my forearms so I don’t crush her.

I slide one hand down and cup the mound of her breast. I run my fingernail over her nipple, and she moans into my mouth. When I pull away, it’s to look at her.

She licks her lips, reaches up to touch my cheek, slides her hand down to my chest and sets it against my heart.

We don’t talk. We don’t say a single word. Not for a long while. We just kiss and kiss and look at each other. And I can’t get enough of touching her. Tasting her. Can’t get close enough to her.

“Christ, Gabriela,” I start. “I want you.” I roll off her and onto my side to slide my hand down over her belly.

She cups my cheek, touches her mouth to mine. “Kiss me again.”

I do.

But she is who she is. The devil’s daughter. And I just brokered my own deal. I’ve stolen her. And I’m not finished yet.

I’m pretty sure I almost had a damn heart attack after the cliffhanger in Collateral. I was absolutely hooked on the story and salivating for more. There was something so intense and addicting about this enemies to lovers romance. It was especially delicious considering how slow burn the romance was. Stefan and Gabriela burned up the pages together with their chemistry, and we didn’t even get a taste for the romance yet. So to say that I was anticipating the second and final book would be a mild understatement.

Damage starts off with a bang and is a non-stop, twisty, page turner full of dark secrets and betrayals. I was riveted to the pages and couldn’t wait to see how everything comes to a head. And let me tell you, people, there’s some real whoppers of twists in this one that had my head reeling. I love a good mafia romance, and this one spared no details on the dark underbelly of the world. I may have set the romance up too much in my head, because I was a little disappointed with how it concluded here. I just didn’t click with Gabi and Stafan here as much as I did in the first book. It seemed like they went from 0 to 60 in a turn of a page, and I had a hard time buying into it. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. But I think my own personal bias was at play here and I just set up my expectations too high. This was still one high-octane and sizzling read, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, Natasha Knight specializes in dark, tortured heroes. Happily-Ever-Afters are guaranteed, but she likes to put her characters through hell to get them there. She’s evil like that. 

Connect w/Natasha:

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Review: Goalie Interference by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

GOALIE INTERFERENCE
Series:
Hat Trick #2
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Release Date: September 30, 2019

It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

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Ryu was in love—head over skates in love—with his teammate. His competition.

If it’s enemies-to-lovers, color me all over it. This trope is my catnip, and when it’s a smokin’ hot MM and hockey romance to boot? Stick a fork in me, I’m done for.

The premise to the story is seriously finger licking good; two goalies after the coveted spot on the team. Emmitt is the rookie with everything to prove, and Ryu is the seasoned player fighting to keep his spot. Sound delicious? Because it was. What made it even more enticing was the fact that both characters were not white. In a white bread world of sports romance, this was such a refreshing change of pace of not just one but both of the characters adding diversity into the mix.

The rivalry between these two is almost as hot as the undercurrent of attraction that runs between them. But where Emmitt doesn’t hide the fact that he’s bi, no one knows that Ryu is gay, not even his parents. This was a sizzling slow burn that was a bit diluted by too much internal monologue at times, but I still loved it. I loved Emmitt’s vulnerable and playful side almost as much as I loved Ryu’s grumpy and temperamental one. Talk about your opposites attracting. And you know what they say about the quiet ones, right? Because when you finally get a peek into Ryu’s intensity in the bedroom, it makes you think twice about the man’s quiet and unassuming personality out of it.

I really enjoyed this and it was a solid 4 stars for me until the ending. It felt a bit abrupt and rushed and gave me none of the resolution I was hoping for. It was a satisfying HFN on the one hand, but I was desperately wishing for an epilogue too. I have a feeling we may be getting more of these two in the next book of this series, but I still couldn’t help but feel a little of my enjoyment fizzle. But that aside, this was still a fantastic and enjoyable read and I’m definitely hooked on the series.

Review: Jock Road by Sara Ney

JOCK ROAD
Series: Jock Hard #3
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: September 5, 2019

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Those are Jackson Jennings, Jr’s three mantras . His entire life, he’s been a trained athlete with only one end-game: the Pro’s. No girls. No parties. No alcohol.

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Repeat.

Every Friday night, Triple J cruises the strip on campus, bored, lonely and conditioned not to party. But the night he meets Charlotte Edmonds on the side of the road, he wonders if his three mantras will ever be enough.

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

Charlie has no time for Jackson’s antics. Not when he’s stealing her food or teases her to no end, making her tingle in all the right places. But if she’s ever going to have a boyfriend, she’d choose one who isn’t a Neanderthal. One with manners and actual time to spend with her. Not a hulking man-child who cruises the strip at night, in his Big. Dumb. Truck.

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She stands there, unmoving, letting the simple kiss simmer, tattooing my mouth forever with the imprint of hers.
It burns.
Singes.
Electrifies me.

This was So. Stinking. Cute.

Like seriously cute. With a splash of feels and Sara Ney’s signature humor to lighten things up.

Now cute isn’t typically my thing. I love my NA steamy and angsty. But there’s something about this book that just worked for me. Maybe it was the completely refreshing hero that was JJ. Here you have a handsome wide receiver that is top in his country and headed for the draft, and the man is basically the antithesis for the stereotypical college athlete in books. He’s the furthest thing from a player, completely focused on school and football, and the most endearing touch of awkward. I fell head over ovaries for his adorable brand of awkward right away. There’s just something about him that you can’t help but love and want to hug and protect at the same time.

The romance is definitely a slow burn and I LOVED the build up between JJ and Charlie. When JJ steals Charlie’s sandwich at lunch their antagonistic enemies with an undercurrent of sexual tension begins. I loved their hilarious meet cute and their other run ins. Charlie is a straight shooter that doesn’t mince words and she definitely gives it good to JJ. But when she comes to see that he’s not the stereotypical jock she thought him to be, a friendship forms that soon builds into something more.

I absolutely loved the build up of the romance. But when the build up had a deliciously slow pacing, it then took a turn and went breakneck speeds. Everything just wrapped up so quickly at the end that I couldn’t help but want more. There were some plot lines that felt slightly unfinished (like JJ’s family) but ultimately it was just the sudden shift from slow to such quick wrap up that played against it for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the heck out of this story and read it cover to cover in practically one sitting. If you’re looking for a sweet, lighthearted and sexy NA romance, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Review: Fortuna Sworn by KJ Sutton

FORTUNA SWORN
Series: Fortuna Sworn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Author: KJ Sutton
Release Date: July 1, 2019

We were meant to be seductive. We were designed to lure humans in.

Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.

Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him.

The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.

He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible.

So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.

It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.

 

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Nightmares may be lies, but we don’t have to be liars.”

Fortuna Sworn is book one of a new fantasy romance series by KJ Sutton. Right off the bat, I was intrigued by the blurb of this book.  Fortuna has been looking for her missing brother for two years so when she’s approached by a powerful faerie offering information about her brother in exchange for marriage, Fortuna went with him.

This book started off with a bang. Fortuna is a heroine with a really unique and scary power, and we are instantly treated to what she can do in the first chapter. I was intrigued and was instantly hooked especially when we meet Collith, the faerie king who seems to genuinely want to help her. It especially got interesting when Fortuna got to the Unseelie Court but this is also where pacing issues started to plague the book.

But aside from the pacing, I wasn’t too crazy about the drama and the fact that this could go into love triangle/love square territory. There isn’t one yet but the fact that there are 3 men vying for Fortuna’s attention, I could see it going that way. And while I don’t exactly hate it, I’m just over that trope. I’m tired of it because I would rather see other male characters be her friends and allies instead of her love interest?

It didn’t help that I disliked all three male lead characters at this point. I don’t know if this feeling will change in the next books but right now, I am somewhere between bored and actively hating all three of them. But this is just me being a hero-hater. I’ve seen other readers who’ve read this book loving and favoring one or two heroes vying for Fortuna’s attention.

That said, I enjoyed Fortuna’s trials immensely. It was, in my opinion, the best parts of the book because it showed readers her power and her potential to be a power player.

I won’t go into anymore details about the story but if you like faeries and faerie courts or love triangles, then I would recommend this book.

<i>Thanks to KJ Sutton for providing a copy of the book available for this review.</i>

 

Review: Good Guy by Kate Meader

GOOD GUY
Series: Rookie Rebels #1
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: July 30, 2019


He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow…

Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.

The woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.

Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart…

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he was head over skates for her.

I adored Kate’s Chicago Rebels books and was super bummed to see that series come to an end. It became my go-to when I wanted a fun and sexy hockey romance. So when I saw that she’s writing a spin-off series I jumped on it quicker than you can say “puck”. What? Too cheesy? Whatever. You get what I’m saying here, ok?! But whatever. I digress. My point here is I was uber excited for a brand new sports series from one of my favorite authors. Plus have you SEEN that book blurb? Talk about your book crack.

I just so happen to love the broody grumps. And just when I thought no grump could out grump Bren St. James from Hooked On You, in skates Levi Hunt. The man was the most endearing grump I’ve read in a while. The man is a retired veteran, a Green Beret with battle scars and a heart of gold. With his military career behind him, he’s now become hockey’s oldest rookie. And just when he thinks he’s finally got things together, a blast from his past blows it all out of the water.

Jordan is a sports reporter that’s working her tail off in order to prove that a woman is just as deserving of a coveted reporting spot as a man. So when she sees a chance to use her history with Levi as an in to get the chance she’s been waiting for in her career, she’s not above using it. Jordan also happens to be the widow of Levi’s service teammate and best friend. But worse than that she’s always been the woman he coveted from afar but never allowed himself to get. At first she was his buddy’s wife and then she was his widow, so she’s always been hands off.

Levi wasn’t hard to love. The man just tugs at every heart string you have. And the more you learn about his connection with Jordan and peel back the grumpy layers, the more you fall for him. Jordan, admittedly, was a little harder to love. While I love that the relationship with her husband was never diminished, I also struggled with seeing her as a widow. She loved her husband, yes, but I struggled to feel that connection to her. And yes, it’s been 5 years since the loss, but I just never felt that grieving for her. Perhaps that makes it easier to see her move on, but I wished that I got little more emotion from her. She seemed almost standoffish to me at times. And I get that she put her career on the backseat for her husband’s military career those years ago, she was almost a little too…hard…with her career aspirations here. She reminded me a little bit of Harper when it came to how hard she was in order to prove herself, but I just had a tough time connecting to her. She did ultimately win me over, but it did take some time.

If you’ve read the Rebels series, you’ll definitely appreciate all of the cameos in this book. And if you haven’t, I highly recommend you check it out.

Good Guy was a sweet romance that shined a spotlight on several issues like gender inequality in sports, which I really enjoyed. And though the story wasn’t my favorite of Kate’s, it definitely did the trick of hooking me on a new series.

Review: More Than Anything by Natasha Anders

BroMORE THAN ANYTHING
Series:
Broken Pieces #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Natasha Anders
Release Date: June 11, 2019

Two lovers strive to trade a grim past for a bright future in this story of bittersweet yearning.

Tina Jenson belongs to the same social stratum as Harris Chapman, but he’s out of her league—at least that’s what she thinks before they jump in bed together. It’s the perfect night, but when she overhears crude, hurtful comments the next morning, she can’t get away fast enough.

Ten years later, Tina’s life is a mess. That night with Harris didn’t just hurt her feelings; it started a cascade of disappointment and heartbreak. Every time she bumps into Harris, her heart twists inside out. She still wants him, but she’s harboring a painful secret from their night together that she’s not ready to reveal.

Crossed signals, high-society whispers, and shame have kept Tina and Harris apart for years, but deep down, they’re hungry for each other and eager to write their own rules. Can they let go of the past and find their way back to each other, or are the barriers between them too high and too strong?

AMAZON

Some pain was just too huge to be self-soothed away…

I have a general rule when it comes to Natasha Anders books; she writes them, I read them. The woman can write a grovel like no one’s business. And she’s the queen of creating these perfectly imperfect and broken characters that you can’t help but fall for.

The second I read the blurb for this book, I was foaming at the mouth to get my hands on it. But I have to admit that it was not quite what I had expected. I thought I was going to read about a devastating hurt, and then a delicious grovel. And while this book was definitely one of those things, it wasn’t exactly. Confused? I was too. But let me explain.

Harris Chapman has been a boy that young Tina always had a crush on and who was entirely out of her league. Tina is a girl that was a slave to her own self consciousness about her looks and weights, and the cruel words of her classmates didn’t always help. One night with the boy of her dreams suddenly ended in the biggest heartbreak of her life. But Harris is not the cruel guy she’s made him out to be all these years. In actuality, Harris is a sweet, down to earth type of man that’s spent over ten years trying to make things right with Tina while she spent them avoiding him.

And while I enjoyed the story, I struggled quite a bit with liking Tina. To be perfectly frank, I never really warmed up to her. This is a woman that’s spent ten years in a spiral over something that could have been fixed over letting Harris have a second of her time and a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, this is a woman with some deep rooted pain and it’s no little thing. But I also wanted her to get her life together and finally shake herself out of her neurosis. She’s so scatterbrained and flighty, that it took almost the entirety of the book for me to connect to her. I felt for her, I really did. But I also wanted to shake her throughout most of the story.

Harris is so sweet and patient with her. He tries so hard, only to be shut down time and time again.

Now here’s the thing, though, while I struggled to connect with Tina, I still found myself enjoying the book. There’s a somewhat of a secondary plot that gets unraveled here with Harris’s twin brother and Tina’s best friend that I was dang near rabid to get more on. I loved the cute small town setting and the crossover with some of the previous characters we got in Natasha’s Alpha Men series. And even though Tina frustrated me, I still couldn’t put the book down and read it in practically one sitting. Was it my favorite story, probably not. But it sure set the stage for the next book and it did ultimately wrap up quite sweetly and made me finally see Tina in a different light.

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: Fearless King by Maya Hughes

FEARLESS KING
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse  #4
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: May 30, 2019

My first crush. My first heartbreak. My brother’s best friend.

The butterflies in my stomach turned into full blown eagles the second our lips touched. A kiss under the stars that changed our relationship forever.

After a lifetime of wishing, I stared up into Ford’s eyes with his fingers caressing my cheek and my heart racing.

The evening ended with my heart bleeding on the ballroom floor.

He destroyed my heart two years ago…but now he wants back in my life.

This time I won’t fall under his spell. I’ll resist his sexy, scruffy beard, and panty-melting smirk.

I thought I was over him. Hell, I fully planned to wave to him through my rearview mirror…but with one text, in the middle of the night, I know I’m in over my head.

Ford: I need you.

AMAZON

Olivia was everything I wanted and everything I should’ve never dared to hope I’d have.

I’m a sucker for a good older brother’s best friend trope. Add into this a sexy hockey player that you can’t help but love and a strong heroine that you can’t help but relate to, and you’ve got yourself one delicious recipe for an enjoyable romance.

Fearless King is the story of Ford, the King’s goalie, and Olivia, his best friend’s younger sister. It’s very much a character driven story with plenty of angst and a touch of a forbidden romance to boot.

While this book is technically a standalone, I still feel like I came in with a big disadvantage having only read the previous book in this series. There’s a lot of character driven story arcs that seems to cross over throughout the series that I felt may have helped to tether me a little more to the story. As it was, I couldn’t help but feel like I was coming into this story halfway through. The true enormity of the stinted relationship he now has with Olivia’s older brother and his best friend unravels in pieces throughout the book.

The romance is very much a slow burn, and while I normally love that, it was a little too slow for me here. I wanted more romance. I felt like all the elements keeping Olivia and Ford apart began to almost overshadow the romance of the story.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoyed the story. But I also couldn’t help but feel immensely frustrated by some of the things revolving around both Olivia and Ford’s siblings. I really hated Colm, Olivia’s brother, and his antagonistic behavior throughout the entire book. I wanted to shake him he made me so mad at times. But it also made me that much more rabid for his book which we’re getting next.

This was a wonderful read even though it wasn’t my favorite book of Maya’s, but considering I’ve loved the others I’ve read of hers, that’s not exactly a criticism. This is entirely subjective and definitely more of me than the book since it played against a few of my personal biases. I still really enjoyed the story of Ford and Olivia and I definitely can’t wait for the last book in this series.

Review: Then Came You by Kate Meader

THEN CAME YOU
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Laws of Attraction #3
Author: Kate Meader
Release Date: May 7, 2019

In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammie, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

AMAZON

Pain is supposed to make you stronger, some idiot said. Love, too. With Aubrey, I feel nothing but fear and weakness, desire and longing. When do I reach the part about becoming a better person?

I adore all things Kate Meader, and the second I got a look at the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it! It sounded like it would be a great combination of feels, angst and steam, and boy was it!

Aubrey gates is a successful divorce attorney, Boston blue blood society bred yet totally down to earth sort of woman. She’s sharp witted and strong…or at least on the surface. Below the sharply dressed exterior, the woman is still trying to pick up all of her shattered pieces.

Grant is a good ole’ souther boy with the manners and slow drawl to match. He’s Aubrey exact opposite. The boy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks to her high society. The man that never quite belonged in her family. The sweet to her edgy. Her ex husband and the only man that’s capable of finally shattering the walls that Aubrey has built around her heart in one holiday road trip to visit her family.

I loved the premise of the story, but admittedly, I just didn’t feel like the root of the story was a full novel size. And while I really loved the chemistry between them, I struggled understanding the quick turnaround considering all their emotional issues. Grant tries so hard to get Aubrey to talk about their problems. And Aubrey is just as determined to leave it buried. This ultimately began to get extremely frustrating for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understood her issues and they why’s behind it, I really do. But I also struggled to connect to her stonewalling of a man that’s as incredible as Grant.

Ultimately, the kind of issue they had between them, didn’t seem like it was one that could have been resolved as quickly as it did considering their time apart, hence my saying the book could have worked better as a novella. I think some of the sexy times (and they WERE sexy) served more to keep the book going rather than drive the plot forward, if that makes sense.

Grant was absolute perfection and made the book for me. I adored him so much. And considering my gravitation towards alphaholes in books, that’s saying something. He was the ultimate nice guy and I loved him for it.

I really enjoyed Then Came You and loved Grant and Aubrey’s HEA, but it just didn’t pack as much of a punch for me as much as Kate’s book usually do. Do I think most would really enjoy this one? Absolutely! There’s plenty to love about this romance. It just didn’t check every box for this particularly picky reader.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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