Saturday, August 6, 2016

ARC Review: Blind Landing by Carrie Aarons

Blind Landing is my first book by Carrie Aarons and I really loved it! It was a great NA sports romance novel with likable characters and a captivating storyline. This book is perfectly timed for those that are like me and can't get enough of all things Olympics. It features a gymnast hoping to achieve her dream of winning Olympic gold.

Natalia Grekov's family has sacrificed to give her every chance to make the Olympics, and while she can be a bit of a wild child she has no intentions of letting them down. She can't afford any distractions if she wants that gold medal around her neck, and the sexy coach Spencer Russell is exactly the type of distraction she should stay far away from. But with a nasty fall getting into her head and holding her back, she finds that the only person that can possibly help her is also the one that stands to get in her way. The more Natalia and Spencer get to know one another though, the harder they find it to fight the attraction between them. 

I really loved both Spencer and Natalia! These two were so perfect for one another, and I loved all that they had in common. They were both passionate about gymnastics, and were determined to spend their lives in that world. They had also each given everything they had to the sport, while Spencer had lost his chance at winning in the Olympics due to a career ending injury, Natalia continued to sacrifice daily to try and fulfill her dreams. But they were both a little wild and crazy, and I loved that fearless spirit that they each had. Natalia had always been fearless, so to see her struggle with a bit of that here was really interesting to me. Spencer was exactly what she needed and I loved how he broke it down for her and was patient as he helped her along the way. The chemistry between them was explosive, but it was their growing connection that was truly special here.

Overall, this was a really great story. I loved the characters and felt their connection the entire way through here. While this story didn't break any new ground here, it was solid from start to finish and I absolutely couldn't put it down. This is the perfect summer read, especially now with the Rio Olympics and I think that readers will really enjoy this story. This might have been my first book by Carrie Aarons, but it definitely won't be my last and I can't wait to read more from her!

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon

Feature and Giveaway: Saving Sara by Nicola Marsh

When Sara Hardy inherits a cottage in the small town of Redemption, Connecticut, it is just the break she needs to draw a line under her past—to begin again, on her own.

Sara never thought she’d be starting over. She was married, successful, and the mother of a beautiful girl. But the life she thought was on the right path has taken a series of wrong turns…

Meanwhile Jake Mathieson has a lot on his plate. Still reeling from a tragedy for which he feels responsible, he finds himself unexpectedly caring for his six-year-old nephew. In desperation, he comes to Redemption to enlist the help of his Aunt Cilla, a widow with demons of her own.

Jake is intrigued by Cilla’s cautious new neighbor. Like him, Sara is desperate to put the past behind her but not quite sure how to begin. Can Redemption offer either of them a second chance to find hope and happiness—perhaps even to take a risk on new love?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | The Book Depository |

ARC Review: The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely

The Sapphire Affair is a refreshing turn of events for me. The book is sexy, fun and includes some really entertaining banter. I have read other Blakely books and I like her as an author. This one was a little bit different from some of her other books but I liked it with the differences.

Jake and Steph are after the same thing for different reasons. Jake has been hired to track down the business transaction of a shady man. The shady man is Steph's step father and some of his shadiness may have included stealing money from Steph's mom. Steph sets out to get more information about the possible crime. Jake sets out to bring back his clients property if he finds it.

From their first meeting, the chemistry between Jake and Steph jumps off the pages. There was something that was extremely balanced about the way the couple interacts with each other. They had a total yin-yang vibe going on. Both Steph and Jake have issues trusting other people of the opposite sex. This is particularly true when it comes to Jake and meeting someone while he is working a job. He has some seriously bad luck in his history.

There were a couple of minor things that I didn't love. For example, I didn't get why Steph played so hard to get. I'm not saying you have to fall in love and bed at the first opportunity but Steph took things a little bit further than I cared to read about when it came to making Jake work for it. I also really like the mystery and suspense. I had so much fun reading a book with some chase scenes and some close call. The only issue is that sometimes I didn't really feel like I was reading a romance book. This felt more like a high energy mystery suspense. It was a little light on romance and sex. So if you are really in the mood for something romantic, put this one off until you are looking for more of a thrill.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N

Friday, August 5, 2016

ARC Review: Break of Day by Mari Madison

My first Mari Madison book was Just This Night, the first book in the Exclusive Romance series and I really enjoyed it! I remember being so anxious for the next book because I had liked it so much, so I was really excited to read Break of Day. This is the second in the series, but each book is a standalone story though they are connected. Don't worry about starting here if you haven't read the first, but I definitely recommend both. Break of Day was as good as the first one was, and I think readers are going to really enjoy this one as much as I did.

Asher Anderson is the spoiled rich boy who had everything handed to him, and while his father owns the news station he works for Asher would rather be out surfing. Piper Strong's dream job quickly becomes a nightmare when she realizes that she was hired to be Asher's babysitter and to help try and get him to do what the suits at the station want him to do. Though Piper intends to do whatever it takes to turn her job into the career she has dreamed of, she never expected the growing attraction she feels to Asher. 

While this trope has been done so many times before, I really liked the characters. There was more to Asher than you see at first glance, and Piper was great as well. These two had a lot of chemistry and I enjoyed seeing their interactions and how things progressed between them. As we got to know them each better, they had more in common that you first think and I liked that they were able to connect because of that. These characters felt real and genuine, and I loved the depth that Mari Madison was able to show with each of them. 

Overall, I am really enjoying this series. The stories are light and are great summer reads by the pool or at the beach, yet they also have emotion and depth and aren't flat or filled with fluff. I really like Mari's writing style, and I have had a great time reading both of these books. The pacing is great and once I start I don't want to put them down. While I would say that the first in the series is still my favorite so far, I really liked this book and I am already looking forward to the next one. If you are a fan of contemporary romance, I would recommend giving this series a shot.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

ARC Review: Broken Lion by Devon Hartford

Broken Lion was my first book by this author. The set up reminded me of another book that I really liked with a doctor and her patient so I was kind of intrigued. In this book Brigid is an orthopedic surgeon who is in the ER when Lion is brought in. Lion is a MMA fighter who has been badly injured. Things started going left for me with this story right here. So basically right away. 

Something about the language of this book and the way the characters interacted with each other really turned me off. Brigid is instantly attracted to Lion but she basically hides behind her job. Lion is smart enough to get Brigid fired as his doctor but she still keeps talking about how it would be inappropriate for her to hook up with him. For Lion's part he is extra forward and aggressive but also kind of sensitive. Lion starts getting real feelings for Brigid pretty quickly. 

So of course, despite her professional veneer, Brigid finds herself sort of hooking up with Lion. **Slight spoiler next** Brigid has a 10 year old son. Part of her hesitance to hook up with Lion is about her son. But then it turns out her son totally loves Lion. I felt like the author kept trying to create new reasons to justify Brigid not wanting to be with Lion. Which was weird because this is a romance right? So after Brigid is not Lions doctor and her son loves him, here comes the 'but wait' he's a violent felon or something. I honestly don't even want to get into the story of how this came out but it made absolutely no sense. Let me just say this, if you are attacked by some criminals in a parking garage, they are not waiting around for the police to show up so they can report what happens. Unless they are in this book. Makes. No. Sense. 

So anyway, Brigid and Lion finally get to the good stuff. From that point it really goes downhill. Brigid doesn't want to claim Lion in public. Lion acts like a complete pu$$y about the whole thing. Lion is so worried about Brigid not wanting to be with him, he will basically do anything. I just hated it. I never want to read about characters who let themselves be mistreated. In this book, I just didn't like the way Lion behaved towards himself. I found myself really wishing that Lion would dump Brigid.

So to sum it up, I hated the way Brigid treated Lion and the way he let it happen. I didn't care about the HEA because I was turned off from the couple. Not a great book for a reader like me.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | 

Feature and Giveaway: Totally, Sweetly, Irrevocably by Kira Archer

When Officer Rick Boyd answers a call about a peeping Tom, he doesn’t expect to find a gorgeous woman holding the binoculars. But Gina Silvano’s no peeping Tom, and she can catch her cupcake truck’s kinky vandals herself, thank you very much. No sexy cops required.

No matter how hot their stakeouts, by-the-book Officer Boyd can’t see a future with a dangerous, rule-breaking wild-child who despises the law. He’s never felt more alive, though, and expunging her from his heart might be impossible.

But loving each other might cost them more than they are able to give.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Thursday, August 4, 2016

ARC Review: Dare to Stay by Jen McLaughlin

Dare to Stay is the second book in the Sons of Steel Row series by Jen McLaughlin. This book picks up right after where the first book ends, though it does feature a different couple than the first book. While this book could be read as a standalone story, I would really recommend reading these in order if possible. I couldn't wait to see what would happen in this book after finishing Dare to Run, and I am really enjoying this series. 

Still reeling from the loss of his best friend, Chris O'Brien barely survives after a hit is placed on him. Trying to find a safe place to lie low, he thinks of the one perfect place from his childhood, and winds up at Molly Lachlan's door. Chris and Molly both soon realize the danger that places her in, yet they are unable to fight the connection between them. But can Chris keep Molly safe while also protecting Lucas's little brother Scotty or will Molly end up hurt because of Chris?

Chris and Molly come from different worlds, yet their connection is undeniable. They are pretty much opposites in every way, where Molly is sweet and nice, Chris was the bad boy that you couldn't help but love and hope could be redeemed. While I liked Molly, Chris was the one that really held my attention. He was magnetic and sexy, and I didn't want to stop reading to see what would happen for him. I felt emotionally invested in Chris with his past and all that he had been through, and that had me connecting more with him than I was able to with Molly. I still liked her, but I just didn't feel as invested in her as I did Chris. 

While I liked this book and the continuation of the series, I have to admit that this book wasn't quite as on point as the first one was for me. The first book had me captivated from the very first page and was raw and gritty and it was just so different from the norm when it comes to romance novels. But this one didn't have quite that seem feel, and I think a lot of that was because we spent more time in this story in Molly's world. I also felt like the author went out of her way to constantly remind the reader of the differences between Molly and Chris, and it got to the point that it felt like we were being beat over the head with it. It came off as redundant and as though the reader was not smart enough to remember that he was the bad guy while she was the innocent good girl. I am really looking forward to getting the next book in this series, and I am excited that it is Scotty's story! I can't wait to get to know him better and see what Jen McLaughlin has in store for him. If you are looking for a different series with a raw and gritty feel, this is one worth checking out.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

ARC Review: Worked Up by Tessa Bailey

I know I say this every time I read a Tessa Bailey book, but Bailey is my happy place. I can almost always rely on her for strong characters, great plots and a fun story. This book was no exception to my usual Bailey bounce. If you are already a Tessa Bailey fan, you will enjoy this. If you have not read Bailey before, this is a great place to start.

Worked Up is the story of Sam and Duke. In typical Bailey style, you are sure to get a little worked up here and there. I have three sisters so I could totally sympathize with Duke who is looking for an escape from his divorced sisters who live with him. Duke was trying to escape estrogen and find some peace when he meets Sam and that plan goes DIRECTLY out the window. Sam is exactly how I like my heroines- spicy! And Duke is the exact brand of brooding that I love in my alpha men.

Neither Sam nor Duke are looking for a relationship. In fact it's fair to say Duke is specifically NOT looking for a relationship. Sam sets up shop in Duke's hometown but it is supposed to be a temporary thing until she can work out some family issues. There is a story behind those issues that involves Sam's prior engagement and her brother's business. It is a hot mess but it adds layers to the plot and isn't too distracting.

I absolutely love that from the moment Duke lays eyes on Samantha, he is all in despite himself. I also love that Sam is a little awkward. Everyone doesn't need to have a sparkling personality and an instant connection. I was here for the awkward. When Sam was cracking corny jokes compulsively and wacking her head on the bar, I thought it was hilarious. Perfect girls are great and all but good to see some flaws.

Duke and Sam were really sweet together. For readers who are tired of the angsty billionaires and the sweet girls they subdue, this book will be perfect for you. I was super happy to read about a male character who was not vagina hopping and didn't have commitment issues. Also, if you read my reviews, you know I love heroes who have vulnerabilities. Well in this book, Duke actually didn't quite know how to approach Sam. He wasn't all smooth and practiced and I really really liked that. Now don't get me wrong, don't get it twisted. Bailey definitely delivers the dirty talk that we have grown to love. These two may have some things to work out but it all comes together in the BED!!

My only criticism of this book is that there were some parts that were a little slow. This is a minor critique but I'm generally used to more fast paced books from Bailey. Pace aside, I still recommend that you put this book on your read list.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: The Six Month Rule by A.J. Pine

She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

Taurus: Hold fast to your single-minded nature today—no matter how long her legs or how lush her red lips.

Gemini: You were a shining star last night, but reality can be a real—well, you get the picture. Just remember: Tall, dark, and British equals no corner office for you.

Will Evans never wanted a reason to stay.

Holly Chandler wants nothing more than for him to go.

But neither one is prepared for what can happen in six months. Because it doesn’t matter what you want when what you need walks out the door.

Holly’s been busting her butt to make partner at Trousseau and there’s no way she’s going to let some stuck-up British arsehole get in her way—no matter how drop-dead gorgeous he is. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have a little fun in the process. She has a six-month rule: date just long enough for the honeymoon phase to wear off, then walk away before anyone gets hurt. If they both know the rules up front, walking away will be a piece of cake. Or maybe not…

*SIX MONTH RULE is a stand alone book in a connected series.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

ARC Review: Hitched: Volume Three by Kendall Ryan

Hitched: Volume Three is the third and final installment in the Imperfect Love series by Kendall Ryan. This is not a standalone story and should only be read if you have read the previous two installments as it continues the story of Olivia and Noah. Volume Three picks up after the events of the second installment, and I have to admit that I was a bit worried about where things would go as I wasn't entirely on board with Noah after his actions at the end of Volume Two. For me, Noah has been the star of this series, so for him to do what he did at the end of the last book was something that I struggled with. Unfortunately while he did recover here and this was the weakest installment in the series. 

Like I said, Noah has been the star of this series for me and honestly if it wasn't for him I would have probably given up on this one. Noah is easy to love, and it was so refreshing to see a nice guy that was sweet and patient. He was willing to win Olivia over and do what it took to show her that they could be so much more. He was thoughtful and besides his momentary lapse of judgement at the end of Volume Two, I can honestly say that he is one of the best heroes I have read. But Olivia for me was harder to warm up to. She was a bit frustrating throughout this entire series, and while she did finally start to come around here I still felt like she wasn't able to fully recover from how much she pushed Noah away. 

While I really wanted to see how things would end here and I was glad that these two were able to figure things out, I felt like this book was a lot of filler. Not a lot happened, and some of the things that did were a bit too unbelievable and anticlimactic for me. Olivia's idea to save the day for the company was one that seemed completely unrealistic to me, and it just felt as though Kendall Ryan lost steam here and ran out of ideas. The first installment was my favorite and things seemed to sort of go downhill with each new installment released in this series. While it was still a good story overall, I can't help but think that this one was just okay as a whole. Had Kendall Ryan kept up the momentum from the Volume One, I think that this one could have been one of my favorites. If you have read the previous two volumes, you are definitely going to want to read this one for the conclusion to Noah and Olivia's story. I think that if you haven't read this series yet, that it is still a good story and is worth checking out if it sounds like something you would like. While it wasn't my favorite series from Kendall Ryan, Noah is definitely worth the read and I think that readers will love him just as much as I did.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ARC Review: Fool Me Once by Katee Robert

I really like Katee Robert. I can count on her for sexy, interesting stories with strong heroines and alpha men. I might just have really high expectations for this author because I liked this book but it was like like, not love like. I can boil down all of my issues in one swoop: I did not like Aubry. I don't think you were really supposed to like Aubry. Being unlikable is kind of Aubry's thing. I get that but ughhhhh, I just couldn't get with it. It made the book less enjoyable for me. 

The Hero in the book I completely love. Quinn is wild cowboy who needs a date to his sister's wedding. I also love the "need a date" books. Quinn's high society family has not found it in their silver spoon hearts to accept the fact that Quinn has no interest in the family business. (I also love the "family maverick" heroes who are determined to do their own thing). Quinn's family is high falooten and hard of hearing because he has been trying to convince them for TWELVE years that he is a rancher in his heart and in real life. Quinn, however, is a great guy who loves his sister, so of course he will deal with his family's shenanigans and attend the wedding. In order to head off matchmaking efforts, he brings the very spicy and also disagreeable, Aubry, with him to the wedding. I like that even though Quinn is into serial casual dating, he was not willing to hook up with someone he didn't even like. So, not a total manwhore. 

Aubry..... I really tried to put all my enthusiasm and optimism towards Quinn. Aubry is just a bit mean...or a lot mean. I get it I really do. She came from a hellish background. She became a gamer to protect herself from the crap going on around her. Anyway, Aubry just happens to need to make a cross country trip and does not want to do so by herself. The wedding date situation with Quinn is the perfect opportunity for her. 

I like enemy- romance. I like the tension and build up to two people going from arguing to loving. We absolutely get that in this book because Aubry and Quinn were like oil and water at first. Things move along pretty quickly in this fast paced, short read. There is a lot of emotional punch packed into a small space. Despite Aubry's prickliness, I found myself really enjoying her interactions with Quinn. I was even happy for the HEA at the end.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Feature and Giveaway: Fool Me Once by Katee Robert

They say opposites attract, but this is just ridiculous.

Aubry Kaiser doesn’t like people—actually, that’s not right. She loathes people. With her crippling anxiety, there’s no way she can demo her favorite video game at a convention with five thousand other people. Maybe if she brings someone to act as a shield…

But the only person available is the sexy cowboy she can’t stand.

Quinn Baldwyn is in a mess of his own. He’s been dodging his wealthy family’s matchmaking attempts—and life advice—for years, but with his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs of a shield of his own.

He and Aubry can barely hold down a civil conversation, but in bed…fireworks. And the closer they get to Quinn’s sister’s wedding, the more he realizes that he might actually like Aubry.

Now it’s up to him to convince her she might actually like him, too.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Check out the Foolproof Love series:

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “If I say you’re right, am I ever going to live it down?”

He didn’t answer, and she opened her eyes. Their reflection was slightly distorted in the passenger window, but even she could see he had a seriously tense look on his face. She belatedly realized that they were pressed together, her back to his front, and that he was…

Oh my God. She couldn’t resist leaning back into him, just a little. Yep, that’s not a micro penis. A shiver worked its way through her, leaving goose bumps in its wake, and her nipples perked right up, showing through the thin fabric of her T-shirt. There was no way he didn’t feel her reaction, not with his arm creating a band across her ribs, his forearm against the underside of her breasts.

Even as she noticed, he started to release her, his hand sliding over her stomach, but he stopped when he hit her hip, his pinkie finger dipping below the waistband of her shorts, just a little. It wasn’t anywhere near anything vital, but that little intrusion made her moan all the same.

“Fuck.” The word was barely audible, but she felt it in the way his body tensed behind her.

She shivered again, torn between telling him to back off and getting the top button of her jeans all undone for him. If she didn’t make a decision—and fast—he was going to back off again. It was written all over the tension she could feel emanating from his body.

Aubry started to reach for his hand, still undecided on whether she wanted to encourage or threaten him, but he moved, bending down to brace one hand on the truck in front of them, the other still on her hip. The move brought his mouth against her ear, and his harsh exhale made her shake.

She arched against him. She couldn’t help it. Her body took over, a primal part of her knowing he could give her all the pleasure she could handle, and was only too happy to extend an invitation by rubbing her ass against his hard length.

His grip on her hip tightened, but he didn’t try to stop her. “You’re playing a dangerous game.”

She knew. They had to stop for so many reasons, the least of which was that they were on the side of a freaking highway and it was only a matter of time before a car drove past.

But she didn’t want to stop.

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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