Pucked Off by Helena Hunting (Pucked #5)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Sports/Contemporary romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

*A Standalone novel*

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

I have to start by saying that I was just not expecting these type of emotions in Pucked Off. Most of the Pucked Series is light hearted, sassy, fun loving with a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure. But this…THIS…ALL THE FEELS!

Lance Romero is one HELL of a damaged soul. Family issues, guilt over a death, and a beyond crazy ex-girlfriend are enough to send anyone over the edge. It messes with you and at a very deep level. The first chapter alone, HOLY HELL! It broke me. TEARS people, honest to goodness tears for Lance and the damaged man he had become. He literally trapped me and I just was sucked into the world of Lance. His distorted view on things and the destruction that is coming his way just make you completely feel for him.

Poppy is a blast from Lance’s past. Working as a massage therapist who takes Lance on as a favor, Lance is immediately smitten with the one woman who can touch him and not make his skin crawl. What Lance doesn’t know is that he has a past with Poppy. They met when they were teens and she’s always held a special place for him in her heart. A chance meeting at a bar got the two of the reconnected but not in the way Poppy had hoped. Poppy’s friend took her “Puck Bunny” opportunity to the limit and Poppy just decided it wasn’t meant to be with Lance.

“Because now I’m not sure what’s going to be worse: him finally remembering who I am and how we know each other, or me realizing I never left enough of an impact to warrant being remembered at all.”

Poppy was such a breath of fresh air in this story. The way she dealt with Lance even when he was trying to get to know her but yet had no recollection of who she was, I was overwhelmed with her generous, kind and forgiving attitude. And when he did start to remember her…. I fell in love with the both of them a little more.

The thing I liked most about Lance, he was not the typical alpha male. His struggles in life made him so tangible and so very relatable. Lance is loveable because he is so REAL and utterly broken. You just want him to be fixed, to be happy.

“I have the real him right here with me now, too. I have a broken boy who’s become a broken man, and as stupid and naïve as it may be, I want to be part of what heals him.”

I completely accept that this book made me shut down. The story line, the angst, the love between them? Phenomenal. Amazing. Overwhelming. This book was EVERYTHING. Everything I never knew I wanted in a story but one I completely fell in love with. Both Lance and Poppy drew me in like very few characters have before. Honestly, I will not be getting over Lance and Poppy anytime soon! This book can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend every single one of the books in the Pucked Series.

Hell. I honestly don’t know that I will ever recover from this book.

I read quite a bit. Some are good, some not so much, some confuse me. But Pucked Off was BEYOND my expectations. Period. This book….THIS is why I will forever be a fan of Helena Hunting!

I give Pucked Off by Helena Hunting 5+++ stars!!

Switch by Adriana Locke (Landry Family #3)

Available: Now 

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.

After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.

Then she sees her new boss.

Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.

Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.

This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.

With every Landry boy that Adriana Locke writes for us, I fall in love all over again. I adore Barrett, I worship Lincoln, I’m intrigued by Ford, but Graham? I was a little hesitant about Graham. I was a little concerned that the man in the suit wouldn’t be as charming and sexy as the rest of the boys…I’m glad to say that I was SO very wrong!

Graham Landry is the reliable Landry brother, the one that runs Landry Holdings. He is the one making sure his entire family is very well taken care of. Failing is not an option when it comes to Landry Holdings and his family. Graham is powerful, controlled and just has a presence that will make you take notice of him, and he rocks a suit like no one else. But the wall he has built is about to coming crashing down when Mallory falls into his arms.

Mallory is a complete badass chick. She’s an extremely hard worker and takes no crap from anyone. She made the decision to live her life for herself and is working it like a Rockstar. Mallory also sees how hard Graham is on himself and does her best to alleviate some of the stress he’s under which is something he cannot ignore for long. The two of them work together flawlessly except for that little thing called attraction.

The interaction between Graham and Mallory was incredible. From the moment they met, Mallory really held her own against Graham which took a lot of balls! Graham started slipping from his structured life the moment he took one look at her. The two of them had the best banter I have read between a couple. It was hot, full of angst at times, and yet so very emotional. And who knew that Graham was such a dirty talker 😉

I loved seeing Graham react to falling in love and how he changed as a person. I appreciated how he completely came undone and changed, to the best of his ability, for the woman he loved.

If you have read the other books in the series (and if you haven’t, you NEED to), you know that each Landry boy has their own steamy sex scene with something that you usually find in the kitchen. Let me just tell you, Graham does NOT disappoint.

One of the things I absolutely adored was getting to see what the rest of the Landry Family was up too. It was so great to get a glimpse into what the family was up to and they all play a pivotal part in this book. I don’t want to say to much about it, but there is a part we who have read the other books have all been waiting for and it was all so very beautiful and had me in tears. Even though it’s just a story, this family is one where you just want to belong.

I give Switch by Adriana Locke 5 stars!

Flash Of Fury by Lea Griffith (Endgame Ops #1)

Available: March 17th 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Sourcebooks

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Their spark is immediate

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he’s out for retribution. His quest for the enemy’s courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own…and she’s not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both

Allie’s life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she’s had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn’t mean she owes him anything…even if he is the most damnably sexy man she’s ever laid eyes on. He’s got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

Flash of Fury has got to be one of the best, first in a new series, black ops books, I’ve read in a very long time. Not since I picked up Maya Banks KGI series have I ever been so riveted by a military based romance. Lea Griffith has most definitely outdone herself with this one.

King and his men live under the gray cloak of black ops. They do not exist in any sort of official capacity, and it’s very important they stay that way. Having been betrayed by the very people who employed him, King has learned the hard way not to trust anyone associated with the government. Saving a woman from a hijacked plane may be his job, but the surge of protectiveness he instantly feels definitely is not. Especially since this particular woman may be the key to unlocking his own betrayal filled past.

Allie may not be a part of secret government group, but that doesn’t mean she can’t protect herself. Her daddy made sure of that. She never planned on living out the very situations her father drilled into her head for years. Yet, now she is, except she has the very sexy King at her side. He thinks she’s keeping things from him, and maybe she is, but the truth isn’t something she can, or will, part with. No matter how good his hands feel on her body.

Damn. This book was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Seriously, from the first page until the last word, it sizzled and pulsed with electricity between the characters. It was well paced, King and Allie were amazingly lush and there was action in spades. It gave me every single thing I want in a romantic suspense.

The relationship between Allie and King grew throughout the book, just like I love, but the interactions between them is what I found the most delightful. King was very stoic and grumpy while Allie was the exact opposite. She was warm, and funny and even though she didn’t want to admit it, completely out of her element. Watching the push and pull between them as Allie grated on Kings nerves just as much as she turned him on, was damn good reading. I found myself chuckling at his resistance because, lets face it, it was futile. When his soft side emerged, even for fleeting moments, I sighed with contentment.

King’s brothers in arms are a vastly different group who all intrigue me in different ways. Especially those who were labeled as traitors who may or may not actually be working with the bad guys.  Because in this world, nothing is ever what it seems and everyone has secrets. Secrets which could lead to being deep undercover in a world not of your choosing for years. That kind of dedication to the cause is unfathomable to me, yet I think that may be where this series is headed in the long run.

The complexity of the groundwork Griffith has laid in this book only promises to get better as the series progresses. There are sure to be even more twists and turns ahead and I can’t wait to read them all. I can wholeheartedly recommend this one and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I give Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith 5 stars!

Turbulent Waters by Melody Anne (Billionaire Aviators #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary

Publisher: Montlake Romance

My Copy: Netgalley

Reviewer: Kim

A daring pilot finds himself in danger of losing his heart.

Coast Guard pilot Nick Armstrong savors the taste of danger. But after his helicopter crashes into the ocean during a mission, shattering his knee, he encounters a whole different type of thrill when he meets his new physical therapist. Maybe being grounded isn’t so bad after all.

Smart, sexy, and deeply guarded, Chloe Reynolds is the type of woman who drives Nick crazy for all the right reasons. But as she tries to help him heal, Chloe struggles to keep her heart—and secrets—safe.

For years, she has been told that Nick is responsible for her brother’s death, a “fact” that she slowly learns may not contain the entire truth.

But can Chloe’s growing feelings for Nick, and their undeniable chemistry, really overcome a years-long family feud? Or will the past ultimately destroy the future they both desperately want?

This is book #3 in the Billionaire Aviators Series by can be read as a stand alone.

Coast Guard Captain Nick Armstrong is lucky to be alive. After his crash, Nick is slowly making progress rehabilitating his body but is frustrated beyond belief that he is not anywhere close to where he needs to be.

Chloe Reynolds is an orthopedic physical therapist hired by Nick’s uncle to get him rehabilitated after his accident. Six weeks with a man she absolutely despises, after all, he is the reason her brother is no longer alive. Chloe is working with her father, a man she absolutely fears, to seek revenge and personally destroy Nick.

Nick is completely and utterly attracted to Chloe, and makes it well known to her. Chloe is bound and determined to not take their relationship to somewhere other than patient/therapist. Chloe is there to do a job, rehabilitation and revenge, and cannot possibly fall for Nick. However, working with Nick, Chloe realizes all is not what it seems and their relationship blooms. Until all of the lies are revealed and everything comes to a head.

“We have to appreciate the calm before the storm to make it through the turbulence about to come.”

Nick and Chloe’s story was fun, flirty and had a great storyline that kept me interested. Right from the first sentence, I knew I was in for a wild ride. Nick is gorgeous and he knows it. He is cocky and usually gets what he wants, when he wants it and he wants Chloe. Chloe is sticking to her mission but is attracted to Nick and his advances. It is a great story and definitely worth the read.

I give Turbulent Waters by Melody Anne 4 stars!

Where Promises Die by R.C. Stephens

Title: Where Promises Die
Author: R.C. Stephens
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 20, 2017
Haunted by a childhood trauma that leaves her orphaned, eleven-year-old Grace finds herself on the doorstep of the Duncans, her new adoptive family, broken and unable to speak. Catapulted from a bustling New York City life, she must find a way to call the rural town of Sade, Iowa her new home. Twins Eisav and Jacob Duncan immediately take a liking to Grace, wanting to erase the dark shadows etched on her perfect features.


As the twins vie for her affection, it becomes clear which one makes her smile.

Grace never has a choice for falling in love.

What starts as a way to coax his adopted sister to speak and smile, blossoms into the kind of love that lasts a lifetime.

In this small town it shouldn’t be a crime to fall in love . . . 

Isaac Duncan warns his son to stay away from the forbidden fruit. Eisav never listens. 

Now an intricate web of lies and secrets stand in the way of Eisav winning back the only woman he has ever loved.

In a place where yesterday’s promises were broken, Eisav must learn what it truly means to love and cherish . . .

But is he too late?



**REVIEW FROM LIZ**

What a beautiful story of love and hope that will take you through a roller coaster of emotions. Where Promises Die by R.C. Stephens is so full of angst, you will feel it in your soul. I was literally held captive by this story. Drawn in and terrified at the same time.

Grace finds herself plucked from everything she knows after being orphaned and dropped in the middle of nowhere Iowa. Now she must find a way to fit in a rural and religious town after the tragic loss she suffers. Taken in by the Duncan’s, her world has turned upside down in an instant.

Eisav Duncan has always been the black sheep of the family. He finds it very hard to conform to what is expected of him. Always compared to his twin brother, Jacob, he finds a kindred spirit in Grace when she comes to live with them. But his father warns his sons to stay away from her, however, it is the last thing Eisav wants.

Eisav and Grace find a connection early on. In Eisav she finds someone she can trust in and who slowly brings in the sun again. Eisav is simply taken by Grace. She understands him in a way his family never has and accepts him for who he is. As they spend time together, feelings emerge. But soon obstacles begin to develop that may not be easy to overcome.

But Eisav struggles with the expectations and demands that are placed on him by his very religious family and specifically his father. When things begin to get complicated and difficult, Eisav makes a decision that will alter their lives and hurt the woman he loves. Can he win her back and show her what she truly means to him?

I found this story to be heartbreakingly beautiful. So many secrets and lies impact not only the main characters, but the family as well, that no one is left untouched. The struggles endured would easily break some, but Eisav and Grace have a love that just may conquer all. A stunning story that will consume you.

Where Promises Die by R.C. Stephens was an emotional and stunning 5-star read for me!

R.C. Stephens was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.

Her debut Novel Bitter Sweet Love is book one of the Twisted Series. Followed by Twisted Love to be released May 31st 2015.

R.C. is an avid reader, so when she isn’t cooking for her clan or on her laptop writing, she’s snuggled tight with her Kindle devouring any romance novel she can. Okay, with the exception of Thursday nights. She makes time for Scandal and Vampire Diaries. She’s a fan of drama and suspense but she’s also a sucker for a happy ending.

Her husband was her first teenage love. They live together with their three children in Toronto. Loving Canadian winters she could never think of living anywhere else.

HOSTED BY:

Yours And Mine by Christine Duval (Freshman Forty #2)

 

Yours And Mine
Christine Duval
(Freshman Forty #2)
Publication date: February 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

The highly anticipated sequel to Positively Mine….

Picking up from the dramatic ending of Positively Mine, Yours and Mine continues the Freshman Forty series as we meet Danny Santoro, Laurel’s baby’s father, for the first time.

It’s been almost a year since he last saw her, that sultry morning she walked off the beach before dawn had even cracked the August sky. It seemed from her silence, she was out of his life forever.

But Laurel’s timing couldn’t be worse to tell him he’s a father. The last year hasn’t been easy. Danny’s own father was arrested for a DUI, his mother moved out, and Danny started sleeping with his brother’s old high school, drug-abusing girlfriend.

After Laurel shocks him with the news, she attempts to relinquish Danny of any parental responsibility leading to a heated custody battle. In an unorthodox arrangement, an eccentric judge orders Danny and Laurel to spend alternating weekends with each other for the upcoming school year.

Told from Danny’s point of view, Yours and Mine explores the second chapter of a romance that never got off the ground, the challenges of young parenting, and the hope of rekindled love.

Goodreads / Amazon

***REVIEW BY LIZ***

Yours and Mine by Christine Duval was such an emotional read. I found it genuine and heartbreaking to see what Danny and Laurel went through as young parents. I do, however, must admit I did not read the first book, but will do so as soon as possible. Though I did not feel totally lost, the first book deals with how Laurel dealt with being pregnant and alone (by her own choice).

In Yours and Mine, Danny only finds out about the baby after she is born. It’s been almost a year since he last saw Laurel and he thought that had been the last of it. But now she is back and telling him he is a father. Oh, and letting him know she is okay with him relinquishing all his rights. She is setting him free of all responsibilities.

But Danny has other ideas. It has not been an easy time for him in the last year. His father was arrested for a DUI, he started sleeping with a girl who is older and abuses drugs and is going to

school. But he is not ready to relinquish his parental rights. He wants to be a part of his daughter’s life. But Laurel is not ready to share her daughter either. And so, they head to court.

Laurel, though a mother, is still very young and had a lot of growing up to do. She loved her daughter, but it also seemed like she wanted to have a normal college experience as well. Which is really a hard thing to do. She was a bit irritating at times with her demands, requests and actions. But we also see her slowly begin to mature.

On the other hand, I really liked Danny. He was not perfect in any way, but he immediately, once the shock of learning he was a father wore off, wanted to be a part of his daughter’s life and fought for his rights. He did not settle for what Laurel wanted to give him. And once he realized there could be something there with Laurel, he went after her as well.

It was interesting to get this story only from the male point of view, but it was also refreshing to see him involved in and wanting to be a part of his child’s life. And while Laurel attempted to have as normal a college life as she could, Danny arranged his life to be a father. It was an interesting contrast. But after the courts dictated an original custody agreement, you see these two connect and get to know each other all over again.

I enjoyed Danny and Laurel’s story. It was a bit angsty, but also filled with hope and possibility. Their journey was not easy, as finding your way as young parents never is, but we get to see them both grow, learn what is truly important and open up to possibilities.

I give Yours and Mine by Christine Duval 4-stars!

Author Bio:

Christine Duval lives in New Jersey with her family. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Women Who Write, and the Authors Guild.

When not creating fictional characters or organizing carpools, you can find her walking through houses and writing about them for an upscale real estate company. She also has an extensive social media background and has worked for several well-known magazines.

Find her online at www.christineduval.com or on Twitter @christineduval1.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey (Art of Passion #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK

Lexie Bellamy can handle a boardroom. Relationships, however, are a minefield that always blow up. When a business trip takes her to Spain, Lexie knows she’ll have no problem closing the deal. But spending uninterrupted one-on-one time with her crazy-hot coworker might be more than she can take.

At the office, Lexie gets to call the shots. But this trip is the perfect opportunity for Dane Huntley to show his gorgeous boss how good it can feel when someone else takes charge…

Miles away from home, giving in to Dane’s naughty commands feels so easy. But when the trip is over, Lexie’s determined to go back to their professional relationship. Dane, though, has other ideas. He’ll have to prove that what they’ve found together is real… and he has no intention of letting go.

Jeanette Grey is a somewhat new author to me. I just recently read Let It Snow and am glad to read yet another great story!!

Lexie Bellamy is the definition of a strong, independent boss lady. She’s extremely smart and has so much going on trying to have control and prove her worth, Lexie hasn’t just let go in some time. She is bound and determined to show her brother that she is perfectly capable of running their company.

Dane Huntley is an extreme thrill seeker trying to mask the pain of losing his brother. Dane is playing work life safe for his mother, working as Lexie’s assistant even though the corporate world is just not for him. Dane knows Lexie desperately needs to lose control and he wants to be the one to show her how. But how exactly do you get your boss to explore the BDSM lifestyle with you?

Nine Kinds of Naughty was EXACTLY that…so very naughty. Lexie and Dane are both strong characters who try to keep their vulnerability close to the vest. Their chemistry, in and out of the bedroom, is very sexy. Now, there is A LOT of BDSM which I thought might make me a little uncomfortable (it’s just not my thing) but I feel that the storyline was done very tastefully. I kind honestly say that Jeanette Grey has changed my mind about the BDSM storyline. I loved the fact that Lexie was the boss and that Dane was the assistant out in the professional world. Yet in private, Lexie was the one doing the submitting. The role switching really peaked my interest and made the story very appealing to me.

Though there is A LOT of sex, I enjoyed watching Dane and Lexie build their relationship based on trust. I loved how it evolved into something more and how Lexie learned to let go.

There are two other books in the Art of Passion Series which do not have to be read to follow this book. However, I will definitely be checking the rest of the series out!

This is one of the most sensual, sexy and irresistible romances that I have read to date. I could not put it down and finished it in an afternoon!

I give Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey 4 stars!

Unexpectedly Hers by Jamie Beck (Sterling Canyon #3)

Available: February 21, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

By day, bashful wallflower Emma Duffy works at her family’s bed-and-breakfast. By night, she secretly pens erotic romance hot enough to melt the snow in their cozy Rockies town.

But Emma’s real life is about to heat up when her mother books the entire inn to a professional snowboarder, hoping the publicity will put them on the map. In a karmic twist of fate, that guest is Wyatt Lawson, the man with whom Emma had shared the secret one-night stand that became the inspiration for her novel and its dreamy hero. Worse, a film crew is documenting his comeback just as her debut is about to hit the shelves. Emma’s only saving grace is that Wyatt doesn’t remember her—and hopefully he never will.

When Wyatt arrives in Sterling Canyon for several weeks of intense training, the last tumble he expects to take is falling for a girl, especially one as shy as Emma. Unlike groupies with their hidden agendas, she isn’t using him—or so he believes…until the film crew uncovers Emma’s pen name and steamy novel.

Wyatt’s comeback run can withstand a fall or two, but can his heart recover from this crash and burn?

Unexpectedly Hers is the third book in the Sterling Canyon series by Jamie Beck. Ms. Beck is a first-time author to me. This book can be read as a stand alone novel, and it is not necessary to have read the first two books to be caught up with this one. Hopefully, the other two books were better than this one but at this point, I really am not interested in finding out.

I am usually very excited to give new authors a chance but this book really disappointed me. So much so that I skimmed almost the entire book.

Emma is a 31-year-old mama’s girl working at her mother’s B&B in the mountains. What her mother doesn’t know is that Emma is writing erotica under a pseudonym right under her nose. Her entire story is based on a one night stand she had with Wyatt when she was pretending to be someone else.

Wyatt ends up staying at the inn while her mother decides to leave town, leaving Emma to run the entire B&B. Wyatt has no idea Emma is the girl from the one night stand a few weeks back. He is in town filming his comeback story as a professional snowboarder.

The relationship between Emma and Wyatt is just strange. She is mad because he doesn’t remember her, yet she does not want him to remember her. Emma stays away from Wyatt as much as possible but yet goes out of the way to help his brother, Ryder, who obviously wants nothing to do with his brother or this movie being filmed. Wyatt is all about getting into the pants of the girl who does nothing but ignore him. Now you know they finally get together and have sex. Even that is strange. Sneaking around, I want him but wait, no I don’t.

Needless to say, everything comes to a head and things don’t go as Emma planned. I honestly found myself hoping that Wyatt kicked her to the curb or that Emma hooked up with someone else by the end of the story. I just did not feel this story, at all.

I give Unexpectedly Hers by Jamie Beck 1 star

Brighter Than The Sun by Maya Banks (KGI #11)

Available: March 7, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering.
Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

As the last unattached member of the Kelly clan, Joe is more than ready to risk life and limb on any mission he’s assigned to, but when it comes to love, he’ll keep his distance. He’s content to watch his brothers become thoroughly domesticated.

Zoe’s had nothing but heartbreak in her life, and she’s determined to start over with a completely new identity, thanks to her college friend, Rusty Kelly. But it’s the gorgeous smile and tender words of Joe Kelly that begin to weaken her resolve to never risk her heart again. And Joe will have to put everything on the line to save Zoe, when secrets of her past resurface—and threaten to tear them apart…

Running from a life she never chose, Zoe has created a new identity for herself with the help of her best friend Rusty. Never having been allowed to be herself, Zoe has no clue how to act without the barrier of designer clothing and a ton of makeup. Insecure and nervous of being found and forced back into a life she doesn’t want by an unloving father, Rusty takes her home to the family compound before her last journey to freedom.

Joe knows his mother wants him to find “the one” and settle down to make some more Kelly babies just like his brothers but that’s just not him. He loves being free from responsibilities outside of his KGI ones and has no need for a permanent woman in his life. Rusty’s new friend Zoe immediately triggers all his warning bells with her skittishness and vague background information. Telling himself he’s just protecting his family, he attempts to get close to her to learn her story.

Zoe knows she can’t tell Joe the truth about her past. She’s everything he stands against while fighting the bad guys. As they get closer and feelings get deeper, Zoe is either going to have to trust him……or let him go so she can protect him.

So here we are. Book 11 in probably my favorite series ever. The KGI series by Maya Banks. A series that has most definitely had its ups and downs. Several downs in fact. A few downs that had me almost quit reading the series. It took me a year to read book 9 because book 8 pissed me off so much. But I eventually came back and was pleasantly pleased with book 9. I read book 10 and gave it a solid 3.5 stars, even if the majority of the book I was seriously pissed off at the “hero”. That brings us to book 11, Joe’s story. The twin I wasn’t sure would ever get his own happy ending. The last remaining Kelly brother.

I found Brighter Than The Sun to be well done. Not too long like has been a problem in the past, full of engaging dynamics between characters and perfectly paced. I enjoyed the progression of the relationship between Joe and Zoe. I thought it was done with an honesty and an air of reality. It just felt real to me. Even with the weird paranormal thread that was introduced that I know lots of readers detested. I mean, at this point, there’s no taking it out, so I thought it was used well but not overly so. I think Banks realized her misstep in adding those in and has used them as little as she could since then. Zoe is terribly insecure and obviously nervous about her future but Joe manages to draw her out. I wish we would have gotten more backstory on her though. I understood the gist of her background but it felt a bit glossed over and unimportant, when it should have been highlighted more so readers could understand her character better.

The suspense aspect really doesn’t kick in until close to the end. Up till that point it’s a straight contemporary romance with some military/black ops aspects thrown in. However, it’s full throttle from then on out. It almost came out of nowhere. One minute nothing and then BAM, hit the ground running. I enjoyed the amount of characters in those scenes because there were a ton. This group of men and women who make up KGI, work so well together and I love to see their personalities mesh so well on the page. Even the new recruits were entertaining.

I think my favorite thing about this book though was Rusty and her budding relationship with the town sheriff. Her and Sean have been going round in circles since the beginning and I cannot wait for them to finally get a story. It appears I might get my wish soon since they got awfully close in this book. Fingers crossed.

Overall, Brighter Than The Sun got much, much closer to returning to the books I loved from earlier in this series. Providing there are no weird paranormal curveballs again or over the top, long drawn out story lines, I think Banks has returned to the author I love.

I give Brighter Than The Sun by Maya Banks 4 stars!

 

 

 

Love Story by Lauren Layne (Love Unexpectedly #3)

Over the course of one wild road trip, 

feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.

LOVE STORY

a Love Unexpectedly novel

Lauren Layne

Releasing February 14th, 2017

Loveswept

 

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

 

**Review From Liz**

Love Story by Lauren Layne is a story about second chances, even if it’s the last thing they wanted. When childhood friends turned lovers, turned enemies of sorts, embark on a two-week road trip, the shenanigans begin!

Lucy Hawkins has always been drawn to Reece Sullivan. Even if he was her older brother’s best friend, he never treated her like a pest. Over the years, they developed their own friendship, until one day they both realized it was so much more.

Lucy is set to move across the country to start her new job. She is excited. As part of this journey, she planned on taking two weeks to see the country. But fate has other plans. When her car finally breaks down, her family jumps in to save the day, by offering the keys to their old family station wagon. But there is a catch. The first and only boy she loved, gave her virginity too, and broke her heart the next day, comes along for the ride as well.

I loved Lucy Hawkins. She was strong-willed, determined and passionate about life. Once she set her mind on something, she jumped in with both feet. Always thinking of the endgame. But no matter what, she wanted Reece Sullivan to be a part of that endgame.

Reece, on the other hand, has not had an easy life. Losing so much as a child, he gravitates to his best friend’s family, where he is accepted and treated as one of their own. But always feeling inferior, he lets his insecurities and self-doubt stand in the way of what he has always wanted. Finally needing a change and a fresh start, he takes a job across the country.

The last thing either of them wants is to spend time together, much less in a confined space for two weeks. But neither wants to disappoint her family and really, it just makes sense. Right from the start, these two were constantly bickering or totally avoiding each other. So many moments I found myself smiling. Other times they just broke my heart.

These two really cared so much for each other, but let misunderstandings and doubts come between them. Both determined to forget, neither really could. Both held secrets from each other, that in the end, put so much space between them.

I loved how author not only gave us both points of views in this story, but also glimpses of Lucy and Reece’s past. As we got to see their interactions in the present, we see how they became friends, found love and then lost everything. It added so much to the story.

I enjoyed reading Love Story by Lauren Layne. It was a sweet book, with laugh out loud moments and two very likeable characters. Lucy and Reece were so good together, even when they were constantly fighting, that you are immediately drawn into their story.

I give Love Story by Lauren Layne 4-stars.

 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies. A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 2 3 4 221
, PHPlist