May The Best Man Win by Mire Lyn Kelly (Best Man #1)

May The Best Man Win by Mira Lyn KellyAvailable: August 2, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

Four friends

Each a Best Man at a wedding

One chance to get it right

Jase Foster can’t believe his bad luck. He’s been paired with the she-devil herself for his best friend’s wedding: Emily Klein of the miles-long legs and killer smile. She may be sin in a bridesmaid dress, but there’s no way he’s falling for her again.

They can barely stand each other, but given how many of their friends are getting married, they’ll just have to play nice-at least when they’re in company. Once they’re alone, more than just gloves come off as Jase and Emily discover their chemistry is combustible, and there may be something to this enemies to lovers thing after all…

Jase Foster. Essential at weddings. Always the best man.

Emily Klein. Bridesmaid extraordinaire. Keeps the wedding moving smoothly.

Emily and Jase have a love hate relationship. Once upon a time, a long, long time ago he loved her, she loved him but neither of them knew. Jase pushed Emily to be in a relationship with his best friend, Eddie, while he watched from the sidelines. It’s something he never quite got over. Nor did she, as she desperately needed Jase to help her with a tragic situation. Not being honest with each other cost them their friendship and has turned them into people who cannot stand to be around each other.

All of their friends can see there is something more to their relationship. Emily is truly affected by Jase and vice versa but they just don’t see it until one dance at a reception. Then the battle of who can test who more starts. Little touches here and there, catching each other staring. But when Jase asks the question, “Out of curiosity, when did you actually start to hate me?” something starts to change.

When Jase sees Emily sprinting across the church parking lot in 13 degree weather, he saves her from falling and takes her to his car to warm up. Jase finally succumbs to his need for Emily and kisses her “just to put an end to the curiosity”, which turns into so much more. After their one night together, they both go their separate ways determined not to think about each other, until the next wedding comes along.

Emily and Jase keep insisting that one more time together and then that’s the end of it. However, when Emily brings a date along to the rehearsal dinner, Jase realizes that there is some sort of connection between the two of them. When Jase finally apologizes to her for all that happened so many years ago, things change for the both of them. Jase wants to take her out on a date but Emily just cannot trust him as of yet. Jase decides to make an effort to show Emily that they can start out as friends and see where it takes them. The relationship starts to progress into what they both want until they disagree with a cheating issue that happens between their friends, and it all falls apart.

“Because, Jase, when I look at you now,” she said, the tears in her eyes knocking him back a step, “all I see is the lie I fell in love with. And the truth just hurts too much.” ~Emily

May the Best Man Win is a quick, fun read with lots of sassiness along with a huge side of seriousness to it. The sex was AMAZING. OFF THE CHARTS HOT. The characters of Emily and Jase worked well together and I liked the banter back and forth, especially when they did not like each other. However, I did get a bit confused as to who all the other characters were at times. There seemed to be too many people in the story that just didn’t need to be there.

I give May the Best Man Win by Mira Lyn Kelly 3 stars!

Going Down Easy by Carly Phillips (Billionaire Bad Boys #1)

Going Down Easy by Carly PhillipsAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Billionaire Bad Boys: Rich, Powerful and sexy as hell.

Billionaire Kaden Barnes has a reputation for being difficult and always getting his way.

Enigmatic and exacting, he’s unable to keep an assistant for long. Enter his newest hire, Lexie Parker. She’s no-nonsense, efficient and all business… She’s also hot as sin and soon starring in Kaden’s dirtiest fantasies.

As their passion for each other reaches a boiling point, neither can control theexplosive outcome when they finally give in to their desires. He may think he’s calling the shots, but for this bad boy, going down easy has never felt so good.

I’m starting to think Carly Phillips can do no wrong because once again she has delivered a book that had me emotionally reeling. I think the thing that set this apart the most was the central theme of mental illness and how others perceive it. I applaud Phillips not only for writing about something so few want to talk about, but doing it in a way that had left the characters with dignity.

One of three friends who has created an uber popular phone app, Kaden goes through personal assistants like water. Mostly due to his demanding natural and unbendable habits. His quirks and attitude have driven away everyone he’s attempted to work with. Until Lexie Parker shows up unannounced, brought in by one of his business partners without his knowledge. She seems to have no problem standing up to him or dealing with his idiosyncrasies and something about that really excites him.  Women have never been a constant in his life, leaving at the first chance they get, but Lexie is slowly opening him up to the idea that not everyone leaves.

With a bipolar twin sister and a highly depressed mother, Lexie is no stranger to dealing with mental illness. Putting her own life on hold time and again to be her sister’s keeper is how she’s always lived her life. Her sister always comes first. Lexie’s new boss, Kaden is sexy as sin and completely demanding and definitely won’t be willing to deal with her families issues. Yet the more she gets to know him the more she suspects he might actually understand. As the lines between boss and lover become blurred they’ll both need to make some concessions in their life that they swore was never an option.

Again, I really enjoyed this book. I thought the take on mental illness was well done, realistic and wrote with knowledge on the subject one might only get with first hand accounts. Mental illness wears many masks, everything from anxiety to bipolar disorder and I liked how Phillips encompassed several different forms and how each affects not only the person but the family as well. It took Kaden quite a while to open up to Lexie about his quirks and how they affect his daily life and I liked that he didn’t tell her everything right away (and in return, she didn’t open up completely about her family either), because both were afraid of the ramifications of talking about it, used to other peoples judgement.

As always, Phillips write sex scenes with a ton of heat, especially since branching out into the self pub world. Kaden and Lexie worked well together and the story moves seamlessly through the chapters. Not a dull moment was to be had with this one. Lexie’s compassion coupled with Kade’s need to keep women at arms length made this a dance Lexie was sure to win.

I enjoyed learning about these men who have worked so tirelessly to build their empire and look forward to each of their books. I’m even hoping for a 4th book for Kade’s long lost brother, and maybe even one for Lexie’s twin who is working so hard to get her life in order. I want her to have someone she can call her own too.

Going Down Easy is a fantastic romance story with an important central theme focusing on the stigma of mental illness. Wrote with heart and compassion, this is definitely one for the keeper shelf.

I give Going Down Easy by Carly Phillips 4 stars! 

The Family Man by Kelly Eadon

The Family Man by Kelly EadonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Forever Yours

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

TEMPTATION NEVER TASTED SO SWEET…

When life hands lemons to Beth Beverley, she makes mouthwatering lemon squares. Mostly because they’re coveted by the sexy single dad who owns Belmont’s most popular coffee shop. But that’s where her crush on Griffin has to end. Her sweet treats are selling like crazy cakes in his shop, and she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. Too bad his sinful smile has her flirting with the idea of forever.

Griffin Hall definitely needs to keep his eyes–and his hands–off Beth. Since he’s traded in late-night gigs and partying for bedtime stories with his little girl in his arms, he doesn’t have time for anything else. So why does Beth’s big heart and easy way with his daughter make him finally feel alive again? But there’s a little secret Beth doesn’t know, something he can’t bear to tell her . . .

I have to start off by saying I have been at a loss when it comes what to read. I have started and stopped so many books in the last three weeks, I was beginning to think I’d never get my groove back. Thanks to you Kelly Eadon, I am back in the swing of things. The Family Man was the perfect book to get me back on track!

Beth is probably one of the sweetest heroines that I have ever read about. She is a hard-working, optimistic, free spirited person just doing her own thing. Beth has her hands in so many undertakings, but does not feel she can make a commitment to be responsible for anyone. She is an incredibly talented baker who makes muffins for the local businesses, including Griffin’s little coffee shop.

Griffin, once a guitarist in a popular band, has settled down after an unexpected pregnancy. He left his party lifestyle behind to raise his daughter while the mother of the child became a drug addict. Being a single parent, Griffin knows that his daughter needs structure and is determined to do whatever it takes.

Both Beth and Griffin are wonderful characters who quickly realize that they just work well together. There is such a strong connection between the two of them and Griffin’s daughter, Mabel. Griffin is a family man, first and foremost, which is nice to read. This is probably the first book I’ve read that the father is a single parent who truly enjoys his child. The author also shares the struggle of being a single parent running his own business which is a refreshing change of pace.

The story has a good balance of so many things….sweetness, a little bit of sadness, fun from a four year old little girl, some great friends and a bit of sexiness! When Griffin and Beth finally come together, WOW! The sex between them is actually quite sweet too, not too raunchy and not to over the top.

The Family Man is a quick, light hearted read. I found that there was a steady pace throughout the story and even though there was conflict, it was easily resolved. Beth and Griffin are two very likeable characters and I truly enjoyed the dialogue between the two of them. This story made them very realistic…you probably know people very similar to Beth and Griffin. I know I do!

This is the second book for Ms. Eadon. A Wedding Date was her first book and no, you do not have to read it to get caught up on this book. However, after reading The Family Man, I will be going back to read her first book.

I give The Family Man by Kelly Eadon 5 stars!

Wanderlust by Roni Loren + GIVEAWAY

Meet Roni:

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

Connect with Roni: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge series and Off the Clock, a story of sex, love, rock & roll, and a reporter who’s about to learn a new meaning for staying on top of her assignment…

Restaurant critic Aubrey Bordelon is never at a loss for words to describe her meals in the fancy restaurants of New Orleans. But after her magazine’s high-profile music reporter falls ill, she finds herself out of her element and in a sea of screaming fans awaiting Wanderlust’s lead singer, Lex Logan. The sound of his voice gives her goosebumps, and the stage presence of the hard-bodied rock star takes her breath away. So when he pulls her onstage for a sexy stunt, she knows she’s in real trouble.

Lex doesn’t want to pretend that the sparks on stage between him and Aubrey never happened, but it certainly makes the fact that she’s writing a story on his band all the more dangerous. The last thing he needs is some nosy reporter revealing their problems to the world. But the sexy Southern belle doesn’t give up easily, and soon, he’s wondering if the best way to chase her off the story is to coax her into his bed…

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & NobleGoogle Play | iTunes | Kobo

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Giveaway:

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***REVIEW FROM LIZ***

Available: July 19, 2016

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: InterMix

My copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz

 

Wanderlust by Roni Loren gives us Aubrey and Lex. Two people who on the surface could not be any more different. Aubrey walks the straight and narrow and Lex does as he pleases, when he pleases. Thus begins the story of the good girl meets the notorious bad boy. Cue in sparks flying everywhere and the chemistry drips off the pages.

Aubrey Bordelon leads a very structured life. She has her goals and lives by her own enforced strict rules. Many years ago she had one night of rebellion and it turned into her worse nightmare. Now she strives to be the good girl everyone expects and avoids anything that could get her into bad situations. But is she missing too much of life this way?

Lex, the lead singer for the band Wanderlust, who is really taking off now, is the personification of the rocker bad boy. He enjoys all the perks with no regrets. Especially with the female fans. He makes no promises, but gives them exactly what they ask for. Win-win.

Until the day he brings one fan onto the stage in New Orleans and the sparks fly everywhere. No one is safe. Until Lex realizes Aubrey is the reporter sent to cover the band for an upcoming article. Lex does not want her getting to close and discovering the secrets they are trying to hide. But how to scare her off?

Maybe all she needs is one night in his bed. But he soon learns Aubrey is professional and takes her job very serious. Nothing will get in her way. Even the sexy lead singer who keeps getting under her skin. Lex on the other hand believes he can get her out of his mind after one night. But will one night be enough?

But he is not willing to promise more. As a rock star, he is never in one place long. He is not built for the long term. Right now is enough for him. On the other hand, Aubree knows she must keep her heart well-guarded. Lex is not the staying kind. Can she let go enough to just enjoy the right now?

I really enjoyed the back and forth between Aubree and Lex. Unlike all the other woman in his life, she did not fall to his feet and offer him everything he wanted. She stood her ground and held firm. But how long can she keep this up when they both know exactly what they want…each other.

A great, sexy summer read, with great characters that pull you right in. Add in some outside drama on both sides and you get one interesting read.

Wanderlust by Roni Loren was a 4-stars read for me!

Fleeting Moments by Bella Jewel + GIVEAWAY

 

Title: Fleeting Moments

Author: Bella Jewel

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

 Release Date: July 19, 2016

Available: July 19, 2016

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My copy: Purchased

Reviewer: Liz

One single moment changes everything
In one breath, you can have it all
A split-second later, it can all disappear
Vanished forever

That was me
I had it all
Then in a cruel twist of fate, it was taken from me
A beautiful life gone in a flash

But he was there
He was there to pick me up when I fell
To protect me
My savior. My rock.

He was just a stranger
Just a selfless stranger with a face I’ll never forget
Can’t forget
Won’t forget

And like everything else, he just disappeared
As if he never existed
I have to find him
I need to find him
He has to know that he saved me

He has to know that in that one fleeting moment, he was all I could see

A while back I was notified about an upcoming, secret Bella Jewel book. I have read several of her books and have enjoyed them, but what really intrigued me was there was no background for this book. Just a secret release and I had to know what it was!

A while back I was notified about an upcoming, secret Bella Jewel book. I have read several of her books and have enjoyed them, but what really intrigued me was there was no background for this book. Just a secret release and I had to know what it was! Well…I was not disappointed. She is such a versatile author. Every book I have read of hers has been unique in its own way.

But for this secret release, I really do not know what to say or where to start. So much of what I want to share would be considered a spoiler and you have to just go into this book with no expectations. It is totally worth it. Every second of it. But what I can say is I found Fleeting Moments to be an emotional, full of angst, and loss read, but also about moving on and forward. Once I started, I could not put this book down

In the prologue, we get thoughts on how there are moments in a person’s life that can break us, change us, define us, impact us and ultimately shape us. In a second, minute, hour, your life can be changed forever.

The moment in time that changes the course of Lucy’s life (and those around her) is a tragic event. A life-changing event. One she survives, with the help of a stranger, but one who disappears just as quickly. Was it even real?

From the start, the twists and turns start coming and you have no idea where this story is going. I was surprised at every turn.

I loved Lucy. She was such a strong and determined heroine. Even as others questioned and doubted her, readers rooted for her. She knew what happened and no one would believe her. Was she crazy? Was it too much for one person? For every answer, there are more questions.

And Heath just runs away with your heart and never lets it go. Though what he is involved in is dangerous, he is also very loyal and honest to a fault, but also ALL alpha and sexy. What else could you ask for in a hero?

The secondary characters were just as amazing, the good and the bad. These characters had so much depth to them.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. Devoured every page. The ride was exhilarating. This is a must read. Emotional and heartbreaking, as well a hopeful and thoughtful.

I give Fleeting Moments by Bella Jewel 4.5 stars

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK

 

Author Bio

 

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first releasewas a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

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Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan (Shadow #1)

Shadow Rider by Christine FeehanAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…

Stefano Ferraro. Even his name is SO freaking hot. I read the first chapter of this book as a preview at the back of another book and I COULD.NOT.WAIT. for this book to come out. Shadow Rider did not disappoint. Christine Feehan is the queen of paranormal romance for good reason. She gives readers what they want while using her incredible imagination to throw in more curves than you would expect.

The concept behind the shadow riders is an interesting one. Dating back over a hundred years, the Ferraro family has bred shadow riders – people who can blend into, manipulate, and travel through the shadows anywhere. Ruthlessly trained from age two, the riders learn how to use the shadows, how to fight, how to defend, how to kill. Years and years of training allow the Ferraro riders to use their unique talents to bring justice to those above the law.

Stefano Ferraro is the head of the family. His brothers, his sister, his cousins, various successful family businesses… they are all under his command. An international banking empire, hotels, casinos – all owned by the Ferraro family, bring in legitimate income and allow the family to filter the money through that the shadow riders’ jobs bring in. For Stefano, control is everything. He is a man who nobody fucks with. What he wants, he gets. What he works for, he attains. Anyone who harms someone under the protection of the Ferraro family is dealt with swiftly and justly. He is alpha to the core, a dominant, bossy, control freak to whom family is everything. Everything, that is, until Francesca Cappello walks into his neighborhood.

To the Ferraro family, Francesca opens up a whole new world. A shadow rider outside of the family is something they could have only hoped existed. The second Stefano’s shadow reaches out to hers, he realizes that she is the one woman created for him. He doesn’t care where she came from or where she’s going – immediately he knows she is a vital part of his life. To him, and his family, she represents hope. Hope that happiness and love are possible for them. Hope that the long line of shadow riders will be carried on for another generation. Stefano doesn’t care what he has to do or who gets in his way – he vows to make Francesca his.

Francesca Cappello has run out of options. After suffering the loss of her sister – her only remaining family – having lost her home, her friends and her job, she has nowhere to go. In a desperate move, she reaches out to her college friend Joanna, who sends her money and an invitation to stay with her in Chicago until she gets back on her feet. It is on her way to a job interview at Joanna’s uncle’s deli where Francesca meets Stefano. She knows nothing of the Ferraro family other than the bits and pieces she’s seen in the tabloids – photos of stunningly beautiful, wealthy playboys who are notorious for their partying as well as the hint of danger that seems to surround them. She knows nothing about the shadow riders, and she has no idea that she herself is one.

Francesca is on the run from a dangerous man, a man who runs in the same circles as the Ferraro family. She has no money, no belongings and no hope except for the job Joanna promised her. The last thing she expects is to catch the eye of a man like Stefano Ferraro. He is easily the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen, and the most intimidating. The more she is pursued by him, the more scared she becomes. Distrusting a powerful, obscenely wealthy man is second nature to her, and she’s half convinced that the Ferraro family is involved in organized crime. None of that holds a candle to the sizzling attraction she feels for Stefano. He scares the crap out of her, but his attention is impossible to ignore.

I could go on and on about this book, but nothing I could write would even come close to touching on how… larger than life Stefano and Francesca were. They started out with a kind of cat and mouse flirtation, which turned into a sexy seduction, and resulted in Stefano binding her to him so tightly she couldn’t leave if she wanted to. This book was the epitome of the damsel in distress being rescued by the white knight, or in this case the rich, powerful shadow rider who has money and power at his disposal. It was a slow journey for Francesca to find her way to trusting Stefano, but in the end they formed such an incredible partnership that he even learned to lean on her. I can’t wait for more books in this series!

I give Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan 5 stars!

Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-Mills (English #2)

Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-MillsAvailable: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My copy: Purchased

Reviewer: Liz

 

A smokin’ hot British player… A jilted girl… One night of mistaken identity…

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancé drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University.

She didn’t plan on attending a masquerade party. She sure didn’t plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago–the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.

Once back at Whitman together, they endeavor to pretend they never had their night of unbridled passion in London.

But that’s damn hard to do when you live in the same house…

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*A modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet*

An unexpected second chance love story!

What is a woman to do when her fiancé calls off the wedding two weeks before they are set to say their vows? She takes her best friend with her on her already paid honeymoon! Why lose out when she can take the time needed to heal. Losing herself in London seems to be just what she needs!

What Remi did not expect was to run straight smack into the man who broke her heart three years ago, Dax Blay. It’s the last thing she expected and needs while getting over her current heartbreak.

On a night out, they end up at a nightclub where they have to wear masks. Dax instantly recognizes and wants Remi, the woman he has not forgotten, but a lot of the same issues from before are still top of mind. He may not be the same man he once was, but is he capable of giving her what she needs? Or is he just a rebound from her heartbreak?

Remi on the other hand does not trust Dax. He broke her heart once already and while still recovering from her latest heartbreak, she cannot bear to be heartbroken again. Can she really trust him? Can a person really change?

So many feels in this book. We get angst, love, and heartbreak. The back and forth between these two is painful. There is so much to overcome, it may just be too much for them.

I loved Dax. What is there not to love? Bad-boy who is British? But we do get glimpses of him that pull at your heart and just make you root for him. Remi was not the strongest female heroine, but these two together were hot and steamy, even with all the contradictions and miscommunications.

A great, quick, angst filled read that you will not be able to put down!

I give Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-Mills 4-stars!

Like A Boss by Logan Chance

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About The Author

Logan Chance enjoys the simple things in life. Star Wars, music, and pretty girls. Always in trouble at school, he was made to copy the dictionary while the others played. This began his word fascination.

With a love of words he then realized he loved stringing those same words together to create stories to inspire all.

From Boston, and relocated to Florida, he lives out his days writing, reading, and avoiding the beach.

Not afraid to tell it how it is, Logan is definitely a man of his own.

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Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My copy: Sent 

Reviewer: Liz

Theo Sullivan is the new boss of The Lopa, a classy tiki bar in the heart of South Beach, Miami. Little does he know, a certain bartender doesn’t think he has what it takes to make it. Personalities collide as Penelope Marks goes against the boss and tries her hardest to defy him. Theo is determined to be a success. Penny is determined not to lose. What happens if these two get more than they bargained for? What if the one person you want more than ever is the one person you hate even more?

Like A Boss is the debut novel from Logan Chance. And for his first novel, he gave us a steamy, hot, cannot put down story.

We meet Theo out for a night, looking to relax, have some fun and unwind. He has been really stressed lately and looking to get into a new business he is both excited and nervous about. Ready to find the right “woman” to give him what he needs for the night, he decides he needs someone different this time.

Enter Penelope. The bartender serving him drinks. She is just what he was looking for her. Catching his eye immediately, he decides he must have her. For Penelope, this is not normal behavior, but she is instantly attracted.

Fast forward a few months and Theo is ready to move forward with his new business, a local bar he hopes to be successful, however, unfortunately, he does not have the experience needed to run it without some help. He has the desire, the drive, but lacks the knowledge. He knows he needs to find a manager to help him succeed.

Penny, one of his waitresses, knows she is right for the job, but how can she prove it to him? Instantly attracted to each other, but also finding themselves constantly at odds, can they find a way to coexist?

Theo knows he must stay away, Penny is after all an employee, and he cannot forget the woman he shared a passionate night with months ago, but can’t seem to shake her off either.

Thus begins the story of Theo and Penny. I found this novel to be both hot and steamy, but also entertaining and found myself laughing out loud at their shenanigans and reactions to each other. It really pulled me in from the start.

Theo is a bit on the nerdy side, loving all things Star Wars and video games, but also very handsome and confident. He also has an alpha side in the bedroom that seems unexpected, but very welcoming. There are moments you want to strangle him, he is after all a man, but he more than makes up for it. He is not very nice to Penny at first, but a lot of it was knowing what he felt and thought about her were wrong.

Penny is just trying to get by. Deciding a long time ago she did not need her father to succeed, she set out to prove to him she could do it on her own. Finding just what she needed at her new job, a new boss was totally unexpected and his attitude downright rude, but she needed to prove to him she was just what he needed. In more ways than one.

Working together proved to be very entertaining to readers and I loved their chemistry together, be it while getting on each other’s nerves or trying to fight off their attraction. The author also gave us some unexpected twists along the way that we did not see coming. This added to the story and conflicts to Theo and Penny.

This was a great, quick read with so much passion and feeling. I am very excited to read the next book and more from Logan Chance.

Like A Boss by Logan Chance was a 4-star read for me.

EXCERPT

Let’s be honest, most men aren’t even that damn picky, but tonight I craved above average. It’s why I picked Nectar—the hottest place to be on a Friday night—but while sexy, curvaceous asses and pumped up plastic tits painted the room like a surgeon’s personal advertisement billboard, I wanted something closer to the liquor in my hand. I wanted a girl fresh out of the damn bottle, warm in my mouth, burning on the way down, and fucking me up until I couldn’t see straight. I wanted the good shit.

Stoned by Mandi Beck (Wrecked #1)

Stoned by Mandi BeckAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

“A rock star with no rhythm is a man with no soul.” – Stone Lockhart

As the lead singer of one of the hottest bands to hit the rock scene, fucks are free, drugs come easy, and music is life.
For as long as Stone can remember, Willow has been his music – the notes that weave his soul together.
His rhythm.
Until he threw her away.
All he has left is a handful of pills and a few lines of powder to make him forget her.
And he tries, over and over.

Clean and ready to make things right, he’s faced with the fact that Willow’s moved on. She’s not the same girl he cast aside. Willow’s a woman sure about her purpose in life. Sure about who she’s meant to love.
Stone may be lost without his rhythm, but Willow has found so much more.

After the huge release of Beck’s first two books (Love Hurts and Love Burns) I wasn’t sure what to expect from her next release. Would this be more of the same gritty, hard hitting love we got the first time around? Or a departure from that completely, being that indie authors don’t follow the “write in your genre only” formula. While Stoned is definitely different than what she has previously released, her voice is still the same and the characters are just as driven and in your face.

Once a drug addict always a drug addict right? Rock star, Stone has hit the the very bottom but he refuses to be a statistic. He thinks getting clean in the hardest thing he’s ever done but he soon finds out that winning back the one person he has ever truly loved is going to be much more difficult. Especially since she has dropped off the face of the earth and doesn’t want to be found.

Willow keeps telling herself she has moved on but when Stone finally tracks her down after a year and a half she’s having a hard time resisting him. He says he’s changed. He says he’s clean. But for how long? She has a different life and a daughter to take care of now and Stone just isn’t the safe bet.

Ultimately Stoned is about second chances, not letting the demons from your past define your future and forgiveness. Moving on and learning to live with your past in order to make your future as bright as possible. Stoned is heavy in content and light on the sex with the main characters only have one go around towards the end of the book. This is true to their characters though and the book was definitely not lacking in the romance department, it just shows it a different way.

Going into this one I was unsure of Stone. How could I like a drug addict, someone who had emotionally abused Willow time and time again? How could his character ever be redeemable? With Willow in a relationship with another man, a man who is everything Stone wasn’t (at least in his drug addicted phase anyway), how could I root for him and not the other guy? Somehow, I did. Somehow I wanted him to clean up, prove himself and ultimately get the girl. This is not a fast turnaround, the book spans two years. Two years of highs and lows on a journey that will really never end. Stone’s strength is shown with such conviction. His friends and bandmates being the wall in which he leaned on.

Willow is a strong heroine in many ways. Strong enough to move on and love a baby girl who was brought into the world without a choice in how she was conceived. Standing tall through Stone’s emotional abuse, bending but never breaking. She surrounds herself with a family not of blood but of choice. Her friends stepping in when she’s down and holding her until she can stand tall once more. Her well of forgiveness that she thought long dry, fills again as Stone shows her how he’s changed, how he’s pledged to be what she needs, what they both need. She spends a great part of the book conflicted over Stone and the safe choice, Joaquin. Needing to feel safe and yet wanting to follow her heart.

Stoned has everything you want to hate; cheating, drug addiction, alcoholism, emotional abuse, non-consensual sex and a love triangle. It’s dark and heavy content will weigh on you long after you finish the book, yet the underlying message will lift you up.

Stoned is a realistic take on a non traditional love story and it’s sure to be something you’ve never read before. With fantastic world building and hard hitting dialogue, Mandi Becki shows the world that not every romance is heart and flowers. Some romances are dark and unhealthy until the light shows them the way.

I give Stoned by Mandi Beck 5 stars!

 

MacLean’s Passion by Sharon Cullen (Highland Pride #2)

MacLean's Passion by Sharon CullenAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Loveswept

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Pam

Colin MacLean has always felt like a black sheep—especially after his brothers are slain before his eyes in the Battle of Culloden. A smuggler by trade, Colin makes for an embarrassing chieftain. He can’t even save his friends from their British pursuers without getting himself captured. But before he is martyred by the hangman’s noose, Colin escapes with his cellmate, a brave lad he’s come to admire. It’s only in the depths of the Highlands that Colin discovers the lad is a lass—and a bonnie one at that.

Raised by her older brothers, Maggie Sinclair can drink a pint in no time flat and wield a dagger with the best of ’em. Still, men have always excluded her and women have always shunned her. Colin makes her feel different. His wild spirit and rugged good looks have Maggie reconsidering her less than ladylike ways. For the first time, she’s tempted to put on a gown, just to see how Colin would react. She can only imagine what might happen next: a kiss . . . a touch . . . and perhaps enough sultry heat to melt a cold Highland night..

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it is the second in a series that is set in the Highlands of Scotland during a tumultuous time when England fought to rule the land.

Colin MacLean has never felt like he belonged, he is now the head of his family but has not acted like it, preferring to smuggle for Scotland and fight for what he thinks it right, and now he is stuck in a jail cell awaiting death. His cellmate is a young lad who never talks but watches everything. When an unlikely person lets him escape, he takes advantage and offers the same to the young lad. The two make their way through the wilds of Scotland and when he succumbs to sickness the lad helps to save him.

Margaret Sinclair was raised by her brother to be more like him than a girl, she is use to wearing britches, using a knife and fighting alongside other men. When she balks at the thought of marriage, something her brother all the sudden wants from her, she runs off to fight the English, only to be caught and thrown in jail. She kept her disguise while in jail because she knew what would happen to her if they knew she was a woman. When given the opportunity to escape with her cellmate, she jumps at the chance, not realizing it will change her life.

An enjoyable story that is fast pace right from the beginning, starting off while the two are in dire straits before they are escaping and running through the wilderness while the English chase them.

Colin is a smuggler by trade but is unsure how his people will accept him now that he is the head of his clan; he does not have a high opinion of himself, many times putting himself down. His father never saw the good person he is.

Maggie is a delight, I love her attitude, she ran from her brother because although he raised her like a boy, he is now ready for her to act like a lady and marry a man who is questionable at best. She is feisty, unapologetic about how she acts and I truly enjoyed her spunk. The two of them together are fun and entertaining and their witty banter had me smiling several times, yet with the many things going on around them, the romance is slow to burn as it is hard for them to be together. Although he is surprised when he finds out who she really is he is equally surprised by her strength, attitude and intelligence. She is defiant and willing to fight anyone who does not let her be the person she wants.

This is a thriller until the end, as Colin and Maggie travel with the others to retake his home from the Englishman who had originally captured him and threw him in jail. There is something that Colin needs to prove, to his people, to Maggie and the man who had him imprisoned. This is the second book in the series but you could easily read it as a standalone as the author keeps the reader up to date explaining previous characters. I enjoyed the author’s voice and although the subject shows a dark place in history, the story is entertaining and engaging. I am looking forward to the next book, a man who is known by many but whose side of the war is he really on?

I give MacLean’s Passion by Sharon Cullen 4 stars!

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