Review: Almost Matched by A.O. Peart

Almost Matched

Series: Almost Bad Boys, #1

Author: A.O. Peart

Publication Date: November 7, 2013

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humor

Goodreads Synopsis:

Would you take another shot at love? Or just settle on a friend with benefits?

THEIR HEARTBREAKING PAST WILL MOVE YOU. THEIR PASSION WILL MAKE YOU BLUSH. THEIR ANTICS WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Twenty-five-year-old Natalie Davenport lugs substantial baggage. One boyfriend after the next has been a total disaster, leaving Natalie distrustful toward the male population in general. So when Colin Hampton crosses her path, she’s cautious. Her heart (and some other body parts!) nudges her to go for it, while her head wants her to run for the hills.

Colin is one of those gorgeous guys who attract women, no matter the age or marital status. With a successful career at a popular Seattle radio station, hard body, and charming personality, he is the complete package. But something dark lurks in the corners of his soul; some murky experience that has changed him—maybe for the better, but maybe for the worse.

Will he steal her heart and stomp over it like other guys did?

Will she let him into her heavily fortified world despite herself?

Or will they settle somewhere in the middle—establishing the emotional boundaries to protect them from falling in love?

****************************************************************
This contemporary romantic comedy blends humor, sensuality, and angst, with zany characters and witty dialogue.

***Warning: contains sexual situations (some quite vivid!), profanity, and a high dose of sarcasm. Oh, and there is a lot of appletini and beer drinking.
May not be appropriate for readers under 18 years old. Not intended for prudes and killjoys with no sense of humor***


★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


I’m really sad that I’m giving Almost Matched 2 stars. First, because it was written by a local author. Second, because it had so much potential. The first two chapters were cute and funny. I loved the way Natalie and Colin met and their traffic run in. But then the story started to fall flat for me.

I didn’t really find Natalie and her friends’ conversations funny. It wasn’t the sexual nature of their joking around, but the forced feeling of it. It didn’t feel natural. It also felt like the author was including a bunch of information about Natalie’s friends for future stories about them, but the information didn’t really add anything to Natalie and Colin’s story.

Natalie and Colin’s chemistry was apparent in the first part of the book, but then it kind of fizzled toward the end. I blame it on the change in the tone of the story. Almost Matched went from romantic NA comedy to angsty NA romance. The shift just didn’t work for me. I also found it weird that their first sexual encounter was an entire chapter by itself, titled “BONUS CHAPTER: A PEAK INTO COLIN AND NATALIE’S FIRST NIGHT TOGETHER”. I’m not sure why there would be a bonus chapter in the middle of a book or why their first encounter wasn’t just included as a regular part of the story.

It makes me sad to say this, but I didn’t enjoy Almost Matched enough to want to read the next book in the series, Almost Broken Up. I’m happy leaving Natalie and Colin where Almost Matched left them.

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

22846823Title: Defending Taylor

Series: Hundred Oaks

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Publication Date: July 5, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Fiction

Note: I received an  ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I am in love with the Hundred Oaks series. Seriously. Could it be any more adorable while tackling realistic teen issues?

In Defending Taylor, Taylor has just been kicked out of private school. She took the blame for her boyfriend and banked on her father’s Senate position saving her from getting in trouble. Taylor never thought she would actually get in trouble. Now she’s stuck at a new school, on a new soccer team where no one likes her. If that wasn’t bad enough, the guilt she feels over putting her father’s re-election campaign at risk makes matters even worse.

The one good surprise in Taylor’s new life is her brother’s best friend, Ezra. His support and understanding are the only things keeping Taylor from completely falling apart. Taylor knows she shouldn’t trust him after all she’s been through, but she’s having a hard time forgetting about the crush she’s had on him for years.

As Taylor’s problems become the focus of her father’s campaign, Taylor has to fight to stand up for herself and restore her family’s faith in her.

I adored Defending Taylor. It had Miranda Kenneally’s brilliant writing, relatable characters and a maturity we haven’t seen in the previous Hundred Oaks novels. Taylor’s actions in this story felt very real, like something I would have done as a teenager. The way Taylor learned from her mistakes and took control of her future is a great example for the teenagers who will read this book.

I can’t say enough how much I love this series. I would highly recommend Defending Taylor and any of the other books in the Hundred Oaks series. They’re teen fiction at it’s best.

Review: Give Me Yesterday by K. Webster & Elle Christensen

Title: Give Me Yesterday

Authors: K. Webster, Elle Christensen

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

High powered divorce lawyer, Victoria Larkin, is known as the ice queen. Tough. Emotionless. What they don’t know, is that ten years ago, she lost everything. Including her hope for the future.

Chase Monroe struggles with his own demons. Devastated by guilt and on a mission to correct his past, he uses his skills as a college psychology professor to help others move beyond their grief.

When Victoria is forced to attend grief counselling, she meets Chase, and there is an instant attraction. Chase is determined to help her confront her past and find happiness. Victoria is afraid to relive her pain.

Just as they begin to step forward, tragedy strikes and throws them backwards, and they find themselves, once again, shackled to the past.

Can Chase and Victoria find the path to a happy future together? Or will they forever be wishing for yesterday?

**Recommended 18+ due to language and sexual content.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Once a month, I’m buddy reading a book off the list from HuffPost Books Oh, You Little Heartbreaker! The Ultimate List of Ugly Cry Novels with my favorite Goodreads group. This month, we decided to read Give Me Yesterday. Give Me Yesterday was a sad, but hopeful book.

Ten years ago, Victoria’s nightmares came true. In order to cope with her devastation, she’s shut down all emotions and made herself into a machine. It’s worked well for her as a lawyer until she has one epic meltdown in front of everyone at work. Now, Victoria’s been given one chance to redeem herself and keep her job by attending group grief counseling.

Victoria isn’t thrilled to be attending counseling. She doesn’t need it like all those other losers do. She’s got everything under control. But the leader of the group, Chase, isn’t about to let Victoria off so easily. Chase has made it his mission to make Victoria let go and face her biggest fears. Their attraction to each other gives Chase the edge he needs to crack her tough demeanor.

Victoria isn’t the only one dealing with grief, though. Chase may be Victoria’s strength, but he’s got demons that own him. Guilt constantly haunts and eats away at him. His relationship with Victoria gives him a new hope for the future.

As Victoria and Chase begin to come to terms with their pasts, they find a love in each other that helps heal the pain. Unfortunately, their love for each other is put in jeopardy when the past comes back to haunt them.

Give Me Yesterday was a well written collaboration between K. Webster and Elle Christensen. Victoria and Chase’s characters were complex and well-developed. Their chemistry was super sexy and the way they supported each other was sweet.

The only thing I didn’t like about Give Me Yesterday was the predictability of the plot. I knew from around Chapter 8 what the outcome was going to be. There weren’t really any surprises and it made the story drag a bit toward the end. I also wasn’t a fan of the very last part of the epilogue of the book. It just felt like it was added on as an afterthought and didn’t feel like it was needed.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Give Me Yesterday because I loved the characters the authors created.

 

 

Review: Jerkbait by Mia Siegert

Title: Jerkbait

Author: Mia Siegert

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Fiction

Note: I received an ARC from Mia Siegert through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


The minute I picked up Jerkbait, I could tell it was going to be an emotional read. The thoughts and feelings going through Tristan’s head weren’t happy ones. He was a self-absorbed teenager who believed his family didn’t truly see him. I could understand why he would feel this way, even though I was frustrated by his inability to see the whole picture at times. His parents were horrible and didn’t support his dreams. They may just be some of the worst YA parents I’ve ever read.

Tristan’s relationship with Robbie complicated things even more. His resentment of his brother was made even greater by their parents’ reaction to the suicide attempts. They would rather focus on hockey than Robbie’s mental health. They took away what little freedom Tristan had and put him in charge of watching  Robbie.

Meanwhile, Robbie was a mess. It was painful to read what he was going through. He was fearful of what coming out would do to his future hockey career and his friendships with his teammates. I felt so bad that the only place Robbie felt excepted was an online chat room with other gay teens.

Jerkbait was relevant, smart and boldly honest. It touched on so many issues important to today’s society. I was transfixed by the story and read it in one sitting. The only little complaint I had with Jerkbait was the extra paranormal aspect added in at the end. It distracted from the reality of the rest of the story for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle). 


1. Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins

 Does being nobody’s fool mean that you’re nobody’s love?

Colleen O’Rourke is in love with love… just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart… an experience Colleen doesn’t want to have again, thanks. Since then, she’s been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who’s ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they’ve got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

 

 


2. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


3. January  – December by Aubrey Carlan

 It’s really simple. I needed money. A lot of money. One million dollars to be exact. The amount didn’t matter. All that mattered is that at the end of that price tag held my father’s life.

No money. No life.

The time limit was one year. On January 1st I had to pay up or my Father was going to be killed.

When you’re faced with an ultimatum like this, you do whatever you have to do.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The job…Exquisite Escorts. My role, serve as high priced arm candy to anyone that can afford the $100,000 price tag for a month of my company. Sex is optional (for me) and a 20% increase on the price.

***
Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore.

Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

Each installment in the Calendar Girl Serial will release every month throughout 2015. The stories will feature Mia, told from her perspective as she continues her journey as an escort to twelve clients in twelve different locations.

Warning: This book is designed for audiences 18+ due to language and graphic sexual content.


4. MacKenzie Fire by Elle Casey

 The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight…

 

 


5. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

 Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.


6. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

 A hilarious and moving memoir—in the spirit of Anne Lamott and Nora Ephron—about a woman who returns home to her close-knit Mennonite family after a personal crisis

Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. It was bad enough that her brilliant husband of fifteen years left her for Bob, a guy he met on Gay.com, but that same week a car accident left her with serious injuries. What was a gal to do? Rhoda packed her bags and went home. This wasn’t just any home, though. This was a Mennonite home. While Rhoda had long ventured out on her own spiritual path, the conservative community welcomed her back with open arms and offbeat advice. (Rhoda’s good-natured mother suggested she date her first cousin—he owned a tractor, see.) It is in this safe place that Rhoda can come to terms with her failed marriage; her desire, as a young woman, to leave her sheltered world behind; and the choices that both freed and entrapped her.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.


7. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

 Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world–a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us–along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews–her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

 

 

 

 


8. In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins

 Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé’s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there’s really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won’t get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she’ll have to start by believing in him…

 

 

 


9. Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

 Oh, the joys of pregnancy! There’s the gassiness, constipation, queasiness, and exhaustion, the forgetfulness, crankiness, and the constant worry. Of course, no woman is spared the discomforts and humiliations of pregnancy, but most are too polite to complain or too embarrassed to talk about them. Not Jenny McCarthy! In the New York Times best-selling Belly Laughs, actress and new mother Jenny McCarthy reveals the naked truth about the tremendous joys, the excruciating pains, and the unseemly disfigurement that go along with pregnancy. Never shy, frequently crude, and always laugh-out-loud funny, McCarthy covers it all in the grittiest of girlfriend detail. From morning sickness and hormonal rage, to hemorrhoids, pregnant sex, and the torture and sweet relief that is delivery, Belly Laughsis must-read comic relief for anyone who is pregnant, who has ever been pregnant, is trying to get pregnant, or, indeed, has ever been born!

 

 

 

 


10. Yes, My Accent is Real: and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You By Kunal Nayyar

 Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from The Big Bang Theory — the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist — ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since Friends.

Going behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet. Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8” gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)

Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.


 

What books have made you laugh?

 

Release Blitz/REVIEW/Giveaway: GRIT by J.C. Valentine

GRIT Blitz Banner

GRIT
by: J.C. Valentine
Spartan Riders #1
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, MC Romance

GRIT Cover

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

Synopsis:

Gabby Morgan isn’t looking for love. Not even a little romance. Following a rocky past that she’d just as soon forget, she’s determined to focus on the future. One that most certainly doesn’t involve the tough-as-nails, short-on-words, hot-as-hell biker…or his kid.

Blake Mahone may not be done with women, but he’s finished with relationships. Then Gabby Morgan enters the picture. She’s flawless, refined, and as his kid’s teacher, way out of his league. She acts like she hates him, but her eyes tell a different story. Before he knows it, Blake finds himself hot for teacher, and he’s more than ready to learn all her secrets. Now all he has to do is convince her to give him a shot…without getting them both killed in the process.

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Excerpt:

Sensing movement, Gabby opened her eyes and found herself staring at a wall of male chest. Leather creaked as Blake drew even closer, closing out what little space was left between them. Body heat licked her breasts sending goosebumps scattering down her arms and across her chest that teased her nipples into stiff, sensitive points.

When he leaned down, placing his face so close to hers she could practically taste the beer on his breath, Gabby shivered. It became painfully clear that the time for fighting this attraction had come to an end. The sheer torture of trying to resist was something she could no longer abide, and so Gabby gave in.

“You want something, teach?”

The low rumble of his voice reached down deep, sending a flood of heat rushing between her thighs. “I—”

“Because the way you’ve been watching me all night tells me you see something you like. Or maybe it’s not so much a like as it is a need,” he growled, one hand reaching up to curl a lock of her hair around his finger.

The way she bloomed for him told her that he was right. He was beautiful, he was edgy, and in the rare moments that he opened his mouth to speak, he was devastating.

She needed him in the worst way. To ease the growing ache inside of her. To temper the need she’d felt from the moment she laid eyes on him. But she didn’t know him. And what she knew of him, she didn’t necessarily like.

“I don’t know if I…like you,” she whispered into the narrow space dividing them.

Bending farther down, the rough hairs dusting Blake’s jaw scratched deliciously against her cheek as he placed his lips beside her ear and whispered back, “I don’t know if I like you either, teach.” She felt the heavy weight of his hand curl around her hip and give her a possessive tug, pressing them together, chest to chest. “Is that a problem for you?”

Review:


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


J.C. Valentine is back and this time she’s exploring the MC world.

In GRIT, Gabby Morgan is finally leaving behind the terrors of her past and beginning her dream job as a kindergarten teacher. The last thing Gabby expects when she starts her job is to find herself attracted to one of her student’s fathers — especially a badass biker. Blake Mahone is everything Gabby has decided to stay away from. She can’t risk her heart or her life by falling for someone who is involved in something so dangerous.

Blake decided a long time ago he wasn’t going to give his heart to another woman, especially one as stuck up as Gabby Morgan. He may have to make nice with her for his kid’s sake, but that’s it. Or it was until finds himself unable to stay away from her. The prim and proper teacher has Blake all worked up and he’s can’t help but do something about it.

Soon, Blake’s determined to make Gabby his. But as soon as he gets close enough to convince her, Gabby’s past is back with a vengeance.

GRIT was an intense, sexy ride. Gabby and Blake’s chemistry was HOT. I loved the way they fought falling for each other as much as when they let go and acted on their attraction. It wasn’t all heat, though. Blake’s son Ash’s relationship with Gabby added a sweetness to story. He was so darn cute.

Another thing I enjoyed about this story was the suspense aspect of it. It wouldn’t have been an MC romance without a little drama. Gabby’s past didn’t exactly surprise me, but it made for an interesting twist and cool ending.

GRIT was a lot of fun to read. Fans of MC romances will swoon for J.C. Valentine’s GRIT.

 

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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Review: Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Title: Screwdrivered

Series: Cocktail, #3

Author: Alice Clayton

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humor

Goodreads Synopsis:

Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian.

Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Screwdrivered is the third book in Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series. While Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed told Caroline and Simon’s story, Screwdrivered is the story of Simon’s high school friend, Viv Franklin.

On the exterior, Viv looks tough. She’s got piercings, tattoos and isn’t intimidated by much. On the inside, Viv is a sucker for romance. So much so, that Viv believes her life is a romance novel. When Viv suddenly and surprisingly inherits a house in the sleepy town of Mendocino, CA, she sees it as a sign. She quickly pulls up roots and moves across country in search of her destiny.

What Viv finds in California is definitely romance novel worthy. There’s a hired cowboy who ties her tongue and makes her panties melt. Viv is convinced her personal romance novel is set to star hunky Hank.

Hank isn’t the only one working Viv into a tizzy, though. There’s also Clark, the local librarian. It’s his purpose to drive Viv nuts with his stuffy words and rules for what she can and can’t do to her new historic home. The more they fight, the more Viv finds herself thinking about the buttoned up librarian. Maybe a cowboy isn’t who she rides off into the sunset with.

I really enjoyed reading Screwdrivered. It wasn’t quite as funny and endearing as Wallbanger was, but it definitely made me smile a bunch. I loved Viv and her penchant for romance novels. She was great at making a fool out of herself in the sake of romance. Her reactions to Hank were hilarious. I also loved her interactions with Clark. The combination of their arguing and sexy banter was so cute.

Another fun aspect to the story was the house remodeling. It brought in my old friends Caroline and Mimi. I loved seeing them again!

The only thing I didn’t really care for in Screwdrivered was the amount of romance novel moments and dreams going through Viv’s head. It got a little old. I found myself skimming through some of those parts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I found Screwdrivered to be another cute and fun romance from Alice Clayton.

 

Review: Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

25862018Title: Cuff Me

Series: New York’s Finest, #3

Author: Lauren Layne

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Forever

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet New York’s Finest-three hot brothers sworn to protect and serve the city they love . . . and the women who’ve stolen their hearts.

ARRESTED BY LOVE

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


In my opinion, Cuff Me is the best book in Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series so far. I loved everything about it!

Vin and Jill aren’t just partners at work, they’re best friends. When Jill has to leave New York to take care of her mother in Florida for three months, Vin feels her absence in a way he hadn’t expected to. The strong, silent guy knows he’s not made for love, but he knows his feelings for Jill aren’t just friendly.

Jill has been in love with Vin for the last six years. She knows he isn’t interested in being more than her partner, so she made the tough decision to move on. Just when Jill has proven she can have a relationship with someone else, Vin starts giving her mixed signals. Is he interested in her or does he just want what he can’t have?

Vin and Jill were both just too cute. Neither believed the other would ever fall for them and they were doing everything they could to survive being around each other. It was so much fun to watch them discover there was more to their relationship. Their chemistry was HOT!

Cuff Me was a very fun and sexy friends to lovers story. I would highly suggest it to contemporary romance fans.

**I received an electronic ARC of Cuff Me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy

Title: That Thing Between Eli & Gwen 

Author: J.J. McAvoy

Publication Date: April 21, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

**A multicultural new adult romance from bestselling author, J.J. McAvoy**

Eli Davenport thinks he’s found the perfect woman to be his wife. She’s a doctor, like he is. She’s brilliant, like he is. And she’s wealthy, like he is.

Guinevere ‘Gwen’ Poe thinks her fiancé is the perfect man. He’s handsome, successful and he was her first…

But when Eli’s bride runs off with Gwen’s fiancée on his wedding day, they are left to pick up the broken pieces of each other…


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Where has author J.J. McAvoy been all my life? Seriously. Get ready for a gushing review. I absolutely loved this one.

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen begins on the worst day of Eli and Gwen’s lives. Eli is supposed to be marrying the woman of his dreams. Gwen is supposed to be enjoying the company of her fiancé. Before either of them can distinguish what is happening, the loves of their lives are running away from them, toward each other.

Humiliated and angry, Guinevere and Eli are left to recover in their own ways. Guinevere throws herself into her art. Eli throws himself into his work. Both would be happy to never see each other again to avoid be reminded of the worst day of their lives.

But they’re not that lucky. Or maybe they’re too lucky. Fate has decided to throw them together in more ways than one. Soon, Eli and Guinevere are leaning on each other to deal with the thing only they can understand. As their friendship blossoms, so does their attraction to each other. To their surprise, the worst day of their lives might actually lead to some of the best.

That Thing Between Eli & Gwen caught my attention from the very beginning and never let go. It was so much fun to read. I assumed Eli and Guinevere would instantly like each other, but it was actually the opposite. They couldn’t stand each other. Eli was an uptight jerk and Guinevere was this sweet free spirit. Those qualities made the banter between them was hilarious. I was surprised how much it made me laugh.

Their dislike for each other couldn’t last forever, though; and when they finally acted on their attraction — fireworks! Man, was it hot! I loved what Eli and Guinevere brought out in each other. Guinevere softened Eli a lot. Eli proved to her that money didn’t necessarily make one a snob. They both learned that maybe there is more to love than they thought. The changes in them didn’t stop their witty banter, only morphed into something sexier.

I loved this book so much!!! I really didn’t want it to end. It was just such a fun, sweet, steamy read. There was even a little twist toward the end that I didn’t see coming. I am so excited to have found a new New Adult author to fall in love with! I can’t wait to read more from J.J. McAvoy. (Please, please let her write a spin-off staring Eli’s younger brother Jake!)

If you like NA romances, definitely put That Thing Between Eli & Gwen on your TBR list.

 

 

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Title: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


This will probably sound weird, but I wish I would have read Open Road Summer before reading The Start of Me and You. The Start of Me and You is one of my favorite YA books of all time. It was a 5 star review. Open Road Summer was really, really good, but it wasn’t as amazing as The Start of Me and You. If I would have read Open Road Summer first, I most likely would have given it 5 stars. I kind of hate that I’m giving it 4 stars because it doesn’t show off Emery Lord’s spectacular writing as well as The Start of Me and You did. That being said, Open Road Summer is definitely a YA novel I would highly recommend reading.

Reagan was a very easy character to relate to. She did what so many teenagers do, she let rumors about her shape her perception of herself. Reagan became the rumors. Luckily, through some tough times, she figured out she didn’t want to be the rumors and set about changing herself. I loved this aspect of the story, especially that she got to work on herself while touring with her famous best friend, Dee.

Dee was such a sweet character. She had Reagan’s back when no one else did. She was experiencing a different kind of heartbreak than Reagan, and my own heart broke for her. Her relationship with Jimmy had shaped her entire teenage life. She was trying to be so strong without him, which was hard with the whole world watching. Reagan touring with her and the addition of singer-songwriter Matt helped her find herself.

Matt. That guy was so dreamy: a hot musician and amazing friend. He was the total package. His friendship with Dee was so sweet and nurturing. The way he brought out the best in Reagan and pushed her to her limits was fun to read.

This coming of age story was such a fun read. I really enjoyed the great message it shared and the reminder of the drama of being a teenager. If you’re looking for a fun summer road trip read, you’ve found it.