Review: Reclaiming Izabel by Victoria Paige

RECLAIMING IZABEL
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Special Forces: Operation Alpha
Author: Victoria Paige
Release Date: November 13, 2018

Three years ago Izabel Maddox lost the love of her life.
Not long after, a cruel twist of fate ripped away the last part she had of him.
Grief and devastating loss almost broke her, but she survived.
Focusing on building her childhood dream was her lifeline.
But just when she thought her heart could move on, her past came barreling back, making her question if the struggles of the past were all for nothing.

Three years ago Drake Maddox made the toughest decision of his life.
To protect his wife and avenge his brothers, the Navy SEAL faked his death.
Injuries and the loss of his team marked his soul, but it was losing Izabel and their unborn child that nearly broke him.
Focusing all his time and skills on finding the enemy was his lifeline.
Returning to his wife had always been his dream, but reclaiming Izabel might prove to be his ultimate nightmare.
Because his wife may never forgive him for betraying their vows.

AMAZON

Three years … I fought my way back to you, Izabel, but I’m drowning here. I want my wife back.”

The second I read the blurb to this book, I was all over it. And I mean ALL over it. It reminded me of one of my favorite books with a similar situation, Wild Card by Lora Leigh. A wife that believes her military husband dead until he comes back to reclaim her three years later. YES, PLEASE!

This had several delicious elements that I absolutely love in my books; an OTT alpha that loves and loves hard being the main one. I love me a good alpha, and Drake was one hot alpha. This is a man that’s utterly obsessed and devoted to his wife. When a mission gone wrong forces him to fake his own death and let his wife believe it too, it completely breaks him. Coming back to her is the only thing that drives him during the three years it takes to complete the mission. And when he comes back to a shell shocked Izabel, he’s not beyond groveling to get back into her heart.

I really enjoyed the book and the story. The characters were great and I was completely invested. The only thing that kept me from rating a little higher was the slight detachment I couldn’t help but feel in the writing. It was such a strange combination to be invested in the characters but at the same time feeling like I’m being told about them rather than experiencing them. There was this choppiness to the story telling that made it slightly cold.

On the flip side, I loved the set up and Drake so much that it was pretty easy to look past that particular quibble. I love that Izabel really made him work for it. And I loved even more seeing this tough as nails alpha male turn to absolutely putty for his beloved wife.

The added element of suspense was great but I also couldn’t help but wish for a little more. It wrapped up pretty quickly and felt somewhat sudden. I wished it was more fleshed out.

As a whole, I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it for fans of romantic suspense and intense alpha males. This was my first book from this author but definitely won’t be my last!

Review: In The Land of Gods and Monsters by Carmen Jenner

In the Land of Gods and Monsters
Series: Gods and Monsters #1
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: November 20, 2018
In the land of Gods and Monsters, she was a toy.
A plaything.
A pet.
His pet.
Taken, stolen, beaten, used.
Pet remembers nothing before his touch, and afterward, she craves nothing more.
Sinful and merciless, Ares is her God now.
He alone says when to beg, when to come, and when to kneel, but he never said anything about
leaving.
99c for a limited time!!

Ares leads me into the darkness, and I have no choice but to follow blindly.

The second I saw the blurb for this book, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my grabby little hands on it. If I know one thing from my love affair with Carmen Jenner’s other books, the woman knows how to write some dark and gritty stuff. And this reader is RAVENOUS for it!

Now, I feel it fair to warn you that this book is most definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s not just dark, it’s DARK. It skates right past the edge of black and white and right into the gray void of human depravity.

Told in dual POVs, it throws you right into the deep end of the dark waters where pain and pleasure blur, and consent is not a thing that comes to mind. A famous ballerina, her career is all she cares about…until the night she’s taken and her identity is stripped from her along with her memory. She’s left stripped down to her basest urges and questioning everything she thinks she knows. Her captor is a violently captivating enigma. He’s not gentle or nice, but somewhere in the pits of his darkness we get a glimpse into someone else. But it never quite comes out. He’s the master and she’s the pet and their “relationship” is violence and sex.

One day, I’ll escape. I’ll be free, but my freedom will come at a price—Ares’ life. It seems a worthy exchange. After all, he stole my life. It’s only fair that I should take his.

I loved the first 40% of the book. I was at the edge of my seat and a ball of anxiety, both eager and terrified to turn the page. But then somewhere along the line, all of the punishments and sex scenes began to blur into each other. I felt like a good half of them could have been removed, and the story wouldn’t have suffered without them. I wanted more development on the story and the characters, and while that was definitely still there, I couldn’t help wanting more. I’m positive the next installment will ultimately bring the answers and more development, so I can’t wait for that. This installment felt a little stretched out, more so than necessary. It begins strong and ends with a bang. But the parts in the middle felt somewhat unnecessary. There were parts that were shocking, almost too much so. But you have to know to expect that. This felt more like dark erotica than romance, but there’s an undercurrent of something more. Something I’m sure we’ll get in the next book.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner in my wait for book two.

Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan

BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN
Series: Devil’s Rock #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: October 30, 2018

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Remembering him was easy. Forgetting less so.

I’ve been dying for Cruz’s book ever since I read Beautiful Lawman. There’s just something so deliciously angsty about a man that spends years in prison for a crime he didn’t come back only to come back to the small town in which he’s always been the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Then the heroine is the cousin of the woman he was accused of murdering. Sign. Me. Up.

Admittedly Gabriella took a while for me to warm up to. She’s not my particular cuppa when it comes to heroines. She has deep rooted insecurities that date back to her high school years that even as an adult she hasn’t been able to kick. She allows everyone to walk all over her, ranging from her sister, to her a-hole ex and current boss, to the random mean girls from her high school days that still act like they’re sixteen. This wore on me at times.

But then somewhere around halfway through the book things took a turn for the better. Gabriella began to grow a spine and truly come into her own. She began to see her own appeal and not seek validation in any compliment thrown her way by Cruz.

Now Cruz.
*pervy sigh*
This man made the book for me.

So you have to realize that I’m going to ruin you for any other man. When we fuck, Rossi, it’s going to feel like the thing you need most in your life. Forget about food and water. Me. Between your legs. You’re going to need it like air to survive.

He was a sinful combination of intense, broody, and vulnerable. I absolutely adored him. My heart broke for what he endured to spare his sister and what he continues to endure in the small minded town he lives in. I loved his singleminded intent when it came to Gabriella. I also really enjoyed their connection that dates back to high school and a certain mysterious encounter.


He was the dream she never forgot.

The romance between them was a slow burn and perfectly paced. I really enjoyed watching Gabriella finally grow into a woman that can stand up for herself. And I especially loved the way she stood up for Cruz even when others didn’t. There was something almost childishly innocent about her, and yet it worked for me.

And while the romance was a slow burn, the story certainly wasn’t. I enjoyed the pacing and the way things unraveled even if I did find there to be a tad too much small town drama at times. Between the sister, the sister’s ex, the mean girls from high school, Gabriella’s self esteem issues, Cruz’s reputation, and everything with Gabriella’s boss, I couldn’t help but feel all of it wasn’t necessary. But it also didn’t bother me to take away from the story, so I can’t complain too much. Though I think the story would have still been solid enough with just half of those things.

Beautiful Sinner was a delicious slow burn romance of second chances and love against all odds. If you enjoy a good convict romance, this one will fit the bill quite nicely.


THE SERIES

ALL CHAINED UP | HELL BREAKS LOOSE | FURY ON FIRE | BEAUTIFUL LAWMAN

 

Review: One To Keep by Lexi Blake

ONE TO KEEP
Series: Nights In Bliss #3
Genre: BDSM Romance, Romantic Suspense
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Re-released in a second edition with new content.

Stefan Talbot likes order and control. He approaches his life with the same meticulous precision that he uses to put paint on his canvas. Nothing good comes from chaos, and that is why he has refused to allow himself to get close to Jennifer Waters. They are like fire and ice. Though she is younger, her talent as an artist is unquestionable. But she lives her life like she paints—with wild, passionate abandon. It is intoxicating and terrifying, and he can’t get her out of his head.

Jennifer ran from Bliss to put Stef behind her. She had come to the mountain town seeking a mentor but found much more than she bargained for. Cool and distant, Stef was like a marble statue and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t break through his shell. She moved to Dallas to start over, but nothing is going as planned. When the art gallery where she works is robbed and a precious painting is stolen, Jen is accused of the theft. Jen is thrilled when her bail is met, until she realizes her savior is Stef and he has a few conditions. First and foremost, she has to return to Bliss.

Against the backdrop of the Winter Festival, Stef and Jen’s attraction catches fire. But the dark forces behind the robbery in Dallas have followed Jen home. A criminal syndicate believes she still has the stolen painting and they’ll kill to get their hands on it.

AMAZON

Kiss me, love.”

After the delicious push and pull between Stefan and Jennifer in the last two books, I was absolutely dying to get my grabby little hands on their book. But I was also hoping for two things from this book; a grovel from Stefan, and for Jennifer to grow a little more. Jennifer has always been incredibly open in her desire for Stefan, that at times I almost felt like she made it too easy for him.

And while I did spend a large chunk of this book wanting to punch Stefan in the eye and shake him until he sees reason, I’m happy to report that I absolutely LOVED Jennifer.

These are both incredibly multi-layered characters. But while Jennifer doesn’t let her past dictate her future, Stefan uses his as a crutch and his answer of why he can never be with Jennifer. Considering he spends the entire book thinking that her age makes her not know her own mind because of the demons of his past, it was an exercise in frustration to say the least. And while a part of me gets it, another part of me wanted to slap him. Continuously.

There’s a suspense plot that runs parallel to the romance that adds a much needed edge and entertainment factor. With the Russian mafia after Jennifer for a painting that may be in her possession, there’s a character that’s introduced that I absolutely fell in love with. Alexei Markov, with his gentle soul, violent past and broken english absolutely stole my heart. I cannot wait for his book. The set up is AMAZING!

As for this book, while I did spend a good part of it frustrated with Stefan’s inability to see reason, I still enjoyed it. Admittedly, I was kind of expecting an uber Dom with him, but what I got was slightly different. I can’t say I’m complaining, though. This is a man that’s not perfect, has faults, and is not afraid to admit to them by the end. I did wish he groveled a bit more, but I was still satisfied with how things wrapped up. Jennifer was the perfect balance. I appreciated her strength and her will to fight for him even when he gave her every reason not to.

All in all, another wonderful addition to the series and as always, I can’t wait for more!

Review & Giveaway: Cooper’s Charm by Lori Foster

COOPER’S CHARM
Series: Love at the Resort #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lori Foster
Release Date: July 31, 2018

One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | GOOGLE PLAY

He’d started by wanting to help her, and instead, she’d helped him without even knowing it. She’d brought him back from the dead.

This was such a wonderfully charming, feel-good romance and quintessential beach read, Cooper’s Charm is a definite winner. You get two romances for the price of one here; with both Rose sisters finding their individual roads to a HEA.

Phoenix Rose has come to Cooper’s Charm a shell of a woman she once was. After an armed robbery and assault leaves her a shattered, she comes to this charming little lakeside resort to find herself again. The last thing she expects is to find herself falling for the resort’s broody owner. Cooper is reeling from a loss of his own. But the more he gets to know Phoenix, the more he realizes that he didn’t lose his heart.

Following her sister to make sure she’s ok, Ridley is dealing with issues of her own. After a bitter divorce leaves her cynical but filthy rich, she’s not looking to find a meaningful relationship, but she’s not opposed to some hot sex. Little does she know that she’ll find something much more with the local sexy Scuba Instructor.

The two relationships develop in interchanging POVs; you get Phoenix, Cooper, Ridley, and Baxter. There’s also a small suspense subplot that’s added in. This was a sweet contemporary romance that could have held quite strongly on its own. I really didn’t feel the suspense piece add much to the story, at least not for me. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I definitely did. It was a cute and steamy read that delivered on two highly satisfying HEAs. If you’re looking for a light-hearted and sweet romance that’s low on angst but with plenty of charm, you can’t go wrong with this one.

LORI FOSTER is a New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, and most recently Harlequin. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her website at www.lorifoster.com.

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Blog Tour: Dirty Sexy Player by Laurelin Paige

 

DIRTY SEXY PLAYER
Series: Dirty Games Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Laurelin Paige
Cover Designer: Laurelin Paige & Tom Barnes
Release Date: July 23, 2018

A New Duet in the Dirty Filthy Universe from NYT Bestselling Author, Laurelin Paige.

Weston King knows how to play. But wild nights and owning an extensive collection of women’s panties don’t carry the thrill they once did, so when his business partner Donovan suggests an outrageous plan to allow them to take over their competition, Wes takes him up on the offer. The crazy idea? Marry the competitor.

Elizabeth Dyson, the bride-to-be in question, is on board with the plan. She wants access to her trust fund and can only get it once she marries. Each has something the other wants – all they have to do is pretend to like each other well enough to tie the knot.

Only trouble is, playing fiancé to Elizabeth isn’t quite that simple. Wes finds her sexy and brilliant…and soon wishes their engagement wasn’t fake at all. Not that he’d ever tell her that.

But a lover boy like Wes can only stand an empty bed for so long…and even the best of players has to put down his cards eventually.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N | GOOGLE PLAY | AUDIO

I looked at the windows past him, trying to distract myself. Lights flashed and swirled around the dance floor in time to the beat, the only part of the music which made it into the sanctuary of the bubble room. I could tell it was crowded, but I couldn’t make out faces the way they could probably make out ours. “I don’t know if anyone’s looking,” I said.

“Don’t worry about them. Just focus on what you’re doing.”

Easy for him to say. He wasn’t facing them. He was only looking at me.

Nope. I couldn’t think about that either. Just had to focus on the task at hand.

I closed my eyes. “So just pretend that I… That we are… That under my dress…” I couldn’t even say it.

Weston leaned forward and murmured near my ear. “Yes, pretend that under your dress you are not wearing any panties. I have my dick out. I’m working you, and you are showing me exactly how you like it. Now go.”

Just like that, my panties were damp.

I didn’t know if he was saying those things to loosen me up or to get a rise out of me, either was possible.

Whatever his intent, it did the trick. He set the scene. I felt my face flush like the women in the videos as I imagined him rubbing his crown against my slit before nudging his tip inside and then burying himself to the hilt.

I opened my mouth in a silent gasp, acting out how I was sure it would feel. Good. It would feel so good.

This was so…weird. So hot and sexy and arousing and weird.

I wondered if he was feeling it too, feeling turned on, or if it was just me. It wasn’t like I could ask though, and knowing probably wouldn’t help my performance anyway.

So I concentrated on me. Focused on the task.

“Do I move or something?” I bucked my hips forward and felt the friction against my crotch as it rubbed the fly of his pants.

Mmm.

“Yeah,” he said breathlessly. “That’s good. That motion. Just like that.”

“Okay. Okay.” I rocked against him again, and again, my hips tilting back and forth, my clit brushing against his fly. Every time, stroking and kindling a fire in a fireplace I hadn’t had cleaned for some time. I spread my thighs a little wider and braced my knees against the bench so I could swing my pelvis all the way forward, in and out, in and…

Oh.

I froze. “Is that—?” But I didn’t have to ask. There was most definitely a fat, thick ridge pressed against the crotch panel of my panties. I guess that answered the question of whether he was feeling it too.

My eyes flew open. “Oh my God!”

“Look,” he said, ready to defend himself. “There’s an extremely attractive woman sitting on my lap. I cannot help what happens to my cock. It has a mind of its own.”

A really big mind of its own.


READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE

 

 

With over 1.5 million books sold world wide, Laurelin Paige is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author. She is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. She is represented by Rebecca Friedman.

 

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Review: Dirty Sexy Player by Laurelin Paige

DIRTY SEXY PLAYER
Series: Dirty Games Duet #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Laurelin Paige
Release Date: July 23, 2018

A New Duet in the Dirty Filthy Universe from NYT Bestselling Author, Laurelin Paige.

Weston King knows how to play. But wild nights and owning an extensive collection of women’s panties don’t carry the thrill they once did, so when his business partner Donovan suggests an outrageous plan to allow them to take over their competition, Wes takes him up on the offer. The crazy idea? Marry the competitor.

Elizabeth Dyson, the bride-to-be in question, is on board with the plan. She wants access to her trust fund and can only get it once she marries. Each has something the other wants – all they have to do is pretend to like each other well enough to tie the knot.

Only trouble is, playing fiancé to Elizabeth isn’t quite that simple. Wes finds her sexy and brilliant…and soon wishes their engagement wasn’t fake at all. Not that he’d ever tell her that.

But a lover boy like Wes can only stand an empty bed for so long…and even the best of players has to put down his cards eventually.

AMAZON

Something in that indifferent stare of hers made me want to eat her up. Tear her apart. Find her heart and see what made it beat faster.

Weston King initially got my attention in Dirty Filthy Rich Men, by the time I got to Dirty Filthy Rich Love I was desperate for his book. I’m a sucker for an enemies to lovers trope. Add a marriage of convenience into that mix and I’m putty in your hands. Putty, I tells ya!

Weston was my favorite sort of bad boy; irreverent, cocky, and sexier than sin. If you’ve read the Dirty Duet, then you already know a good chunk of this story. But what you don’t know, is the nitty gritty details of this deliciously sexy set up between Weston and Elizabeth.

He kissed the way he fought—mean and hot, bordering on explosive.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Elizabeth because I wasn’t a huge fan of her in the previous book. But getting to be inside her head in this one definitely helped to endear her to me. She’s still not my favorite heroine of this author, but she did manage to grow on me. She’s one tough broad, and even if I found her to be a touch abrasive at times, I appreciated her backbone and ambition.

The push and pull between her and Weston was like being on a rollercoaster. These two spend a good chunk of the book fighting with each other, then fighting to rip the clothes of each other, and then back to fighting. They were so hot and cold, it made me want to drink or rip my hair out. But I also gobbled it right up. I love me some battle of wills with a heavy undercurrent of sexual tension, and these two had it in spades.

To be quite honest, this book was a solid 4 stars, if not higher for me. But then I got to the end and one small plot device managed to kick me a bit off of my book high. Now this may work for a large chunk of readers, but for this reader? I didn’t care for it. But I do have faith that the amazing talent that is Laurelin Paige just may make me change my mind with book 2. Perhaps this will serve a bigger purpose or drive the plot forward. But as far as this book goes, it simply didn’t work for me. I was very bummed because I was enjoying it immensely up until that point and then it kind of hit a brick wall. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked the book, but I could have done without that one particular twist.

Will I read the next book? Abso-freaking-lutely! I’m beyond invested in this couple and can’t wait to see how it all concludes.


PRE-ORDER 

DIRTY SEXY GAMESRelease Date: November 12, 2018

Review: Church. by Stylo Fantome

CHURCH.
Series: Church #1
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Author: Stylo Fantome
Release Date: July 20, 2018

A broken girl.

An unusual boy.

A beautiful face that hides a dark secret and an ugly past.

Sealed lips which hide wicked words and dangerous thoughts.

She would kill for him to love her.

He just wants to kill.

Maybe, if Emma Hartley prays hard enough, Church Logan can make both their wishes come true.

Fuse, meet match.

warning: if you have triggers – this story will touch on a lot of them. This book is a psychological thriller, 65,000+ words.


AMAZON

Maybe this whole time, I should’ve been looking for someone as fucked up as me. Maybe two broken pieces can be glued together to make a whole.

Holy hell. I mean holy hell! These might be the most fucked up characters I’ve read in a long while. Or ever. I’m still trying to figure out how I felt about them. But what I do know? Is days after finishing, I’m still thinking about it. And that certainly stands for something.

First of all, this is a psychological thriller. So if you’re going into this expecting a dark romance with an anti-hero that you’ll love to hate but still has some redeeming qualities and it’ll be sunshine and unicorns shitting rainbows at the end? Well, my friend, I’d check your delicate sensibilities at the door and forget about it. You won’t be finding it here.

What you will find are characters that are definitely missing their moral compass. As a matter of fact, they don’t even know what a moral compass is.

He’s magic. He’s the devil. He’s inside me now, in my blood, in my brain. Why isn’t he always talking to me? Why isn’t he always looking at me? Why aren’t we together right now? He’s it. He’s my moment that I’ve been waiting for. He’s the greatness I’ve been missing.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot or the characters, because I don’t want to ruin the suspense of it. And let me tell you, this book is full of it. It’s twisted and full of twists with an undercurrent of something so dark, you’re almost afraid to name it. It’s like Charles Manson meet Natural Born Killers sort of twisted.

Church was an enigma that I wanted to peel the layers off until I got to the very twisted core of him and knew all of his secrets. This is a character unlike any I’ve ever read if I’m being perfectly honest. And I flip flopped between being intrigued by him and being seriously disturbed…and then back to intrigued. This book fucked with my damn head. Which certainly speaks to the author’s talent for creating characters that will do that.

So why a lower rating? As much as I was intrigued by these characters, I also struggled to connect with them. I can’t even put my finger on what it was exactly, but something kept me from being truly invested in them. But even with that, I couldn’t stop myself from reading, and that definitely says something. With this being the first book in what I’m assuming will be a duet, perhaps that additional foundation will come a bit later, and this was just setting the scene and throwing the hook before the reader is reeled in. I fully reserve the right to change my rating once I see how it all concludes. But for now, I’ll tell you that it’s one hell of a unique story unlike any I’ve read before. If you’re looking for something dark and twisted, this is definitely that.

Geri’s Review: Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone

SCORING THE PLAYER’S BABY
Series: WAGS #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Naima Simone
Release Date: July 9th 2018

 

After a divorce from her cheating football player ex, PR whiz Kim Matlock would rather drive a pine tree through her walled-off heart than work at the Seattle Wedding Expo.

And the last thing she expects is to be grabbed and kissed breathless by a hot giant of a man looking to fend off a stalker.

She doesn’t want emotional entanglements, but she can’t say no to one scorching night with the sexy stranger.

To her shock, she finds out afterward that a) he’s a pro football player, aka her kryptonite, and b) she’s pregnant.

But nothing could have prepared her for his response…

 

AMAZON

I’ll give you whatever you ask for. Use me in any way you need to erase those shadows in your eyes.”

One of the things that I really like about Naima Simone’s books are her characters. She writes hot-as-sin heroes and gorgeous, accomplished heroines. Scoring the Player’s Baby is no different. It’s a fun, sexy read with a lot of heart.

Ronin Palamo is living a life most men could only dream of. He’s playing for a championship caliber team and he doesn’t lack female companionship. He has it all. But it doesn’t take long for readers to notice that Ronin is hiding a deep wound. One that makes him wary of love and relationship. He doesn’t want it or need it. Or so he thought.

His resolve was tested when he meets Kim Matloc. Like Ronin, Kim is hiding wounds of her own. She was cheated on by her ex-husband who also happens to be a football player. She also issues with her birth father who basically abandoned her and her mother as a child. This makes Kim not trust men in general. She armored herself so no one could ever hurt her again.

I liked Ronin a lot, but I LOVED Kim even more. She’s a successful woman who is constantly underestimated by people. Except for her half-brother, Kim has been hurt by the men in her life and I did not blame her a bit for disbelieving Ronin.

It took me awhile to warm up to Ronin. This is mostly due to personal preference. While I enjoy sexy, gregarious heroes, I don’t really gravitate to them all that much. I prefer a grumpier type hero and Ronin is the exact opposite of that. He’s full of personality which can be overwhelming at times. It was when he shows his vulnerable side that he shines as a character. I also didn’t really like the constant reference to ‘being a pussy’ or the ‘man card’ in his POV. It was very distracting.

Despite those things, I enjoyed the banter between Kim and Ronin. I liked how they resolved their issues, and the grand gesture towards the end was really cute. Although, I must say that Ronin’s come-to-Jesus moment felt a bit rushed considering he seemed hung up on his dead ex-girlfriend. The epilogue, however, leaves little doubt in your mind as to Ronin’s devotion to Kim.

Overall, Scoring the Player’s Baby scored a 100 on the hotness scale. If you’ve enjoyed Naima Simone’s books before, you will find plenty of things to enjoy here.

Review: Stripped by Tara Wyatt

STRIPPED
Series: Blue HEAT #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Wyatt
Release Date: May 15, 2018

Detective Sawyer Matthews isn’t just having a bad day—he’s having the worst day. His hunt for the criminal who killed his team member has stalled and now… he’s got to play nice with his new, totally unwanted partner. It’s not that she isn’t qualified, or that he doesn’t like her—it’s because he knows what she looks like naked. So very, very naked.

Brooke Simmons finally landed her dream job working for H.E.A.T, an elite undercover detective squad, and she’s not giving up simply because she had a one-night-stand with her sullen—but undeniably sexy—new partner. They’ll just have to keep it professional. Easier said than done, considering their first case requires Sawyer to infiltrate a drug cartel operating out of a male strip show. Watching him do his best Magic Mike impression every night isn’t just hot—it’s torture.

Sawyer doesn’t need any distractions, yet his attraction to Brooke is explosive and he can’t resist going for round two. Or three. Or four. But as their investigation progresses and danger mounts, they’ll have to put their jobs, hearts, and lives on the line to fight… for each other, for survival, and for justice.

AMAZON

When a hot one night stand turns out to be your new partner for an elite crimefighting unit you’ve been waiting to get a spot on for your entire career? Awwwwwwwkward.

When a very bad date sends Brooke to lick her wounds at a local bar, she doesn’t expect to pass her night with a man that makes her stop thinking about everything. But she certainly doesn’t expect for this man to turn out to be her brand new partner at HEAT, and less than thrilled to see her again. After losing his best friend and partner on duty, Sawyer Matthews’s entire world becomes revenge and catching the criminal responsible for it. Being forced to work with another partner is bad enough, but when it’s a woman he’s fighting an undeniable attraction to? It’s even worse.

Now I’ll be honest, the whole undercover male stripper totally sold me. But this book was so much more than that. As a matter of fact, it was barely a blip on the radar of the entire story. So if you’re planning on reading it hoping it’ll be a whole lot of male stripper action a la Magic Mike, think again. I’m also admittedly not a fan of the MCs having sex so early in the book because often times I find I lose interest in their connection. Luckily that never happened here. There was enough of a slow burn following their initial hookup that kept me fully invested. Even though I wanted to kick Sawyer in the balls a whole lot of times. The man gives brooding and hardheaded a new meaning.

I enjoyed the secondary characters and the suspense part of the story. If I’m being truthful, that kept me more engaged than the romance for the majority of the book. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Brooke and Sawyer together. But I also couldn’t help but feeling like something was missing for me that I couldn’t quite get my finger on.

Blue HEAT was definitely an exciting start to what looks to be a promising new series, and I for one am hooked. I’ll be on the lookout for book two, and also eagerly anticipating the book for a certain character that had the best hook for ever at the end of this book. I won’t spoiler it for you, but I will say I’m pretty much salivating for his story.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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