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.

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Review: Not My Romeo by Ilsa Madden-Mills

NOT MY ROMEO
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Game Changers #1
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Release Date: August 18, 2020

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy contemporary romance about a smoking-hot professional football player and the small-town girl he can’t resist.

We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

 AMAZON 

He’s going to crawl inside my heart. He’s going to break it into a million pieces.

Ummm….excuse me? How and why is this my first Ilsa Madden-Mills book? I am shooketh! SHOOKETH! I’m now immediately rectifying my mistake by purchasing the woman’s entire backlist. True story. But I digress.

I totally misjudged this book based on the blurb. I was expecting just another famous jock meets nobody heroine fluffy romance. But this was so much more than that. It was packed full of feels and laugh out loud moments. It was adorably quirky and layered with plenty of emotion.

It’s a case of mistaken identity when Elena meets Jack. Elena is searching for her blind date, and thinks Jack is the weatherman that she’s been set up with. Elena is also a little bumbling, a touch awkward, but full of sass and fire. She’s impossible not to love from the very first page.

Jack is the bad boy of football. With a reputation that precedes him, he’s used to being eviscerated by the media. He’s also extremely misunderstood and the readers learns this as layers begin to peel back on him. Jack prefers to lay low but when a quirky beauty rushes to his table and questions him like she knows him, he plays along. And when he realizes he’s not quite who she thinks he is, it’s too late to turn back. He’s already riveted by her.

What’s supposed to be just one steamy night turns into something much more when their worlds collide shortly after.

Now usually I’m not as invested in the romance when the characters sleep together so early in the story, but the author pulls this off flawlessly. She does it so well, in fact, that the following slow burn just about killed me. If these two didn’t come together soon, I thought my head would explode.

They dance around each other for weeks. When Jack lands in Elena’s small town by pure happenstance, he knows he has to go after his chance even though Elena is not thrilled to see him. I loved the way that Elena makes him work for it. She may be quirky and awkward at times, but the girl has sass for days.

I loved all of the secondary characters, Jack’s best friend especially. The chemistry between Jack and Elena was incendiary, but their inability to communicate about their feelings until the end drove me a little batty. But I also understood why each of them struggled with this, as they both had their trust issues. Jack especially, coming off of the ex that he had. But I also appreciated that there really wasn’t any female drama with that, except for the issues it caused his image and career.

Ultimately, this was a fun, sweet and steamy read that I enjoyed immensely and can’t wait for Elena’s sister to get her story next.

Review: Hart To Handle by K. Bromberg

HARD TO HANDLE
Series: Play Hard #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: June 30, 2020

At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency.

Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox

Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.
If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.

But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.

But I know better than to cross that line.

I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.

***
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.

Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.

And time is running out.

Enter Dekker Kincade.

Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.

I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.

But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.

I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.

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I stare at Hunter. At his shirt plastered with sweat and how it clings to his body, despite the chill of the ice his skates are standing on. He has his warm-up pants on and is without a helmet, his hair curling at the ends from the sweat.

And all I see in his eyes is anger I didn’t put there. Or maybe I did. Rejection can do that to a man . . . but there’s something more here. Something I walked in on that doesn’t make sense.

“Don’t give me that look, Kincade,” Hunter mutters as he skates over to the penalty box where his electrolyte drink sits.

“What look?” I ask.

He half laughs, half snorts and meets my gaze across the distance. “Disappointment. Disproval. Disdain. I’m the king of all of them, so save your breath—or in this case—your glare, because it’s not going to work with me.”

“Are we working on emotions that start with the letter D today?” I ask. A hint of my embarrassment and anger over how I acted last night creeps into my voice, but I mask it with sarcasm. “If that’s the case, I’m more than impressed with your answers thus far.”

He clenches his jaw in response and then skates back over to line up more pucks so he can shoot them. And he does, one after another, each shot taken with laser precision and a healthy dose of fury behind it.

He goes through the first ten lined up and then stops to catch his breath.

His talent and skill are undeniable, but so is the beer bottle in my hand.

“Just because you’re the captain and star of this team, doesn’t mean management won’t frown upon this,” I say, unable to let this go.

“Screw the management.”

“No one likes a player who’s hard to handle and honestly, Hunter, you’re becoming hard to handle.”

“No one likes unsolicited advice from someone who has no bearing on his career, either,” he counters, the rebuke stinging but deserved.

The problem is, I do care about him. Doesn’t he get that’s where my hostility stems from?
And only a crazy person would say that, Dekker.

I put my hands up in surrender to both him and my own thoughts. “You know I only want the best for you.” I take a few steps in his direction in the first row of the stands. I’m close enough to catch the hitch of his movement and to see uncertainty flicker in his eyes. It’s almost as if he needs to talk but doesn’t see me as someone he can trust. I hate that. “What is it, Hunter?”

“Nothing. It’s . . . never mind.”

But I see it, and he knows I see it. The question is what do I see, though?

I knew that the minute I laid eyes on him. I knew that there was going to be a casualty in all of this. And most likely, it was going to be my heart.

GOD. Rip my heart out, why don’t ya, K. Bromberg. Holy hell. This story was a one two punch straight to the feels. I was expecting another amazing book from one of my favorite authors. What I was not expecting, was to blubber my way through every emotion it seemed to wrangle out of me. And oh my GOD, the emotion!

The premise of this new series is addictive. Four sisters who barely get along and couldn’t be more different are brought together by a common goal to save their father’s failing sports agency. First on the docket is Dekker who is assigned to win over a hockey super star from an agent that keeps stealing their clients out from under them. The only problem? The man she’s assigned to go after is also one that turned out to me more than she bargained for 3 years ago with what was only supposed to be sex.

Hunter Maddox is a hockey god. Captain of the team, he battles demons that no one knows about that are quickly causing him to spiral out of control in a cloud of rage and guilt. He may be an incredibly talented professional hockey star on the surface, but on the inside he’s burned out and hurting. He hasn’t seen Dekker since she walked out of his hotel room three years ago. They were only supposed to have hot sex between them, but it didn’t take long for it to become something more for him. He doesn’t know why she’s back in his orbit now, but he’ll be dammed if he’ll let her walk away before rekindling the fire that burned so hotly between them before.

I was instantly hooked on the story. I’m a sucker for a good second chance romance, especially one between a tortured pro hockey player and a ballsy sports agent. I loved Dekker’s smart mouth and stiff spine. Although admittedly, the longer she went without admitting to Hunter’s question on why she was there, the more frustrated I became with her. She was stuck between doing her job to sign him and save their agency and knowing she’s barely resisting the temptation of the man that stole her heart. It was a torture dance of frustration and wanting to shake her to just admit it to him.

Hunter was impossible not to love. My heart hurt so badly for him. Especially as we got more and more details on all that transpired to bring him to where he is today. His relationship with his family and his brother broke my heart. I blubbered like a baby through a good chunk of it.

This was the start of what is definitely going to be one incredible series, if this book is anything to go by. I was glued to the pages, put through the ringer of emotion, and SO FREAKING INVESTED. If you love a good sports romance, welcome to your next addiction! Seriously. This one is not to be missed!


New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow and her mind scattered in too many different directions.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform, Passionflix, with the first movie (Driven) out now.

With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.

Connect with K. Bromberg:

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Review: Hard Pass by Sara Ney

HARD PASS
Series:
Trophy Boyfriends #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: June 16, 2020

“Hard pass.”

That’s what the last girl I slept with said when she got her first sober glimpse of me. She laughed, walked out of my penthouse—and I never saw her again. It doesn’t matter that I’m a rich, professional athlete; what mattered was my face.

Beauty might only be skin deep for some—but I know better.

“Pay up.”

That’s what the last girl I spoke to said over the phone when I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Desperate to sell a set of rare baseball cards, she’s clever and entertaining. I’m instantly smitten, but nowhere ready to reveal myself. Thank god she has no idea who I am—or what I look like.
I’m a professional athlete–how hard can playing the love game be?

AMAZON

There’s nothing wrong with being a nice guy! Why do guys hate that so much?”
“Because, Miranda, nice guys usually only finish first in the movies. They are not the trophy boyfriends every girl wants.”

A new series from Sara Ney and with some baseball thrown in? SIGN ME THE H*LL UP, I SAY! To say that I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book may be a mild understatement. Rabid may be an apt description of my need. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on this book, so the second it landed on my kindle, I jumped on it faster than you can say “gimme”.

As much as I love reading about those sexy alpha males, I do love a good underdog story. And when it comes to Noah, he was one of the most endearing underdogs. As a matter of fact, he reminded me so much of Rhett from The Learning Hours. And y’all, I loved Rhett from The Learning Hours. Noah is a professional baseball player and a total recluse. Being a shortstop for the Chicago Steam means he gets plenty of attention for his skill and money. But he’s not exactly raking it in with the ladies. He’s a genuinely nice guy but with plenty of insecurities when it comes to his looks. So when he sees a woman selling a rare baseball card on the internet that he’s desperate for, he’s too shy to go himself, and sends his womanizing teammate to pretend to be him. Suffice it to say the meeting doesn’t go as planned and hilarity ensues.

Miranda has had it with the womanizing and cocky a-holes. And she’s definitely not impressed with Noah’s teammate. Especially when she can’t reconcile the nice guy she’s been talking to on the phone with the cocky jerk that shows up. She wants nothing to do with that guy, but the one on the texts still draws her interest.

I absolutely devoured this book. It was ridiculously cute with a touch of sizzle and plenty of laughs. I loved Noah. This is a guy that you can’t help but to root for. He’s adorably awkward but he’s still all alpha male when it comes to pleasing his woman. GOD but I loved him. Miranda was the perfect balance to his quirks and insecurities and I absolutely loved the two of them together. Add in the quirky secondary characters like Buzz and I blinked and realized I was done with the book. I’m so hooked on this new series and seriously can’t wait for the next one. As much as I love the nice guys, I hope we’ll get a few a-holes out of this series too.

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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“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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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.

Stay up to date with all things Rebecca!

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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.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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