Review: Playing Hard To Get by Monica Murphy

PLAYING HARD TO GET
Author: Monica Murphy
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2022

Knox Maguire is the king of our college campus.

Star offensive tight end on the football team.

He is the complete opposite of me in every way.

I’m quiet. He’s loud.

I’m shy. He’s definitely not.

Everyone loves him. No one knows me.

Fresh out of a breakup, I don’t really trust him, and why should I? Knox is the ultimate player. When I become his English tutor, I tell myself we need to keep things between us strictly business. Watching my mother deal with my ex-athlete father long, long ago taught me to stay far away from that type of man.

Yet Knox is impossible to resist. Next thing I know, we’re getting hot and heavy in the library—and that was never part of the plan. When Knox admits he can’t stop thinking about me, I have a realization.

I can’t stop thinking about him either.

Instead of keeping my distance, I pull him in closer. Until somehow, we’re spending all of our time together and I find myself falling for Knox. Hard.

Will this actually work between us? Or am I getting played?

AMAZON

You are my end goal, Jo Jo.”

My whole heart right now. It’s been a minute since I read a good college sports romance, and man did this deliver on all fronts.

I love when authors interconnect their characters throughout their books. And if you all loved Drew and Fable from One Week Girlfriend and recall Fable’s brother Owen in Four Years Later, prepare to meet his son Knox Maguire in this one. Knox is the football team’s tight end well on his way to the NFL. Knox has a packed schedule and a class in which he knows he’s going to struggle is the last thing he needs. He needs to focus, so what’s a man to do? Swear off women and go celibate of course. But you know what they say about no good dead…

Enter Joanna Sutton, the quiet studious girl who just got out of a three year relationship with a heartbreak she’s not yet over. She doesn’t like to be the center of attention and she doesn’t like jocks who draw all attention to them. So the ridiculously handsome Knox is the last man she should be spending time with. But when Knox hires her as his tutor following the most adorable meet cute at the book store she works in, sparks fly.

This was such a sweet romance, packed full of emotion and with a splash of steam. Knox is a reformed manwhore who is a total cinnamon role. And while that’s not usually my thing, it just worked for me here. The way he pursued Joanna and the easy camaraderie between them just did it for me. He’s not used to women turning him down, yet that’s what Jo seems to do at every turn. She’s not impressed with his rep and unwittingly forces him to chase her. I loved their banter and their instant chemistry and slow burn romance.

This was a one sitting read that I enjoyed from start to finish and I can’t wait for more in this series. Hopefully we get Knox’s sister’s book next. I do love me the brother’s best friend trope.

 

Monica Murphy is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling romance author. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Both a traditionally published and independently published author, she writes young adult, new adult and contemporary romance.

A native Californian, she lives on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere with her husband, son, their goofy dog, and three cats. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Or reading. Or binge watching something.

 

Connect with Monica

Website | Goodreads  | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Pinterest | Verve Romance | Tik Tok 

 


 

Review: Promises We Meant to Keep by Monica Murphy

PROMISES WE MEANT TO KEEP
Author: Monica Murphy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2022

Spencer Donato.

My brother’s best friend.

My dirty little secret.

We fell for each other at Lancaster Prep. Sneaking around. Not wanting anyone to find out. He was my first love, my protector, my knight in shining armor. We were made for each other, and I truly believed he was my forever.

But then I did the unthinkable, and betrayed him in the worst possible way. I thought I lost him for good…

Until I saw him at my brother’s wedding. Now he’s older. Crueler. Unbearably handsome. We’re drawn to each other still, but will Spencer be there for me when I need him the most? Or did I ruin us once again?

AMAZON

I have been in love with you for so long, I don’t know how to stop. I will do whatever it takes to make this work.

Sylvie was a character I equally loved and hated in Things I Wanted to Say, But Never Did. She was such a complex character who I couldn’t wait to peel back the layers in her own book. So I have been eagerly anticipating her story.

He was my respite. A way for me to forget. Until I made myself forget him.

Spencer is Sylvie’s brother’s best friend and her most sacred secret. He was her everything when they were at Lancaster Prep, but then she broke them in the most irrevocable way. Years later she’s a different Sylvie but with more scars, and her scars run deep. When she sees Spencer again he’s not the same boy that allowed her to toy with him in her hot and cold persona back in the day.

I think this is the part that I wanted a little more angst in. There’s nothing I love more than the angst of second chance romance, and considering the history and betrayal between these two, I was eagerly anticipating some angst…which never came. They worked past their differences pretty quick. And I think my masochistic heart yearned for something more here.

I absolutely adored Spencer. And as much as I was back and forth with Sylvie in her brother’s book, being in her head really endeared me to her here. She’s such a broken, tortured soul. You couldn’t help but love her.

The ending felt a little rushed, but was ultimately satisfying. And while the story wasn’t fully what I had hoped for, it still hit the spot.

 

Monica Murphy is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling romance author. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Both a traditionally published and independently published author, she writes young adult, new adult and contemporary romance.

A native Californian, she lives on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere with her husband, son, their goofy dog, and three cats. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Or reading. Or binge watching something.

 

Connect with Monica

Website | Goodreads  | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Pinterest | Verve Romance | Tik Tok 

 


 

Review: The Ruthless Groom by Monica Murphy

THE RUTHLESS GROOM
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date:
June 14 2022

I didn’t plan to marry a reclusive heiress. Lucky for me, I find myself attracted to my beautiful new bride. Our arranged marriage connects two powerful companies. That we’re compatible between the sheets is a bonus, but I didn’t bargain on her ex showing up at the wedding reception uninvited.

That pushed me right over the edge.

I protect what’s mine, and Charlotte is now mine, whether she likes it or not. Our honeymoon is a disaster in paradise. I’m angry. She’s resentful. All those swirling emotions explode in the most physical ways.

But even as I’m drawn closer to my new wife, there’s still a threat looming out there. Seamus McTiernan is determined to destroy what we’ve created.

I won’t let anything tear us apart.

He has no idea who he’s dealing with. I will end him.

Watch me.

Welcome to the Midnight Dynasty… The warring Morelli and Constantine families have enough bad blood to fill an ocean, and their brand new stories will be told by your favorite dangerous romance authors.

WARNING: This book is intended for readers eighteen years old and over. It contains material that some readers could find disturbing. Enter at your own risk…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY | AUDIBLE COMING SOON

This woman is going to completely undo me before this little honeymoon is through. I know it.

After the slow burn that was The Reluctant Bride, this one came out swinging with the spice, and I was HERE FOR IT.

This installment of the trilogy brought us the marriage and honeymoon with a splash of drama. After the cliffhanger in book one, we knew where this one would head with the reintroduction of Seamus. And frankly, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it for a good chunk. It brought out the sulky, distrustful, man child in him and I spent a good part of the book wanting to jock punch the man. But at the same time, I understood his mistrust. He’s known his bride for all of a hot minute, and suddenly her past comes back swinging hard right on their wedding day.

Charlotte showed snippets of her backbone, which seemed to melt under Perry’s sexual charm. And frankly, I can’t judge her for it. Ha! The man is potent and I seriously don’t blame her for getting pleasure where she can find it in this arranged marriage of theirs. She’s finding herself falling for her new husband, and her husband can’t seem to trust a word she says. As much as this dynamic frustrated me, I couldn’t get enough of it either. I had a love hate relationship with the two of them and I couldn’t stop reading.

I seriously can’t wait to see how this concludes and hoping for some groveling and Perry eating a bit of crow. Bring it on!

Monica Murphy is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling romance author. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Both a traditionally published and independently published author, she writes young adult, new adult and contemporary romance.

A native Californian, she lives on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere with her husband, son, their goofy dog, and three cats. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Or reading. Or binge watching something.

 

Connect with Monica

Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyGR

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1YUl0Vm

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyFB

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/monicamurphyreadergroup/

Instagram: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyTW

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2ZAthV1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/msmonicamurphy/

Verve Romance: https://ververomance.com/app/monicamurphy

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@monicamurphyauthor

Review: The Reluctant Bride by Monica Murphy

THE RELUCTANT BRIDE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date:
April 19, 2022

Everyone’s for sale, including me.

One moment I’m the forgotten daughter of one of the most wealthy families in the country, and the next I’m the blushing bride in an arranged marriage.

My fate is sealed in my wedded union with a complete stranger.

In public, Perry Constantine is the life of the party.

Easygoing.

Adored.

In private, he’s brooding.

Dark.

Angry.

But so am I.

It’s a contest of wills to see who will break in the bedroom first, and while I try to remain strong, I find myself craving the very man I swore to hate.

My husband.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY | AUDIBLE COMING SOON

I could fall in love with this man. And that’s the last thing I should do.

I love a good crossover, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating this installment in the Midnight Dynasty universe.

If you’ve read Monica’s Things I Wanted To Say and A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime then you’re already familiar with the Lancasters. Charlotte is Crew’s sister from A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime. If you’ve read that book and remember the quick mention of her arranged marriage to a man she barely knows, this is the story.

Perry Constantine is the fun loving Constantine who will do anything to please his mother. And while a marriage to a woman he doesn’t know may be stretching it, he’d do that too. If you’ve read Stroke of Midnight then you’ve already met his older brother. But where Winston was intense and overwhelming, Perry is the more light hearted brother, though no less intense.

When you’re not even 25, marriage is the last thing on your mind. Especially when that marriage is essentially a business deal put in motion by your mother and your bride wants nothing to do with you. But as with all things Midnight Dynasty, nothing is at it seems.

This is a slow burn romance that really lays the foundation to the story. There’s a lot of development that happens here, along with the budding relationship. And behind the traded insults and barbs, there’s plenty of chemistry. I loved Perry’s intensity almost as much as I love Charlotte’s sassyness. She may look like the sheltered virgin, but she has plenty of secrets. I loved that she gave as hard as she got and really gave Perry a run for his money.

I can’t wait to see what the next installment brings!

Monica Murphy is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling romance author. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Both a traditionally published and independently published author, she writes young adult, new adult and contemporary romance.

A native Californian, she lives on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere with her husband, son, their goofy dog, and three cats. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Or reading. Or binge watching something.

 

Connect with Monica

Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyGR

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1YUl0Vm

Facebook: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyFB

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/monicamurphyreadergroup/

Instagram: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/MonicaMurphyTW

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2ZAthV1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/msmonicamurphy/

Verve Romance: https://ververomance.com/app/monicamurphy

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@monicamurphyauthor

Review: A Million Kisses In Your Lifetime by Monica Murphy

A MILLION KISSES IN YOUR LIFETIME
Author: Monica Murphy
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: March 10, 2022

Wren Beaumont is many things.

Beautiful.
Smart.
Sweet.
Innocent.

At Lancaster Prep, the girls love her. They all want to be her friend. Only I see Wren for who she really is.

A repressed little virgin who keeps her feelings locked up so tight she’s probably close to bursting. She thinks she’s above us all.

Even me.

I shouldn’t be drawn to her. She’s not my type.

Until we’re forced to work together in class and realize we might have more things in common than we originally thought. Soon enough I find myself completely obsessed. I will do anything for this girl to make her fall in love with me.

Anything.

AMAZON

Crew Lancaster is too much. Too moody and too dark and too quiet. Too handsome and magnetic and smart. I don’t like how I feel when his eyes are on me.

After devouring and absolutely loving Things I Wanted To Say, I was giddy in anticipation of more books in the Lancaster Prep world. I love Monica’s brand of angst and broody and tortured heroes. But this one caught me a bit by surprise, admittedly, because it was like nothing I expected, and not in a bad way.

Now if you’re expecting the same level of angst as Things I wanted to Say, this isn’t it. Crew Lancaster may be broody, but he’s not Whit Lancaster broody. He’s basically the broody cinnamon roll to his cousin, and I loved that in him.

Wren is the untouchable girl at Lancaster prep. Her family is almost the same level of rich as Crew, but their morals are world apart. She’s the beautiful and untouchable virgin, who can do no wrong, and barely spares Crew a look. He’s determined to get her attention, so when a class projects puts them together, he knows this is his moment.

What’s interesting is Wren is the exact type of heroine that I tend to gravitate away from. She’s too sweet, super sheltered and naive. She’s also the super innocent virgin who’s never been kissed. But there was just something so endearing about her, that where I would get annoyed by a heroine like this in any other book, it somehow worked for her here.

Crew goes from broody to full on cinnamon roll. And again, cinnamon roll is not usually my cuppa, but it also worked for me here. I just loved these two together and watching their avoidance grow to an unlikely friendship which soon bloomed into romance. I absolutely loved them together.

My only minor quibble, is there was little to no conflict in the story, outside of what was happening with secondary characters like with Wren’s father, or the teacher, and some friends. All of these things added tension to their relationship, sure, but I wanted more. I suppose I just expected a touch of angst, or at the very least some conflict between the two considering their difference, but that wasn’t present. Though the woo is super strong with Crew. This guy can teach romance to men double his age. I loved that about him.

I also wish we got a bit more closure with some of the secondary characters like Natalie and Maggie, but perhaps that may come with later books? I’m super curious about the grumpy and broody Marcus, so fingers crossed we may get a book for him too.

All in all this was a bit lighter than I expected, but still hit the spot just right.

 

Monica Murphy is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling romance author. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. Both a traditionally published and independently published author, she writes young adult, new adult and contemporary romance.

A native Californian, she lives on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere with her husband, son, their goofy dog, and three cats. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. Or reading. Or binge watching something.

 

Connect with Monica

Website | Goodreads  | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Pinterest | Verve Romance | Tik Tok 

 


 

Review: ★Never Let You Go★ by Monica Murphy

review-NLYGNever Let You Go
Series: Never Tear Us Apart #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Monica Murphy
Release Date: May 3, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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The second novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy wraps up an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

The truth hurts, they say—and my pain cuts deep. While I was falling for Ethan, he was deceiving me the entire time. He held a huge secret, protected by his lies. When I discovered what he was hiding, the truth shook my world, threatening to ruin us forever. Ruin me. But I soon realized that what we share can’t be destroyed.

The connection between us is too strong. It always has been. I can’t deny him any longer. And I can’t deny my truth: I’m in love with Ethan.

I don’t want to let him go.

While we’re trying our best to make this relationship work, other forces are fighting against us. My family, who wants to keep me safe. The media obsessed with my tragic past. The public that feeds off of it. Even Ethan’s father—the man who nearly destroyed me all those years ago. He’s doing his best to finish the job.

Despite my love for Ethan, the doubts creep in, clouding my mind. Is he worth the pain? Will our love survive, or will we have no choice but to end it—end us—once and for all?

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview3 starsNever Let You Go MM-DGR

Ethan. Will. The boy of my past. The man of my future. The one I can never, ever let go.

Never Let You Go is the powerful conclusion to the emotional duet that started with Never Tear Us Apart. It begins immediately where the first book ended; both Ethan and and Katie dealing with the aftermath of the revelation of Ethan’s lie and the continuous hounding for their story by one very determined reporter.

I fell in love with this story and this couple in the first book. It was gripping and emotional, poignant and tragic love story of two people that should never be together yet make perfect sense together. The journey that the author sends them on individually as well as a couple was equal parts powerful and easy to believe. The story is equal parts emotional and devastating at times. Katie is still dealing with he afteraffects of all she’s been through. But now, she’s not only dealing with her issues after her kidnapping and rape when she was young, but the boy from her past all of a sudden being the man of her present. Who is Ethan/Will? Does he truly want her? Can she allow herself to feel for him?

Ethan was an incredible character. His unwavering love for Katie was so emotionally powerful, it’s almost heart breaking at times because all the odds are stacked against them.

The pace of the story is very slow, even more so than the first book. But whereas in the first book I found it to be a slow burn, here I just found it to be too slow. I can’t say it’s boring, because it’s more character driven than plot driven most of the time, but it didn’t have me gripped to the book and eager to turn the pages either. But even then, this was a solid 4 star read for me…up until that last 20%.

The crazy action and drama of that ending left my mind reeling. It was just too much. The pace of the book is quite slow and steady and then BAM, you get hit with all of that. I think that many people will actually enjoy the way things resolve, but for this reader it just felt out of the blue and unnecessary. I think the story was quite solid as it was and had everything just resolved quietly with some people out of the picture, it would have been best. I felt like I was watching a soap opera ending unfold. Add into this mix a somewhat cliche revelation and I was left with a lot of meh feelings.

Now all that aside, a 3 star rating means I did enjoy the book, because I did. While it didn’t wow me, it was still a satisfying conclusion. I’d gladly recommend it for readers that want something a little different in their romance because this is definitely that. It’s poignantly written and it’s certainly not a story I’ll soon be forgetting.


READ THE BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL

NEVER TEAR US APART
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