Review: Just Like Heaven by Trilina Pucci

JUST LIKE HEAVEN
Series:
The St. Simeon Prep Series #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Trilina Pucci
Release Date:
September 20, 2021

𝐇𝐞’𝐬 𝐚 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐥—𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧.
𝐖𝐞’𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐲.
If only I could’ve convinced my heart.

We were gorgeously young and desperate for one another.

His lips whispered promises of all the stars in the sky. While I dreamt of a love that would last forever.

But we’re star-crossed.
Fate had decided our course.
Leaving us to cling to each other as we crumbled to ash.

His need became possession.
My innocence turned jaded.
Our families declared war.
All that remained was hate.

But Calder was raised by wolves. The rules didn’t apply. I was his until he said otherwise—for better or for worse.

Our love story’s bathed in crimson and drenched in bullets.
Because sometimes, Romeo comes with tattoos, guns, and a taste for blood.

AMAZON

Why are you here?”
His hand comes up, fingers brushing my hair from my eyes before he answers, making the world come back into focus. “I’m here because you are.”

A modern day Romeo and Juliet retelling that will tug at every heartstring you have and leave you reeling in your feels.

Calder isn’t an empty threat—he’s a promise.

Now look, I’m not generally a reader that enjoys insta anything; particularly of the insta love variety. But somehow, Trilina Pucci has made a liar out of me in this book. Maybe it was because there was enough tension to build everything up that the somewhat insta love really flowed into the story? Maybe it was the Romeo and Juliet vibes of star crossed lovers who are doomed from their first glance. Whatever the case, it just worked for me here.

Sutton and Calder couldn’t be more different. Sutton is the good girl, daughter of a senator. Calder is the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and son of a ruthless criminal. Their love is doomed from the start, but they’re drawn to each other like moths to a fire.

Seconds that feel like minutes tick by as Calder says nothing, eyes locked on mine, stealing all my rational thought. Because he has that same storm behind his eyes. And as strange as it sounds, it makes him beautiful, like an exquisitely broken soul at war with himself and everyone else around him.

A fated love. A chance meeting. A stolen glance. It all gets set in motion the second Sutton lays eyes on the new bad boy in town. Their fathers are mortal enemies. Sutton’s father being a ruthless and driven senator determined to eliminate crime in their town. And Calder’s father being a ruthless criminal with mafia ties who’s bringing the crime to it. Calder was born into a life of crime and knows he’ll die knowing nothing different.

The only reason I’m rating this a four is as much as it worked for me here, I still like a bit of tension between the MCs and Sutton’s fall for Calder was instant. Not that I blame her. The man oozes sexual chemistry the second he appears on the page. And I appreciate that while their connection is instant, them getting together wasn’t. There was tension, the odds stacked against them, and I lived for their stolen moments together.

The spice in this book was EVERYTHING. That confessional and holy water scene? Holy hell.

And then there was the cliff. I was prepared for a cliff, don’t get me wrong, it’s a duet after all. But I was NOT prepared for this one. It ripped my heart from my chest and left me with bated breath until the next installment.


Trilina is a former professional dancer (you may have even seen her on the MTV Music Awards) and a USA Today Bestselling author who loves cupcakes and bourbon.

When she isn’t writing steamy love stories, she can be found devouring Netflix with her husband, Anthony, and their three kiddos. Pucci’s journey into writing started impulsively. She wanted to check off a box on her bucket list, but what began as wish-fulfillment has become incredibly fulfilling. Now she can’t see her life without her characters, her readers, and this community.

She’s known for being a trope defier, writing outside of the box and creating fictional worlds her readers never want to leave.

AUTHOR LINKS

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Review: Cruel Prince by A. Jade

CRUEL PRINCE
Series:
Royal Hearts Academy #1
Genre: New Adult, Bully Romance
Author: Amelia Wilde
Release Date:
 August 20, 2019

Welcome to their kingdom…

I never thought I’d step foot in Royal Manor again.
But five years later, here I am…back to finish my senior year at Royal Hearts Academy.

And forced to face Jace Covington.
My first friend. First crush. First kiss.
The one I left behind.

Only—he isn’t the same boy I gave my heart to.

This new Jace is as cruel as he is gorgeous.
And he’s determined to make my life a living hell.
Along with the rest of his glorified family and crew of tyrants.

They expect me to worship the ground they walk on like everyone else, but I’d rather eat dirt.

If Jace Covington wants me gone…he’ll have to try harder.
Because I’ve never been the kind of girl to play by the rules.

WARNING: Royal Hearts Academy is a New Adult/High School series of standalones filled with drama, a touch of angst, and boys who are bad to the bone.
This series is recommended for mature readers due to graphic language and sexual content.

AMAZON 

No one in the whole wide world has the power to make me feel both love and hate simultaneously the way Jace Covington does. He’s the yin to my yang. The down to my up. The crazy to my normal. The damaged pieces to all my broken parts.

Did this spend entirely too long on my TBR? Yes.
Did I randomly pick it up last night expecting to try the first few pages? Yes
Did I binge read it in one sitting and stay up till 3 am to finish? Also yes
Actual footage of me at work today:
Do I have regrets? Not. A. One.

Now first of all, all of my friends who have read this book and didn’t wallop me over the head with their kindle to get me to read this sooner? Friendship over! You hear me? FRIENDSHIP OVER.

If you know me then you know that bully romance is my crack of choice. The meaner the hero, the better. I want the angst so thick I can taste it. I want the feels. I want to hate to love it and love to hate it. And when you spend 80% of the book wanting to cock punch the hero, well you know you’re in for a good time.

But the heart doesn’t choose who we love by their worth. Because love isn’t a choice. It’s an illogical, all-consuming consequence that results from someone stealing a vital piece of you.

Jace and Dylan became an obsession. I love the story here of childhood friends turned bitter enemies. Dylan is back in her home town after her father’s fall from grace, of the lock up variety. She’s expecting things to change, of course, but nothing prepares her for the sheer venom directed at her by the boy who was once her everything.

Jace was cruelty personified. He’s determined to make Dylan pay for the past, though you don’t quite know what it is that happened. That is slowly unraveled by small glimpses into the past.

Now if there’s one thing I need in my bully romance, is a good reason for the hero to be the utter douchebag that he is. And boy did this have it. My heart broke for this tortured boy. There is so much emotion, pain, and heartbreak that’s packed into this story that it sucks you right into the dark depths of it. I also want a fierce heroine and Dylan definitely gave as good as she got. This is a girl that gets pushed down but comes up swinging and I loved her for it. She definitely has a weak spot for Jace, and loves him unconditionally no matter how cruel he is. Their sexual chemistry being her particular weakness. Can’t say I blame her though lol. My one quibble is I wished for a longer grovel at the end, but it was still immensely satisfying so I can’t complain much. Now on to the next book because I NEED Oakley’s book. My poor tortured boy.

Review: Ruined Sinner by Becker Gray

RUINED SINNER
Series:
Hellfire Club #4
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Becker Gray
Release Date: August 24, 2021

It’s no secret that I hate Phineas Yates, but what most people don’t know is that I have a very good reason why.

One hot summer, he broke my heart in the worst way, and I promised myself then and there that I would never fall prey to the sinner of Pembroke Prep again.

Even if it meant re-inventing myself into a girl I barely recognized.

There is a fine line between duty and desire.

I’m not just any girl, I’m a princess. When my family begs me to get engaged to save the family name, I’m trapped with no way out.

In a panic, I blurt out the ultimate lie and create myself a fake boyfriend.

Which means I need someone to foot the bill immediately.

The problem? The only person willing to help me is the one person I never want to see again: the careless, heartless, hot-as-Hellfire playboy himself.

Phineas Yates.

The even bigger problem? His help doesn’t come for free. And this sinner won’t be satisfied with anything less than my absolute ruin.

AMAZON

The way I saw it, Aurora Lincoln-Ward owed me. She owed me for the two years we’d spent apart. And I wasn’t going to let her get away with making amends with her body, oh no. She was going to pay with her heart.

Well, here I am, in my typical way of doing things backasswards, reading book 4 first. What?
In my defense, I have the first three books and have every intention of reading them. It’s just that when I saw the blurb to this one, my impatience got the best of me. And…well…I have zero impulse control, okay? God! Get off mah tits!

But I digress. New Adult is my jam. I live for a good NA romance with a good splash of enemies to lovers and hate lust. So it’s no surprise that I read this in one sitting. I enjoyed the writing style and I liked the concept of the book. Girl has crush on boy who seems to crush on her back, boy screws up so the girl spends two years hating him and making him pay. Then girl is in a bind with her family pushing an arranged marriage on her and the boy blackmails her into a fake relationship by giving her the appearance of a boyfriend she needs for her family, while asking for her time and maybe her body in return. And don’t get it twisted, the girl is quite eager to give him her body, so there’s that.

So why 3 stars? A few reasons. The conflict was just too childish for me. Now look, I realize that I’m reading about teenagers her. I get it. But that doesn’t take away from the main conflict being too childish for me. Aurora spends two years making Phin pay for his mistake. And while I get the emotion, her reaction was SO extreme to the point of changing herself. I could have dealt with all that, but then the main conflict at the end was just too much. It was not only childish but just came out of nowhere. It was my least favorite conflict to read about and this is entirely a personal preference thing, so don’t take my feelings as gospel. But I suppose for me, I wanted more character development. Aurora just felt a bit two dimension for me. It was difficult to connect with her and her reasons because of it.

Obviously I still enjoyed it, my quibbles aside. And it certainly hooked me on the series and has me wanting to read the rest. So if you’re looking for a steamy NA with some hate lust, this may do the trick quite nicely.

Review: Ruthless Crown by Amanda Richardson

RUTHLESS CROWN
Series: Ruthless Royals Duet #1
Author: Amanda Richardson
Genre: Reverse Harem High School Bully Romance
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Their names are whispers in the hallways.
Hunter, Ash, Ledger, and Samson.
The Kings.Four of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen, with cruel agendas and an even crueler reign over Ravenwood Academy.Wreaking havoc in our small, New England town, no one asks questions.
For the most part, people ignore or avoid them.
After all, they’re royalty here.Because one of them—the cruelest one—is the headmaster’s son.
And my new stepbrother.They can try to torment me.
They can try to break me.
But they have no idea what I’ve endured.They’re used to getting whatever their ruthless, little hearts desire.
Maybe I should keep my mouth shut.
Maybe I should let them win.But I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty.
Lord knows I’m used to it by now.My name is Briar Monroe, and these Kings are about to find out just how fucked up this Queen can be.

Part Mean Girls, part Cruel Intentions, Ruthless Crown is full-length high-school bully reverse harem romance. It is book one of the Ruthless Royals duet, and while it doesn’t end with a true cliffhanger, there are unanswered questions. Book two will be releasing in a month. It is advised to read them in order. *Please note Ruthless Crown contains explicit language, bullying, and flashbacks of abuse/trauma. It also features four hot AF guys who would do anything to protect their feisty Queen. The duet will have a HEA.

AMAZON
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited

“Shit,” Jack whispers, glancing at the row of lockers in front of us. “We have company.”
I look up and notice Hunter leaning against a locker, glaring at me.

Something fiery shoots through me at that gaze, and I notice Ash, Ledger, and Samson against the other wall of lockers.
“Let me guess,” I murmur to Jack. “That’s my locker?”

“I told you,” Scarlett hisses. “They’re not going to leave you alone.”

I grind my teeth together and clench my fists. “This is ridiculous,” I whisper. “I’m putting my foot down.”

I stalk over to where Hunter is standing, arms crossed. “Excuse me,” I order, not breaking eye contact. There’s truly nothing kind in his expression, and his jaw ticks ever so slightly. A few people stop to watch us, their expressions stunned.

“You’re excused,” he muses, his face dripping with disdain.

My pulse speeds up, and anger flares through me. “This is my locker.”

He tilts his head, and his eyes flash with amusement for a split second. “Yeah. I thought that was obvious.”
Looking over his shoulder, I see his friends watching me haughtily. Okay, so they truly think of themselves as the rulers here, then? They have the arrogance to match it.

“What do you want, Hunter?” I sigh, crossing my arms.

He chuckles, and the sound is both terrifying and thrilling. He reaches into his back pocket, pulling out a few folded pieces of paper. Handing them to me, he gives me a monstrous smile before I look down and take them. Willing my hands not to shake, I open the paper, and then my heart thumps against my ribs, and a flush works its way up my neck.

Snapping my eyes up to him, I narrow my eyes. “You went through my diary?”

My diary—detailing the inappropriate dream I had about him the other night.
He crosses his arms and shrugs. “If you wanted me so badly, why didn’t you just

Oh, the nerve…
“You wish,” I growl, getting ready to turn and walk away.

Just as I move, he grabs the hand with the papers and tugs me into his hard body. Leaning down, I feel his breath fan against my forehead.

“Tell me, just how wet did you get for me in that dream of yours?” To my horror, he raises his other hand, a pair of pink, lace undies dangling on one of his fingers.

My mouth goes dry, and my heart wallops against my chest as I close my eyes.

No. No, no, no.

Grabbing my underwear, I twist away from him and turn to walk away. Tears prick at my eyes, but I take a deep breath.

I refuse to give them the satisfaction of knowing they got to me.

COMING SOON

#2 Ruthless Queen – Releasing September 14

AMAZON

We used to be the Kings of Ravenwood. I guess I never realized until Briar Monroe showed up that we needed a Queen.

I don’t generally read a lot of New Adult RH. But when I saw the blurb to this book, I knew I’d be changing that.

This being my first book by this author, I didn’t go into the story with any expectations. What I definitely didn’t expect was to binge read this in one sitting. But binge read it I did.

People are still terrified of the Kings, but I’m about to pull a checkmate. Hunter, Ash, Ledger, and Samson are about to witness how this Queen attacks—slow, premeditated, and lethal.

Briar has just moved to a new city after her mom married her stepfather. Suddenly she’s thrust in a world of wealth and privilege, attending the prestigious Ravenwood Academy where her stepbrother rules with an iron fist along with his 3 best friends.

Briar may have a dark past but she’s no pushover. She’s fierce and takes no shit. And when she first arrives, Hunter is determined to drive her out. Public humiliation, bullying, there’s no lines there. And this girl? I was so here for it.

Now look, this is a read you have to suspend your disbelief for. There are some plot developments and character developments that could have used a little more fleshing out or just didn’t make sense. But did I care? Nope. Because it was also deliciously smutty while also having an addictive plot. There’s a bit of suspense with a splash of dark mystery and secrets. Each of the guys have their own unique personalities. You have the sweet quiet one, the tortured bad boy, the tatted one, and the ring leader. So suffice it to say it checked all of the boxes for me. It also happened to be hot as all get out, and I was so here for that too.

Bottom line, is this was an entertaining, guilty pleasure sort of read that I thoroughly enjoyed even while it wasn’t perfect. Will I be reading the second one? You’re damn right I will. I need more in this world!

Amanda Richardson writes from her chaotic dining room table in Los Angeles, often distracted by her husband and two adorable sons. When she’s not writing contemporary and dark, twisted romance, she enjoys coffee (a little too much) and collecting house plants like they’re going out of style.

AUTHOR LINKS

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Website: https://authoramandarichardson.com

Review: Wild Card by Ashley Munoz

WILD CARD
Series: Rake Forge University #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Ashley Munoz
Release Date: August 12, 2021

This was it…I could see it in my editor’s eyes.

This was the last straw. One more misstep and I was going to lose my coveted internship.

I decided right there in my room, lime-flavored tortilla chips in hand, that I would do whatever it took to write the story of the century.

And I had my target in sight—the undefeated Devil’s baseball team. They were RFU royalty, and completely untouchable.

Their parties were impossible to get into unless you were handpicked, and I was not.

Even still, I had a solid plan.

I would not get caught, definitely not seduced, and absolutely wouldn’t die. That is until I was stopped and rendered totally speechless by a pair of mossy eyes.

He lured me in, close enough to feel the press of his mouth against my skin and the heat of his hands on my body. Undoubtedly, I was a sheep headed straight for the slaughter, which only proved true when he called my bluff. 

With him holding all the cards for my future success, and in order to salvage what remained of my dream, I did the only thing I could.

I made a deal with a devil.

AMAZON



…he was mine and I was going to be his. Even if it broke me to let him in, even if it ruined me. There wasn’t much left of my heart, but whatever there was I’d shove into his massive palm. Then I’d just let him decide what to do with it. Maybe he’d realize that our tattered pieces matched.

Clearly I have been sleeping on Ashley Munoz, because after reading this book, I’m an insta fan. I’m a sucker for a steamy college sports romance, and this one hit all of the spots I had and some I didn’t even know of.


When I look at you, you’re not just some girl I like. You look like you’re already mine.

What I liked about it most was that it wasn’t exactly your typical sports romance. There was a bit of suspense and mystery, a dash of angst, and a romance so good that I was immediately hooked.

Mallory is the sort of heroine that sneaks up on you. She’s a bit reserved and unassuming, focused on her dream internship and the article she needs to write that will either make it or break it for her chances. Refusing to rely on her rich and successful father, she’s determined to make it on her own. But when the article idea she had is torn to shreds by her editor, she’s desperate for a story and her stepsister just may hand it to her on a silver platter. A secret game that’s held by the college baseball team that involves cards, pre-arranged hookups, and willing females is just the thing she needs. And when her step sister is invited for the ultimate place on the totem pole, gets sick, and allows her to go in her place? Well, how’s a girl to pass that up.

I have to say, I loved Mallory. She knows who she is but she’s still vulnerable in her own hang ups. She’s tough and not afraid to go after what she wants. I also seriously loved her friendship with her two besties and how they’re there for each other.

As for Decker? My god. I died for this man and his poor, tortured soul. Decker is desperate for revenge and will go after it at the expense of everything in order to make the person that stole his dream from him pay. As we get his story, piece by piece, you can’t help but fall further for him. The chemistry between him and Mallory was immediate and incendiary. I loved the slow burn and I especially loved their frustrating push and pull. He fights his attraction to her with everything he’s got because he can’t afford a distraction and Mallory holds the key to his revenge.

My one quibble with the book is the twist at the end seemed a bit…far fetched. I struggled to fully wrap my mind around it and all of the messiness of it. But then once I did, I was all in, even if I didn’t fully buy it. Which is strange but true.

Wild Card was everything I love in a sports romance; angsty, steamy, and a hero with a heart of gold and a dirty mouth. I devoured this book in one sitting and desperately waiting for more in this series. I loved the step sister’s redemption and can’t wait to see how her story plays out. Talk about your HOOK LINE AND SINKER at the end there. Dang.

Ashley resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her four children and her husband. She loves coffee, reading fantasy, and writing about people who kiss and cuss.

AUTHOR LINKS

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Review: The Art of Falling For You by Maya Hughes

THE ART OF FALLING FOR YOU
Series: Falling #1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: March 11,  2021

 

“Are you stalking me?”
“We live right next door to each other, New Girl.”

Bay Bishop aka The New Girl is my new neighbor. Glasses, stage crew black clothes and a knack for fading into the background.

She’s probably the only one who rolls her eyes when I walk past instead of cheering on my last touchdown play. But before I can shove her into the recesses of my mind filed under “Not my problem” she lands herself smack dab in the middle of my dreams.

I catch her singing with a voice unlike any I’ve heard before that taps into feelings I shouldn’t have for the girl who avoids me at all costs. I need to know why she hates me.

With three months until graduation, the final play is on. Only it’s not for more points. It’s for Bay.

Unlike my success on the field, this win is anything but assured. But I can’t stop myself from taking the risk.

There’s no flashing scoreboard.
There’s no cheering crowd.
There’s only her and me.

The countdown clock is ticking. The only thing scarier about finding my first love will be losing her.

The Art of Falling for You is the first book in the new Fulton U universe sports romance, Falling trilogy.

AMAZON

CHECK OUT THE FULTON U SERIES

#1 The Perfect First | #2 The Second We Met | #3 The Third Best Thing | #4 The Fourth Time Charm

Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited

 

He was chiseled, in an ‘I’ll sweet talk you with bloody knuckles’ kind of way. He was the epitome of the boy from the other side of the tracks, only instead of a motorcycle, he drove a muscle car.

I’m obsessed! I’m absolutely blown away! This story owned me from beginning to finish and is one of my favorite Maya Hughes books to date. When I tell you that this is going up there with my favorite NA romances, I mean the last time I was this obsessed, was when I was reading the Tristan and Danika trilogy.

She was absolute trouble. Who’d have known my late-night bike riding, guitar playing, stage crew maven neighbor could be so dangerous to my sanity? But here I was, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Now look, when I learned this was a trilogy, I was hesitant to pick it up. I have the worst ADD when it comes to trilogies. But the second I started this book, I knew I’d be desperately awaiting each installment because the story OWNED me.

The way that Maya decided to write this angsty second chance romance is absolutely brilliant. We get a glimpse into Bay’s present, only to be thrown right into the past four years ago and watch as she falls for the boy next door. All the while knowing that their slow burn romance is meant to blow apart in the most painful of ways. But I’ll get to that in a second.

He’d demolished me. I’d been so worried about fixing him, but I should’ve been preparing to fix myself when he shattered me. Cruel. Violent. Vicious.

Bay and Dare are neighbors, but there’s no love lost between them at first. While Dare is utterly captivated by the girl next door, Bay can’t seem to give him the time time of day. If you’re a fan of the good girl meets tortured boy trope, prepare yourself for one addicting read.

While Bay is the social outcast of their high school, Dare is the golden boy tight end with a tragic story that he struggles to hide from everyone. This is the ultimate opposites attract story, and the most delicious slow burn. Bay is just looking to survive her final year of high school and the last thing she wants is the spotlight from the attention of the football team’s golden boy. Dare can’t seem to stop chasing her, and eventually the attraction between them blooms into a friendship that ultimately becomes a love that neither expected or was prepared for.

The feels! OH MY GOD THE FEELS of this book. The sweet, delicious angst. The emotion. I lived for it. Watching them fall for each other, all the while knowing what looms ahead was the sweetest sort of torture. It was like you knew that train wreck was coming, and you knew it would demolish you, but you couldn’t look away. And oh my god did it demolish me. But nothing and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING could have prepared me for the last lines of this book.

If I thought I was obsessed with this story before, the last line OWNED ME. I won’t spoiler it for you, and I highly recommend you avoid reading too many reviews and just go into this book absolutely blind. TRUST ME.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a dark corner while I wait for book two. Because GAH. JUST GAH.

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

I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes. 

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

AUTHOR LINKS

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Review: The Fourth Time Charm by Maya Hughes

THE FOURTH TIME CHARM
Series: Fulton U #4
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: January 7, 2020

“Are you sleeping with my daughter?”

Not the question I wanted to hear from my coach. The man holding my pro future in the palm of his hand.

The answer: No, sir.

The real answer: I’d sure as hell like to be.

Marisa’s been my best friend since third grade. And now she needs my help–and a place to stay. Senior year was supposed to be the year to keep some distance until the season finished and my draft prospects were safe.

But resisting her is becoming impossible. Movie Thursdays under the blankets. Study sessions on my bed. Wild party nights where I kept any guy interested at bay with a single glare.

Her dad can bench my ass for the entire season, so she’s off limits–for now.

She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved. And one heated night, I can’t stop fighting every cell in my body and can’t stop myself from sampling her sexy smile, her sweet smell, and her sultry curves.

We’re walking a tightrope with my future on the line. Let’s just make sure Coach doesn’t find out…

AMAZON

Enter Goodreads Paperback Giveaway

ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE FULTON U SERIES

#1 The Perfect First | #2 The Second We Met | #3 The Third Best Thing

Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited

Tonight, I’d hold her in my arms. Tomorrow, I’d figure out how to deal with being in love with the coach’s daughter.

Confession time, friends to lovers isn’t my usual choice of trope. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I’ll read it but it’s just not a trope I yearn for or gravitate towards. But when it came to LJ and Marisa’s story? I had to have it. I was downright ravenous for it. Ever since we met them as secondary characters in the beginning of this series, I’ve been dying to finally get to read their HEA. This book blew every expectation I had for their book away. I absolutely adored this story!

Sometimes it felt like I could disappear and no one would really care. It felt like I was a temporary fixture in someone’s life until they moved on. But with LJ I felt like I mattered—always.

LJ and Marisa have been friends since they were kids and their connection is one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever read. They’re so solid together. Always there for each other. And while it could be a sibling sort of connection, there’s simply too much chemistry between them to ever think anything else. Unbeknownst to each other, both Marisa and LJ have feelings but think the other one wants nothing romantic. So if you want unrequited love angst, this has it.

LJ grew up with an amazing family, while Marisa’s parents definitely left something to be desired. Her recent reunion with her absentee father is anything but smooth. She wants nothing to do with him and she has no idea that he’s punishing LJ for their friendship and what he suspects may be going on between them. As much as I hated the coach for the majority of the book, it suddenly took a turn at the end, and I loved how Maya handled this particular story line.

LJ is absolute perfection of a man. He’s sweet, loyal, and doesn’t play games. He’s not interested in doing around even though his football god rep would more than ease that way. I loved how he’s always there for Marisa and their love for each other is so unique and sweet.

Marisa deals with a lot throughout the course of this story and at times it was tough to read. I’ll admit to shedding quite a few tears at the end of the book. My cold black heart broke a little for her.

I’m not going to lie, in parts these two frustrated me and I wanted to shake them to make them see reason and for LJ to just tell Marisa what’s been happening. But I also completely understood his reasoning and had so much respect for him because of it.

If you’re looking for a sweet and heartwarming friends to lovers romance, you won’t want to miss this. Now I’m slowly dying for a particularly mysterious male character to get his story next because it sounds like it’ll be a juicy one.

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

I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes. 

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

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#DGRFave & Review: The Revenge Pact by Ilsa Madden Mills

THE REVENGE PACT
Series: The Kings of Football #1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: December 3, 2020

River Tate is a god on campus.
The king of football.
A tattooed bad boy with gunmetal eyes that see right through you.
The only chink in his armor is her, the girl he pretends doesn’t exist, the forbidden one with the shy smile and lavender hair.

Anastasia Bailey is a nobody.
The queen of nothing.
An outsider with the face of an angel and a body made for sin.
The only chink in her armor is him, her boyfriend’s frat brother, the football player who hates her.

But when Anastasia’s life comes crashing down, River’s the one who sweeps in and picks up the pieces.
Torn between loyalty, lies, and secrets, he battles the temptation to take everything from her when they make their revenge pact.

He can’t tell her no.
Because revenge (or love) is, sweet, and once you get a taste, the craving never ends.

The Revenge Pact is first in a series about three college football players.

 AMAZON 

There’s something real between us… The question is, what am I willing to do about it?

When I tell you that this book owned me. When I tell you that this story was absolutely EVERYTHING. When I tell you that River Tate is the ultimate book boyfriend that you will never be able to move on from. When I tell you this was easily my favorite book I’ve read from this author. When I tell you that this book is an absolute must read. BELIEVE. ME.

River Tate is a dangerous man. And the best thing I can do is stay away from him.

The second I started reading this story, I knew it would be different. River and Anastasia are going down as one of my favorite New Adult romance couples. It was THAT good.

I’m a sucker for a strong female and a tortured male plot, but this was so much more than that. It was all things forbidden, angsty and packed with enough emotion to make you turn each page with bated breath.

Anastasia and River’s relationship is tumultuous to say the least. He pretends that he hates her and she pretends like his presence doesn’t effect her. She also happens to be dating his frat brother. But if you’re thinking this is a love triangle or cheating book, think again.

River is a god on campus but he’s so much more than his image. This is a man with so many layers, you feel like every chapter offers more depth. He’s such a beautiful soul that I couldn’t help but fall for him immediately. His perseverance and honor make him one of the most beloved people on campus. He’s always there for his brothers and teammates. So it doesn’t matter how much he wants Ana, he can never go there.

Ana is a bit of a black sheep with lavender hair. She’s beautiful and smart, but her family is anything but conventional. She struggles to find a place for herself in the midst of the expectations from those around her. And when everything comes crashing down on her, the one person there for her is the last one that she expects.

This was an incredibly emotional and poignant slow burn romance. I fell so hard for both of these characters. Their imperfections and strengths, their pain and happiness. All of it was blended together so flawlessly that I couldn’t set the book down for even a second. You know when you read a book and you just have this feeling, like this power punch of emotion that goes through you like electricity? I had that the entire time reading this. These characters were so incredibly memorable and their romance was so incredibly powerful, that I felt a sense of loss when I finished because I couldn’t part with them.

If you’re looking for a new adult romance that’s packed with feels and a book boyfriend that will own your heart from the very first page, you need this book in your life!

Wall Street JournalNew York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Connect with Ilsa:
Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Book+Main | Website 

Stay up to date with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2ZWaTYh

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: http://bit.ly/37B6Nay

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Review: Little Lies by H. Hunting

LITTLE LIES
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: H. Hunting
Release Date: November 16, 2020

I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me. 

I never loved you.

I turned my words into swords.

And I cut her down.

Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.

I said I’d never hurt her, and I did.

Years later, I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted, when all I wanted was to indulge my obsession.

Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.

I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.

But I don’t want to save her anymore.

I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.


AMAZON | AUDIBLE

I want to save her from her demons, and me from mine. But they always catch up. No matter how hard we try to outrun them.

I love Helena’s contemporary romances, but I’m a sucker for some angst. So when I saw she’s realizing an angsty New Adult under a different pen name, well I’m pretty sure I left dust tracks in my rush to sign up for this book.
I’m also a sucker for a good spin-off, so the fact that these are the kids from Pucked and A Lie for a Lie was just icing on the cake.

Lavender and Kody’s story was deliciously angsty and heart wrenchingly emotional, touching on some very real issues that just endeared you to these characters that much more.

Lavender and Kody grew up together. They were each other’s everything and no one was closer than the two of them, not even Lavender and her twin. Something traumatic happened when they were children that drove them to their own particular neuroses that each of them dealt with in a very different way. And then when they were teens, something happened that set their friendship on fire. Kody and Lavender went from the best of friends, to being nothing.

Lavender grew up immensely sheltered and in the shadow of her brothers’ over protective nature. Now in college, she’s slowly gettin out of her shell but it’s hard to do when her biggest tormentor was once her best friend and confidant. She’s trying to move past her issues, but Kody is always there to remind her of her weaknesses.

The angsty and slow burn of this story dang near killed me. I lived for the back and forth that these two had. Kody was downright vicious, but beneath the rough hewn exterior, you can see to the vulnerable heart beneath. And I couldn’t wait to find out what made them fall apart so tragically. I also was itching to know where all of his aggression and anger towards Lavender stemmed from.

I loved the first 70% of this story. I seriously couldn’t put it down. Where it did miss a mark for me was on the big revelation. I suppose I thought it would be something different or…more than it was. It felt almost underwhelming, to be honest. But ultimately, it didn’t really detract from my love of this story. I loved Kody and Lavender so much, that even my small issue aside, I devoured the story. I seriously hope Helena makes this into a series because now I want a book for all of the other kids. And ESPECIALLY a book for Lavender’s twin. GAH. How utterly amazing it would be!!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Review: I Promise You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I PROMISE YOU 
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: October 12, 2020

New adult football romance! Complete standalone!

WSJ bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills returns with an all-new swoony romance between the football hottie and the mystery girl he kissed years before.

Dillon McQueen: Babe. I promise. You want me.
Serena Jensen: Um, who are you?

There’s a legend at Waylon University: the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you’ll never forget. She’ll crawl under your skin and never leave. She’ll spark a passion so fierce you’ll burn the world down to possess her.

You might even put a ring on it.

As in all things with fate, timing is everything. That kiss can go horribly wrong. She might run in the opposite direction. And boy, did Serena run.

Dillon is Waylon’s hotshot quarterback with something to prove. All he wants is to graduate and make it to the NFL. What he doesn’t need is to finally meet the mystery girl he kissed at the bonfire freshman year. Isn’t it enough that she’s haunted his dreams for more than a thousand nights?

Fate laughs in his face when he runs into the quirky girl at the Piggly Wiggly. Surrounded by his entourage, he’s got all the Oreos in his cart; she gets revenge by buying every six-pack of his favorite beer.

Obviously, that legend is a curse. She’s not his type. She hates him. Worst of all, how can she not remember him when she left a Serena-shaped hole in his heart for the past three years?

So why can’t he stop trying to win her?

Will this quarterback score the girl or make the biggest fumble of his life?

 AMAZON 

He’s part smooth charmer, part uncertain college boy, and it ticks all my boxes.
Help.

Same, girl. SAME.

First of all, I am kicking my own @ss right now because how am I just discovering this series? Ok so maybe it’s not a series since it’s not marked as one. But if you haven’t read I Bet You, I Hate You, and I Dare You, you haven’t lived. Just saying.

It seems I’m always on the search for the perfect New Adult sports romance that can combine all of the feels with perfectly dozed steam and this book checked all of my boxes. I fell so hard for these characters, both the main and the secondary. I fell SO HARD.

If you’ve read the other books I mention, you’ll remember Dillon McQueen as the party loving, quick to smile golden boy. I just knew this boy was going to have more layers than an onion, but I simply wasn’t prepared for just how many there were. This is one character that has so much depth, that with every layer you peel back, you’re simply ravenous for more. On the surface he seems like a party boy that likes to sleep around and has no problem using his good looks to get what he wants. But beneath that is the heart of someone that’s still figuring himself out. He’s unsure. He’s vulnerable. And he’s so damn adorable in his uncertainties, that you just want to hug him.

People see me as some kind of, I don’t know, hotshot guy, but deep down there’s only a few things I want: football, my dad’s approval, and someone authentic.

Serena has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt. Literally. She’s a little older and a lot wiser, so when the college golden boy sets her in his sights, she’s having none of it. The banter and bickering between the two of them was FIRE. I lived for their back and forth. Serena has her own insecurities but this is a woman that gives as hard as she gets and I loved her for it. She made Dillon work for it.

I adored this story, simply adored it. The swoon, the feels, the hilarious banter. All of it effortlessly woven together to make for one addictive read that I never wanted to end. I immediately went back and read the other three books because I simply had to meet the three secondary characters that make an appearance in the beginning of this book. If you’re looking for that perfect NA sports romance, look no further! Welcome to your next addiction.

Wall Street JournalNew York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Connect with Ilsa:
Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Book+Main | Website 

Stay up to date with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2ZWaTYh

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: http://bit.ly/37B6Nay

Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000

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