Category Archives: ARC

Review: Four Money by Jayne Rylon

 

Four Money

Jayne Rylon

Ever and Always Duet, Book 1

Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Happy Endings Publishing

 

Would it be the worst thing in the world to accept an obscene amount of money in exchange for living with a guy and a couple of his best friends for three months?

Seems like a no brainer. But what if it means sharing their beds, too?

Let’s be honest, Holly would probably do that for free considering how hot, successful, and fun to be around they are.
Besides, if she helps Trent cash in on his inheritance—with a few naughty strings attached—she could pay for the life-saving surgery her mother’s insurance company has denied.

The one thing she can’t afford is falling in love when the man she’s obsessed with plans to ditch her after their ninety days are over.

Four Money is book one of the Ever & Always duet. Holly, Trent, Lorenzo, and Owen’s story will conclude in Four Love.

 

 

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

Ms. Rylon hit the reader hard and fast with Four Money.

What would you do for the right amount of money?

Holly is about to her wits end trying to figure a way to pay medical expenses for her mom. Trent is a professional gambler trying to stack the chips to fund the startup for his company. Lorenzo and Owen are Trent’s closest friends, roommates and his poly partners.

Holly is a force for sure, pure willpower and guts with such a caring nature. Trent is smart and funny. I truly enjoyed his personality and passion. We truly only just start to get to know Lorenzo and Owen in Four Money, however their charisma shines through.Opportunity knocked and Trent and Holly answered not know the surprise that was about to become their lives.

Four Money packs a punch from beginning to end. Wow. Well written characters, a super fast paced story and plot that will knock you down. Four Money is a chance on life in more ways than one. Reviewer Warring: This book is a Duet and that is stated before I started reading. Ms. Rylon hits us with quite the cliffhanger that I never saw coming. If you are not a fan of cliffhangers, highly recommend that you wait until Four Love release and read them back to back.

 

Review: Wild Side by Mari Carr

Wild Side

Mari Carr

Wilder Irish Series, Book 9

Kindle Edition, 194 pages

Expected publication: January 28th 2020

 

No strings attached? Wrong. So wrong.

Layla moved to Baltimore in search of a fresh start. After too many years in a lackluster relationship, she’s ready to embrace her wild side. Casual is her new middle name and the last thing she wants or needs is a serious relationship.

Finn and his best friend, Miguel are ALL IN on showing Layla a good time. After all, neither one of them is looking for love either. Or so they think.

Until Finn falls for Layla and Miguel falls for Finn and Layla falls for…both men. Then it’s a wild side freefall as the three lovers try to make one plus one plus one equal the perfect match.

 

 

 

 4.5 stars

 

Wild Side is a super hot, yet tender story of moving past being friends and giving into the impulses that lovers crave.  Mari Carr blends passion and a bit of suspense give the reader one delightful read.

 

Finn is finally seeing that the Collins curse is a gift and not a burden.  He sees what his family has and wants this in his life. Layla has returned to Baltimore to restart life after the ending of a relationship and to be away from the thumb of her protecting brothers. She wants a wild adventure, to explore her own wild side. Miguel had a rough start but has become an amazing man. Family to him is more than blood. Miguel wants what Finn’s family has shown him.

 

Wow!  Talk about a friends to lovers story. Wild Side is so many good thing wrapped in a beautiful package. Friendship and family, love and adventure, truth and emotions, honestly and self discovery.  When desired emotions become tangled within friendship it can either make or break. Finn like Layla, Miguel like Layla and Miguel liked Finn. What they didn’t see coming was the connection the three of them shared together. They gave into the chemistry, attraction and impulse to be something more. Mari Carr more than made the story about love. Sexual orientation didn’t matter it was about their emotions and feelings for each other acting on them and figuring out where they stood with each other. Not only was this an intensely hot, toe curling story it was very endearing and heartwarming as well. It was about love.

 

Wild Side is a great addition to the Wilder Irish, Collins family series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Forever Strong by Piper J. Drake

 

Forever Strong

Piper J. Drake

True Heroes Series, Book 6

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Forever

 

On the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, not all is paradise in this high-stakes, action-packed romantic suspense.

He’ll risk his life for her . . . but will he risk his heart?
Jiang Ying Yue assumed her kidnapping was random, that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all, who would want to harm her? But then her rescuer—a charismatic former soldier who takes her breath away—uncovers a traitor in her father’s organization. Now, Ying Yue realizes that she’s become a pawn in a dangerous game, and her kidnapper won’t be satisfied until she disappears for good.

Zu Anyanwu’s work with Search and Protect and his canine partner Buck have always been his first priority . . . until he’s tasked with keeping Ying Yue safe. To him, the brave and resilient investment expert is more than just another client. But with danger closing in, Zu can’t let his emotions get in the way of the most important job he’s ever had—protecting the woman he loves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Ying Yue is a woman I would want as my friend. Kind, honest, willing and able. She will go above and beyond for those she cares for and will not just take an answer at face value. Ying Yue is not afraid to ask questions. Wisdom and strength are come in layers for this beautiful woman. For a woman who has been through one of the most terrifying things you could possibly imagine, she knows when to keep her witts and knows when it’s safe to break down.

 

Zu Anyanwu is a man of few words and a lot of purpose. Owner and founder of Search and Protect, Zu takes pride in his job and his ability to focus. Along with his canine partner, Buck, they put their lives on the line for the safety of others. Zu is a bit of a mystery man, purposefully to keep his head in the game at all times.

 

Piper J. Drake starts Forever Strong with a blaze of action that continues until the very last pages. Ying Yue and Zu make on fine pair. From the moment of meeting, in the most terrifying of times, a connection sparked and became something deeper in a blink of an eye. Trust was gained and gave out of fear and need, that need became a beautiful bond formed with life shattering chaos coming from all sides. Zu and Ying Yue’s  passion is tender, deep and intimate giving a softness to the harsh reality around them. Ms. Drake flawlessly combined a fast paced, high action, dangerous tale with amazing characters and a tender romance leaving this reader completely satisfied.

 

Review: Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends

Jill Shalvis

Wildstone Series, Book 4

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Almost Just Friends is almost too real. Heart and home, trust and sacrifice, hurt and healing wrapped in a tale family and love.

Piper thinks she got herself on the right track. She has a game plan, lots of lists and more than enough will to accomplish the goals she sets. Piper is as fierce and tenacious as they come. Growing up fast, caring for her siblings and trying to make the best of what they had, has given Piper a hard edge, but the woman has a heart like no other. She is not a stranger to sacrifice, and she would sacrifice over and over again for those she loves.

In blows a storm that lights a spark with a stranger, carrying her siblings home and a bucket full of secrets to make Piper’s head spin. Just wanting a new life became something altogether different than what she want. But needed more than she knew. With a handsome Cam knocking on her romance door, her siblings and their respective secrets eating at her, Piper’s new life hands already began.

Almost Just Friends is all about family, those born to you and those you choose to bring in. Hot messes and all. Life is not always easy but those around you make it a lot better. Ms. Shalvis twisted wit and humor with emotion and life’s choices that make people people discover who they are and whom they want to be. Piper and Cam captivate reader with the depth at which they will go and of just who they are. A story you truly don’t want to miss.

 

 

Review: Hero’s Haven by Rebecca Zanetti

Hero’s Haven
Rebecca Zanetti
Dark Protectors Series, Book 11
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Lyrical Press

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch?  But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Quade Kayrs has already suffered a lifetime of pain and torture. Completely isolated, he kept his sanity  thanks to one beautiful female, a vision with kind emerald eyes. In the end, her soft voice led him out of hell. Now, naked and alone, he’s in a strange world that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind. All he knows is Haven.  All he wants is Haven.  His final mission? To protect her from the evil hunting them both—whether she likes it or not . . .

 

 

4 Stars

 

Quade Kayrs has spent more than a few lifetimes living and dying in pure hell. The only thing that seems to keep him going are those few moments, those glimpses of a beautiful woman invading his realm.  Haven Daly thinks she’s crazy but unique is a more appropriate way to describe her. A fiercely independent woman, an amazing artist and a girl on the run.

 

Driven by visions and a pull Haven and Quade start the wheels of motion on something that makes epic look small.  Through an action packed, fast paced, dangerous story Haven and Quade build a sexual tension that practically just off the pages. The banter between these two is top notch.  Their chemistry is intense as is everything else going on in the book. The depths they easily went to for one another made every bit of craziness so worth.

 

Hero’s Haven is a true on the edge of your seat read. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading until I was done.  Strong characters and fabulous world building are just the start of why I enjoyed. The action scenes are spot on and engaging. And let’s just say those hot moments are definitely on fire. Ms. Zanetti kept Haven and Quade’s story moving yet nothing felt rushed or unnatural for the story. A true heart pounding, blood pumping read.

 

 

Review: Murder Ink by Lorraine Bartlett

 

Murder Ink 

Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

Victoria Square Mystery Series, Book 6 

Published December 31, 2019

Berkley Books, 304 pages

 

 

The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?

 

 

 

3.5 Stars

When a tattoo shop plans to open on Victoria Square it shakes up more than the merchants view of what business should be on the square. When the owner of said tattoo shop dies one of their own is the prime suspect.

 

Katie is the owner of Artisans Alley and Tealicious as well as president of the Victoria Square Merchants Association. She is a strong woman, not intimidated and an amazing entrepreneur.  Katie finds herself in the middle of murder, trying to help a friend, playing detective and trying not to second guess everything she sees. There were moments when I thought Katie was overreacting and other when I thought, girl you got this together.

 

Murder Ink is my first read in the Victoria Square and an enjoyable one. It did take me to be to catch up with who was who and how they all worked together but I got it. I enjoyed the mystery that kept me guessing. I’m a romance reader first and foremost so Katie and Andy’s romance and squabbles were a bonus to this read. The writing style of Lorraine Bartlett is fun and keeps the pages turning. I was able to feel like I was right at home with these characters even though this was my first read of the series.

Review: Beast by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

Beast

Lexie Blake writing as Sophie Oak

A Faery Story, Book 2

Published October 15th 2019 by DLZ Entertainment, LLC

 

Re-released in a second edition. Re-edited but no substantial changes.

A playboy who needs to grow up

Fresh from his latest tabloid scandal, vampire playboy Dante Dellacourt has been given an ultimatum. Either he takes a consort and settles down, or his family will disown him. Unwilling to lose everything he has, he reluctantly agrees to find a wife. Marriage is just another kind of contract, after all. No one said anything about love being a part of the bargain.

An outcast who has only known hardship

Exiled by her pack, Kaja is a werewolf without a home. Her life was never easy in the frozen tundra she grew up in, but it was familiar. Waking up in a foreign landscape, surrounded by bright lights, loud noises, and far too many people has left her overwhelmed. Frightened and with no one to trust, she savagely fights to get free of this strange new world.

A passion strong enough to change them both

Called to defend the gnomes of the marketplace, Dante is almost blinded by the radiant light coming off the fierce werewolf. Kaja glows like no consort he has ever seen. Gorgeous and wild, she calls to him in ways he had not dreamed possible. For Kaja, she finds in Dante a man unlike any she has ever known. They could not be more different, but she finds him irresistible.

In order to claim his werewolf bride, Dante must first discover how to overcome their differences. Will he tame his ferocious beauty, or will she unleash his inner beast?

 

 

4.5 Stars

Dante has given himself the reputation of the ultimate player. Perceived by most to only have interest in fun, women and good times. Dante is one of those people that you can’t judge by what he wants you to see. He’s intelligent, loyal and cunning. As Dante’s layers begin to peel away we find a man filled with emotions, determinations and wants he wasn’t ready to admit.

Kaja is primal yet submissive. Rugged Pack life was all she knew, then to be thrown into a world of which nothing is known the beast within her takes survival to an instinctual level. She was an outcast of the pack and something different to the new place she finds herself in. Dante is her alpha. From the moment she finds herself in his presence she sees him as her first. She feels a connection, something that’s unknown to her. Kaja is unique all around. From her sheer nature to the way she tries to adapt for something he’s not quite sure what it is, but she wants it.

Beast was fantastic. Dante was so much more thanI expected. He has some pretty deep layers of emotions. He did what he thought was expected of him only want to find out, those expectations were nothing but a push for him to find what he truly wanted him his life. Kaja and Dante together is something truly unique. I love the way their connection and bond formed, developed and grew into something more than either one of them expected it could be. Two beasts find their balance to their beast with another beast. I truly love this fairy world that Lexi Blake has created. This is not the first time I have kicked myself not discovering these books earlier. I am very happy they have been released and I get to enjoy them now.

 

Review: Wild Spirit by Mari Carr

Wild Spirit

Mari Carr

Wilder Irish Series, Book 8

Published September 3, 2019

Maybe if things were different, Leo could date the woman he’s always longed for, the free-spirited Yvonne Collins. For her, life is an adventure, for him, life is all about work and keeping things simple so he can focus on his son. 

When a tragic event upends Leo’s orderly existence, he’s forced to admit he can’t do it all and he can’t do it alone. Yvonne feels like exactly what Leo doesn’t need, until she shows him chaos isn’t always bad and letting go isn’t the same thing as losing control.

4.5 Stars

I know two things for sure when ever I pick up a Mari Carr book. One, I know I’m getting a good laugh and two, the romance of the story will be epic. Wild Spirit, the eighth book of the Wilder Irish Series is a fantastic friends to lovers tale.

Yvonne is a wild spirit. As she says living life like a Collins. She independent, confident and contagious. Vonnie is the best type of person to be around. A woman that can go with the flow yet knows when to step in and put her foot done. Being an only child may have spoiled Yvonne, yet the woman shares every bit of what she has. Vonnie is a unique soul.

Leo is a workaholic and a man who stands by his word. He’s also a tatted up hottie to boot. Leo is one of the good guys. He’s Dedicated to his job and his family, which do you coincide. Leo’s life took a tumble but through the struggle he learn what friends are for. He also learned that sometimes friends are more than you think the are.

Wild Spirit is fantastic. Leo and Yvonne are each other’s yin and yang. Their friendship is something both treasure dearly yet Yvonne lingering crush and Leo realizing there’s more that meets the eye makes them both see each other in a new and different light. These two are fun together. Through the ups and downs, trying to make it work, smoothing out the hiccups Leo and Yvonne will make the reader smile. There compassion for each other just adds to the passion they discover together. Let me tell you, these two are not as sweet as you may think. I do believe they could rival each other in a dirty talking contest. We will have to flip a coin to figure out the winner. Lol!

Mari Carr has this way of capturing her readers in so many ways with her stories. Whether it be through laughter and humor, emotion and healing or passion and steaminess, she will hook you one way or another. Luckily for us readers, we get all of that in Wild Spirit.

Review: All Roads Lead to You by Jennifer Probst

 All Roads Lead to You

Jennifer Probst

Stay Series, Book 3

Published July 23rd 2019 by Montlake Romance

 

 

All bets are off in this heartfelt romance by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

Happily single, Harper Bishop trusts in only one passion—her rescue farm and healing her thoroughbred, Phoenix. Her dream is to lead him to the Triple Crown. But how unreachable is it without experience or help? A handsome new guest at her family’s B&B has what it takes to make it come true. And with his irresistible brogue, warm smile, and soothing touch, he’s a major distraction.

After a bitter betrayal, horse trainer Aidan O’Connor has fled Ireland for a vacation in New York’s Hudson Valley. When he sees the horse with the fighting spirit, he’s inspired with a new goal: to train Phoenix to win. He’s also facing an unexpected new challenge: his feelings for Harper.

How can she dare to open her heart to a man who’ll be there only long enough to break it?

So Harper and Aidan agree: try to keep it professional, and focus only on Phoenix and the finish line. But along the way, they could also learn a few lessons in love, trust, and taking chances. And, as painful as it promises to be, saying goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Looking for that slow burn kind of book……

All Road Lead to You is just that. Jennifer Probst’s third book in the Stay Series is the story of Harper Bishop and Aidan O’Connor.

 

Harper and Aidan both are animal lovers to the core. Both loners by nature find an unexpected bond through the common passion for animals. Both have been burned and tread lightly on the ground of love.  There is no lack of attraction or chemistry, just hard headed people who had broken hearts. All Road lead to you is not just Harper and Aidan’s story. The animals play just as big of a part of the story as the human characters do. Phoenix will melt your heart. Even if your not a horse lover. Ms. Probst inserted a level of intimacy to the story that I was not expecting.

 

ARC Review: Luscious by Melissa Schroeder

Luscious

Melissa Schroeder

Camos and Cupcakes Series, Book 2

Published August 2019 by Harmless Publishing

 

 

When by the book Harry Bradley gets thrown together with his sister’s best friend EJ, opposites don’t just attract, they explode.

She’s my sister’s best friend. A woman who calls to me on every level, but she can’t stand me. Our one date ended when she deemed it over and left–before we even ordered food. So I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

Still, I’ve mastered controlling my emotions and my lusting…well, mostly. Of course, when she suggests we work together to promote both of our businesses, I jump at the chance. That chance leads to a kiss…and so much more.

Now, if I can just restrain my control freak ways, all will be well.

Warning: This book includes more cupcakes (of course), meddling friends, romance book references, a gun-toting Grandma, a trip out of state, wine, more cupcakes, and a dirty talking hero who not only surprised the heroine, but also this author. I’m not embarrassed…not really. Okay, maybe a little…a lot. Never mind. Just know that you have been warned and I will not be held responsible for any blushing in public. Also…CUPCAKES.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

From the concept, to the characters, to the storyline, what’s not to love. Melissa Schroeder gots something special going on with her Camos and Cupcakes Series.  The second book of the series, Luscious gives readers the icing on the cake on with an emotional, fun and sexy read. Harry and EJ are decadent together.

Harry is one fine Texas man. What can I say, Harry is giving all my favorite Santini men a run for their money. Charming, a smile to stop you in your tracks, and a mouth you never see coming.  Smart, caring and as Harry says his momma raised him right. He’s charismatic and full of personality. Harry is fun character.

EJ is a spit fire of a southern belle if there ever was one. She’s strong, independent and in control of her life. Seeing love fail first hand has steered her clear. Being the owner of a romance only bookstore is kind of a contradiction to EJ’s way of thinking. In EJ’s mind happily ever after‘s are for books not for life.

Harry and EJ shared an evening together months back that they both referred to as the date from hell. It may have been a date from hell, but their chemistry and their bodies didn’t agree with that. Fast forward to the present and you’re both trying to fight the crush is a decade in the making and what chemistry is doing to them. I love the dynamic between Harry and EJ. The back-and-forth banter between these two is downright hysterical at times.  As they give into the chemistry that’s when the emotional side of the story comes into play. They are explosive. Hot doesn’t even begin to discribe what these two do to each other. When one doesn’t want to believe in love and then realizes they’re in love that’s some emotional turmoil in the making. The way Harry stands by EJ, shows her support and is there for her, even after a heated argument shows what kind of man Harry is. Even if he does do the man thing. Men!  EJ learns for herself what love can be and is. Slow Harry help pull away some of those layers of hurt and replaced them with happiness.

Luscious is what I love in my romance reads. Fun and sexy. Emotional and heated. Good characters with great personalities. Harry and EJ will knock your socks off. Bold and brazen and a healthy dose of dirty talk. You will love Harry by the time you read the end.  Luscious is just that, a truly luscious read!

Warning: This book will trigger your need for something very sweet.