Review & Excerpt: A Secret For A Secret by Helena Hunting

A SECRET FOR A SECRET
Series: All In #3
Series: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: May 12, 2020

From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes a new romance about trading secrets, breaking the rules, and playing for keeps.

My name is Ryan Kingston, and I’m a rule follower. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I always obey the speed limit. I don’t get drunk, and I definitely don’t pick up random women at bars.

Except the night I found out that my whole existence has been a lie.

I got drunk. And picked up a stranger.

Her name was Queenie, and she was everything I’m not: reckless, impulsive, and chaotic. We did shots and traded secrets. And ended up naked at my place.

She left me a thank-you note in the morning and her panties as a parting gift. But no way to contact her.

Six weeks later I’m sitting in the first official team meeting of the season, and there she is. I neglected to mention that I’m the goalie for Seattle’s NHL team.

And Queenie? Turns out she’s the general manager’s daughter.

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AMAZON | PAPERBACK | AUDIO

“You think our GM got himself an assistant?”I follow his gaze to the front of the room. Standing at the desk with her back to us, arranging papers, is a woman with wavy chestnut hair that nearly reaches her waist. “Maybe an intern?”

She’s wearing a navy dress that conforms to her very feminine form. I trace the dip of her waist and the curve of her hip, skimming down to where the hem of her dress hits the bend in her knee. Her calves are bare, athletic, and toned, and her heels boast a little bow on the back. Classy, yet sexy. “Possibly.”

“I hope the eye candy is gonna be permanent,” someone at the table behind us says, loud enough for everyone close by to hear.

“I wouldn’t mind if she helped me with my jockstrap,” one of the other guys chimes in, eliciting a loud chuckle from the rest of the table.

I glance over my shoulder and pin them with an unimpressed glare. I recognize Foley from Tampa, and Dickerson is an LA trade. They’re notorious womanizers. “Watch your mouth and have some respect. That’s someone’s daughter.”

“Take it easy, King. It’s not like we’d actually say that to her face,” Foley says.

I don’t have an opportunity to reprimand him further because the GM, Jake Masterson, and our head coach, Alex Waters, enter the room through the side door. The GM crosses over to the woman, whose back is still turned to us, and he gives her a smile that seems . . . overly warm. He leans in and squeezes her shoulder as he says something with his mouth close to her ear.

“Maybe she’s not his assistant. Maybe she’s his new girlfriend, ’cause that looks pretty damn friendly to me.” Bishop jams a sausage link into his mouth.

“Maybe,” I agree.

She turns slightly, giving me a glimpse of her profile. Her cheeks are flushed pink. I blink a couple of times, because she seems incredibly familiar.

“I think I know her,” I mumble, more to myself than to Bishop.

“Not as well as our GM does, by the look of things.”

It hits me like a puck in the chest without pads on. I do know her. Queenie. My one-night stand who bailed the next morning and left a Post-it and panties hanging from my doorknob. Destroyed panties. “Oh God.”

Did I sleep with the GM’s girlfriend? Memories come barreling into my brain, and I want to sink into the floor. My behavior that night was highly atypical. Everything about that night was. I chalked it up to the alcohol, the family drama, and the fact that she seemed to be a very eager and willing participant in our adventures. Do not think about the things you did to her.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about Queenie and our night together. I’ve even considered driving by the bar where we met, but I don’t know if she’s likely to show up there. And it’s not as if I can ask the bartender about her without looking like a creep. Besides, if she wanted me to have her number, she would’ve left it.

“Are you okay? You look like you’re about to hurl,” Bishop asks.

I cover my mouth with my palm, not because I’m going to be ill but to hide the fact that it’s hanging open and I can’t seem to close it. Although my stomach is starting to do those awful somersaults that will soon turn into full-on nausea. The kind I used to get when I’d first hit the ice for a game.

This is bad. Really bad. I’ve never had a one-night stand before. I’ve always been in committed relationships, and I prefer to get to know my bed partners before they actually get into bed with me. Teen pregnancy was pretty common where I grew up in Tennessee, because there wasn’t much else to do apart from playing sports or getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol—my brother, Gerald, went the latter route. I obviously fit into the sports category. By the time I became a teenager, my parents had finally learned their lesson. It was drilled into me to never become that kind of statistic, or to turn my girlfriend into a mom before she was ready to take on more than senior-level algebra.

Ironic how my actual mother would’ve been one of those girls had my grandparents not made the choices they had.

“King?” Bishop nudges me. “You’re staring, man.”

Jake whistles with his fingers, causing the woman beside him to cringe but then quickly school her expression into an uncertain smile. “Who’s ready for a new season?”

He’s rewarded with a chorus of cheers from the players. Waters stands off to the side, clapping enthusiastically. He generally runs all team meetings, but Jake is a hands-on GM, so he always manages first meeting intros before he hands it over to our coach.

Jake waits for everyone to settle down and take their seats before he continues. “Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my personal assistant, Queenie.” He throws his arm over her shoulder and pulls her into his side.

A hot spike of anger rushes down my spine—it’s a foreign feeling. I’m usually very level headed. But not right now. It’s obvious by the way Jake and Queenie interact that there’s a relationship there. Is she a cheater? Did she make me one? There’s a definite age gap. He’s young for a GM, but he’s in his forties, and I’m pretty sure she’s in her mid twenties.

“She also happens to be my daughter, so don’t get any ideas, boys.” He somehow manages to wink and glare at the same time.

And it just went from bad to worse.

My one-night stand isn’t my GM’s girlfriend; she’s his daughter.

 
A Secret for a Secret (All In, #3)A Secret for a Secret by Helena Hunting

3.5 STARS


Give us a chance to get through this together, Queenie. Let me catch you when you fall. Let me be your safe place to land.”

This was so stinking cute, y’all! Like goofy smile on my face the entire time reading sort of cute.

Ryan Kingston is definitely a change of pace from your typical professional hockey player. The man is a freaking boy scout. He doesn’t swear. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t disappoint his parents. And he doesn’t do one-night stands. He’s a guy that was a perfect kid growing up and then got the shocker of a century from his parents and finds himself reeling at a bar about it. One drink and a chance encounter with a beautiful woman leads to another drink and a different encounter entirely. But then he finds out that his beautiful one-night stand is the GM’s daughter and new assistant. Ruh roh.

Queenie is a free spirit. She’s never quite found herself and sees herself as a disappointment for her devoted father. She can’t find a job that sticks and always seems to mess up. So when her father tells her that the hockey players are off limits, she’s determined to do things right. But it’s tough to keep it friendly when your chemistry is through the roof and Ryan is determined to do things right with her and date her.

Now don’t pay my rating any mind, because this is based entirely on personal preference here. While I loved the opposites attract thing, Queenie and Ryan weren’t my usual cuppa when it comes to characters. Ryan was just a bit too sweet for my reading tastes. Stop judging me! I do love that he still had full alpha vibes even with all that sweetness. Queenie was a touch too brash for my particular tastes too. Though I did love her fire and spark. Ultimately, I loved the story and the characters, even if it wasn’t my typical preference. I simply adore all things Helena Hunting and this series just does it for me. It’s tough to follow the perfection that was book two for me, but this one still definitely hit the spot.


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’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Website link: https://helenahunting.com/books/a-secret-for-a-secret/

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Review: Heartless King by Maya Hughes

HEARTLESS KING
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse #5
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: April 23, 2020

Two blue lines. That means not pregnant, right? Right? Oh, sh*t.

Five years ago, Colm Frost asked me to marry him and I ran. I ran from my painful past too raw and fresh to escape. He was the only one who looked at me like I wasn’t broken and made me believe it. He made me feel it.

Now, he’s the hot, angry, hockey player on the mend.

I’m the physiotherapist who’s supposed to get him back on his feet.

I don’t think our night together was what his doctor prescribed, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamt of him every time I close my eyes. I woke up beside him with my body still singing from the way he fanned the flames of my desire, but I couldn’t stay.

His lips on my neck. His hands wrapped around my waist. His impressive…ahem, touch leaving me breathless.

One moment of wild inhibition and it’s come back to bite me in the butt. Kind of like he did that night.

But a baby? Our night was supposed to be a one time thing, closing a door on the future I couldn’t handle.

Will this new bump in the road be everything we needed to find our forever?

Heartless King is a standalone friends to enemies to lovers, accidental pregnancy romance that brings all the laugh out loud, angsty feels!

AMAZON

Imogen was a dangerous element to introduce to my life. She made me feel whole when I wasn’t. She made me feel things were possible that weren’t. She made me want things I couldn’t have.

Colm Frost. Oh you poor broken soul, you.

This book introduced an interesting dilemma for me. On the one hand, I absolutely hated Colm in the previous book as a secondary character. I’m talking HATED him. Like wanting to reach through the book and twist his nuts off sort of hate. Yeah. That serious. But on the other hand, I was desperate to know more about the man and what makes him tick. There had to be some serious hidden pain for him to lash out as he did, and boy was I right.

I held onto that anger because it was a hell of a lot better than the crushing sadness, the loneliness and rejection that had become the hallmark of my life with everyone other than the Kings.

First of all, if you’re planning to read this as a standalone; don’t. Seriously. Yes, technically there’s enough background given to be able to understand everything, but you’d also be missing a lot of overarching story arcs and background that the previous books paved the foundation for. Trust me on this. You’d enjoy this book so much more if you read it in order. And you’d also be able to understand Colm a whole lot better as well.

Reeling on the heels of finding out his sister went behind his back and set fire to all of their plans while also dating his teammate and best friend behind his back was the catalyst that set everything in motion. Colm was already a live wire of feeling, but this was the straw the broke the camel’s back. He’s tired of being the good guy. The reliable guy. The guy that gives up everything to do what’s right and puts everyone first. But his new look on life is also one full of fiery self destruction fueled by anger and a pain kept hidden for years. Drowning his sorrows in alcohol and lost in a haze of partying and resentment, Colm may lose everything, including his spot on the team. His teammates and friends are desperate to help him, and the only solution they find is Imogen.

Imogen and Colm have a history dating back five years, but it’s certainly not as simple as the blurb makes it seem. Imogen is still working through the pain of losing her fiancé. It’s been over five years, but as much as everyone around her tries to get her to move on, she simply can’t. The only man that seems to be the exception to the rule, is Colm, and he comes with issues of his own.

As a physiotherapist, Imogen offers to help him recover from his recent injury to get him back on the ice. But this is no simple relationship. There’s a connection there that burns bright, but both Imogen and Colm seem to not be able to help self destruction.

Man, I loved and hated these two together. While Colm comes off as selfish and irrational in some of his anger at first, this book begins to peel back the layers, and soon you understand just how deep it goes. Imogen was the perfect salve to his tortured soul. But Imogen has issues of her own. Their chemistry was undeniable. I’m not usually a reader that goes for the surprise baby trope, but it seriously worked here. This was the perfect book to end the series with. And while there were parts of the story where I still wanted to strangle Colm and shake some sense into him, I grew to love him, faults and all by the end.

If you’ve read this series, you certainly won’t want to miss the conclusion.


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

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

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#DGRFave & Review: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes

THE THIRD BEST THING
Series: Fulton U #3
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Maya Hughes
Release Date: January 30, 2020

Dear Letter Girl, I need to see you. When can we meet?

Her response never came. My secret pen pal with a dirty mind has ghosted me. I’ve roped Jules, my sweet as pie next door neighbor, to help me track her down.

There’s only one problem–I’m falling for her. The tortoise shell glasses, out of this world curves and delicious treats are making the search for The Letter Girl even harder.

My notes were supposed to be a one time thing.

A little too much wine and naughty thoughts on a winter’s night. I never thought Berk would write back. I wanted to tell him it was me, but the fear of rejection kept my lips sealed.

Now he’s enlisted my help to track down The Letter Girl and our search has him hot on my, ahem, her trail.

She’s the girl next door.

He’s my secret pen pal.

Truth is on a collision course with their hearts and it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets wrecked…

She was an indescribable kind of perfect for me. The kind that made my heart ache that I’d only just found her and was ready to get down on my knees so I didn’t have to wait another day without knowing her beauty.

Be. Still. My. Heart.
It’s so full right now. I can’t stop grinning. This book was one of the most satisfying, feel-good, keep you swooning from beginning to finish kind of reads. My absolute favorite in the series and favorite Maya Hughes book to date!! It was, simply, EVERYTHING. Like all of the things. Perfection between the pages. I never wanted it to end.

Everything about her made me want to never let her go. She was the kind of woman I’d dreamed of one day being at my side. Beautiful. So warm and caring, and with a hint of a potty mouth.

Berk has been one of the most fun secondary characters in this series. He’s the goofball that always has an easy smile on his face. But you just know that beneath the smiles and easy going attitude there are some hidden layers, and boy were those deep. As a hero, this man was beyond multi-layered. Berk is a character with a tremendous amount of depth. he’s a guy that hides his pain and difficult childhood behind easy smiles and fun loving attitude. But beneath the college football superstar persona, is just a boy that wants love.

Jules has been crushing on Berk for over a year. What first started as a way for her to get her feelings out by writing him anonymous letters, soon turned into more when they began to write each other. But while Jules knows exactly who the letters are going to, Berk only knows her as the mysterious Letter Girl that he’s desperate to know the identity of. Living next door to each other they develop a sweet friendship. And while Berk adores Jules for everything that she is, Jules struggles with self esteem issues and can’t imagine someone like Berk ever going for someone like her.

I have to say that I loved both of these characters so much. Both Berk and Jules were incredibly multilayered with their own broken pieces. I loved how they filled in the broken pieces for each other in their friendship. I loved seeing Jules through Berk’s eyes, and I loved even more watching their friendship blossom into something so much more. Berk is a hero that’s simply impossible not to love. He’s vulnerable and tough, and oh so endearing.

Jules, even though her crazy family has certainly added to a lot of her self esteem issues is still a tough cookie. I loved watching her grow into herself throughout the book. She’s not a damsel and I loved that about her. And together? GAH. PERFECTION. I couldn’t get enough of the two of them. If you’re looking for a New Adult romance that has one of the most memorable friends to lovers tropes I’ve ever read, you need this book in your life. I’m addicted to this series. Simply addicted.


ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE FULTON U SERIES

And FREE to Read with Kindle Unlimited
#1 The Perfect First
US: https://amzn.to/2uU4n96
 #2 The Second We Met
US: https://amzn.to/31hczw4

Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.

AUTHOR LINKS

Review: The Fake by Rebecca Jenshak

THE FAKE
Series:
Smart Jocks #4
Genre:
New Adult, Sports Romance
Author:
Rebecca Jenshak
Release Date:
November 21, 2019

I’ve made a lot of dumb mistakes but none dumber than losing her.

Senior year. I should be partying and living it up with my friends before graduation, but one more mistake and I’m off the team.

Enter Chloe.

She comes into my life at a low point, but she becomes the bright spot I reach for every day.

She’s the kind of girl who makes a guy want to be a better man.

And for a while, I even start to believe I’ve changed enough to deserve her.

I’ve got my eye on the future, and I’m letting my past stay where it belongs.

But the thing about the past… it always comes back to bite you when you least expect it.

AMAZON

Catch up on the Smart Jocks series!

Book 1 – The Assist

AMAZON

Book 2 – The Fadeaway

AMAZON

Book 3 – The Tip-Off

AMAZON

I feel like we’re finally seeing each other without any pretenses or expectations, and us like this—as a real couple—we’re even better than I ever imagined when we’d been faking.


What is it about Rebecca Jenshak’s books that just make me giddily happy every time I finish one? She has this knack for writing completely addictive sport New Adult romance that I fall head over ovaries for and The Fake was no exception! I simply ADORED Nathan and Chloe’s story.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since discovering it early this year, and it seems like it only keeps getting better with each book. Because I think The Fake was easily my favorite of the Smart Jocks. There’s just something so incredibly endearing about Nathan. He may have the looks and the talent on the outside, but he’s struggling to hold his family together and keep them afloat after the passing of his father. His desperate need for money leads him to a terrible decision that almost costs him everything. On the cusp of dealing with the repercussions, he meets Chloe, a girl dealing with her own personal demons.

Chloe is a recent transfer who’s desperate to make a name for herself on her volleyball team and gain the trust and respect of her teammates. Tarnished with her parent’s mistakes, she’s still struggling to prove her worth. Money has never been a concern for this rich Cali girl. But proving herself and stepping outside of the stain of of her parents money and privilege has been a struggle. Nathan is the perfect storm that she never saw coming. He holds the answers to what she needs. Her teammates love him and she’s desperate for her teammates acceptance. The answers? A fake relationship. Only it’s not as fake as she tries to make herself believe.

Nathan is such an incredibly sweet guy. He’s absolute perfection. I couldn’t get enough of him. He’s an endearing combination of cocky and vulnerable; sexy and sweet. His treatment of Chloe and the way that he was always there for her just warmed my heart. Chloe was wonderful in her own right. She’s strong, smart, and incredibly loyal. I loved all of the secondary characters along with past favorites that make cameos. The Fake delivered on the feels and the steam and I loved every single page of it. I’m obsessed with this series! If you haven’t read it yet, you’re seriously missing out.

The author is giving away a signed set of the Smart Jocks series (US only) and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open international). ENTER HERE —> www.facebook.com/rebeccajenshak

Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

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Review: The Second We Met by Maya Hughes

THE SECOND WE MET
Series: Fulton U #2
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author:
Maya Hughes
Release Date:
October 17, 2019

Dear Jerk Across the Street, sorry for accidentally walking in on you and catching an eyeful of your—equipment. And hard pass on the open invitation to join you in the shower “anytime”, A-hole.

That’s the note I should’ve written. Instead I sent a pleasant and apologetic version.

Had I known Phoenix “Nix” Russo would’ve been the neighbor from hell, I’d have told him right where he could shove my words.

Nix is the big man on campus with everyone lined up at his games to make sure he knows it. Sure, he’s got piercing blue eyes, abs that don’t quit and a smile that could set fire to a set of panties from a hundred yards away, but he’s also the biggest pain in my ass.

Dear Pink-Haired Menace, learn how to take a joke and stop being such a kill-joy…

Elle Masterson called the cops on one of my parties—again. My sweet talking usually gets me out of trouble, but this time it got me into a nice pair of silver handcuffs. Now I’m on a reputation rehab tour with a stop at a spring break community service project.

Guess who’s my new boss?

Now we’re shoulder to shoulder, sweaty, tired and…she’s not anything like I expected. There might just be a heart under that hardass exterior. She’s invading my dreams and I can’t shake the feeling she’s the key to unlocking a piece of me that I’ve hidden away.

It’s only a matter of time until she finds out why I’m really here.

Maybe I can break through her walls and into her heart before that happens…one screw at a time.

**The Second We Met is a standalone new adult romance**

AMAZON 

READ CHAPTER ONE HERE:
https://www.mayahughes.com/blog

He was all my mistakes wrapped up into one bright, shiny package. 

I’m a sucker for a good enemies to lovers romance and this one checked every box for me. I was dying for Nix’s book the second he appeared as a secondary character in The Perfect First. The charming quarterback with the cocky smile was sure to hit the spot for me, and I was not wrong. What I didn’t expect was for him to be as multi-layered as he was. Nix’s entire life has revolved around his father’s demands and football. As the son of a football player, the stakes are that much higher for Nix. But while his father sees the draft as his future, Nix isn’t so sure. Sustaining multiple injuries and his recent jolt to his shoulder have made him question his future, but it’s hard to move himself off of a path that’s been set for him.

Elle is the not so nice girl next door. Their enemy status has been paved ever since she accidentally walked into the wrong house and saw Nix in all his glory. Now they have an antagonistic relationship living next door to each other and Elle constantly calling the cops on their house. What’s a girl to do when she’s trying to sleep and it’s a non stop party next door? Elle is a bit of a workaholic. When she’s not in school, she’s volunteering for numerous charities and working in order to make ends meet and get a covetous award that’s the answer to all her financial woes.

But then when Nix shoes up at her latest community project, and suddenly she’s forced to realize that she’s grossly misjudged the guy and there’s much more to him than first meets the eye. What starts as enemies, soon turns into an unlikely friendship, and then something so much more.

Elle was gun shy when it came to men after being cheated on by her two boyfriends. But her judgmental and quick to think the worst of men nature did get a tiny bit grating for me. I loved how patient and sweet Nix was with her in turn. Eventually Elle really grew on me too. I loved their sassy barbs almost as much as I loved their chemistry. And these two had a ton of chemistry. This was another fantastic addition to the series and I can’t wait for more!

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

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

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Review: Jock Road by Sara Ney

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

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

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

EAT. SLEEP. FOOTBALL.

Repeat.

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

BIG. DUMB. JOCK.

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

AMAZON

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

This was So. Stinking. Cute.

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Good Guy by Kate Meader

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


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

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

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

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

AMAZON

he was head over skates for her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: The Fadeaway by @RebeccaJenshak

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

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

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

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

AMAZON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: The Assist by Rebecca Jenshak

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or that one semester with her would change everything.

AMAZON

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

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

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

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

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

Review: The Lying Hours by Sara Ney

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

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

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

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

SKYLAR GABRIEL. IS. OVER. IT.

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

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

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

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

Why?

BECAUSE ABE DAVIS IS A LIAR.

AMAZON 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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