Review: The Relationship Pact (Adriana Locke)

The Relationship Pact
Series: Kings of Football, #3
Author: Adriana Locke
Publication Date: December 17, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

How hard can it be?

That was the question rolling around Larissa Mason’s mind just before she asked Hollis Hudson to be her fake boyfriend.

It was only supposed to be for five minutes, after all.

Granted, that was also before she felt his hand on the small of her back as he charmed the heck out of her family.

She hadn’t heard his laugh yet either.

And it was definitely before she saw the football god shirtless. Otherwise, she would’ve had an idea of just how hard some things could be.

It turns out that pretending to be in love with a crazily handsome, somewhat enigmatic, and absolutely unforgettable tight end (that has an amazing tight end) is easy.

Reminding herself that just because opposites attract doesn’t mean they’re forever is much harder.

What they have isn’t love—it’s a relationship pact. Right?


This fake relationship romance had my hear aflutter. Hollis and Larissa had reasons for a fake relationship and avoiding real relationships, but their connection blew that to pieces. They clicked emotionally from the start. Hollis was deeply scarred emotionally from his past. Larissa had a distrust of athletes. Together they worked through those things. I loved how they knew when to push each other and when to pull back.

One of my favorite things about this book were all the side characters. I loved how they impacted both Hollis and Larissa, but especially Hollis. They were all a great support system and added a special element to the story. This is my first complete book by Locke, and meeting some of these characters made me want to read their stories.

The Relationship Pact was truly a sweet romance where I loved every minute of it. The only thing keeping my from giving it a full 5 stars was the final epilogue. I needed more answers for Hollis than I got. I know they weren’t necessarily important for Hollis and Larissa’s romance, but I wanted to know to fully wrap up his side of the story. Other than that, this romance was perfection for me.

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    About the Author:
USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

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Review: The Romantic Pact (Meghan Quinn)

The Romantic Pact
Series: Kings of Football, #2
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: December 10, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I haven’t seen her in three years.

I haven’t talked to her since the kiss.

So why am I on a plane, flying across the world to spend a week with her in Germany?

One word: Pops.

My life’s a mess.

My possible football career is hanging on by a thread.

I’m driving the roads of Germany in honor of Pops with the one girl I can never have.

And I’m sharing a bed with her, the girl I’ve measured everyone else up to, while desperately trying to not to touch her.

We made a pact growing up, never to get romantic with each other – never fall in love.

And I’m about to break that pact. For good. 


Only Meghan Quinn could write a book about dealing with the loss of a beloved grandparent and getting a second chance with a childhood friend/crush like The Romantic Pact. Somehow it ended up being both touching and hilarious. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh at times. It was magical.

The Romantic Pact is a holiday romance set along The Romantic Road in Germany. It’s not always easy to visualize settings I haven’t been to or seen before, but Meghan Quinn brought Germany to life for me. Every stop had a special sentimental quality to it that added to the experience. I ached for Crew and Hazel as they revisited Bernie’s path, but also grew happier for them with each moment they spent with each other.

Crew and Hazel were such different people. Crew was all about football, while Hazel was all about his grandfather’s farm. I loved each of their characters for a different reason. They almost wouldn’t seem like they would be a good fit, but their personalities meshed so well. I adored their easy banter and friendship while getting caught up in their chemistry.

What I loved most about this book was everything. Yes, everything. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t love. It was the magical setting, Bernie’s involvement in everything, the romance and friendship between Crew and Hazel. Heck, it was even the biggest problem they faced and how it resolved. All of it was simply perfect. A+ to Meghan Quinn for giving us such a unique and special holiday romance novel.

    

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About Meghan Quinn:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

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Review: The Pass (Rebecca Jenshak)

The Pass
Series: Smart Jocks, #5
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I’ve been in love with her for two years.

The first time around, I screwed things up. I hesitated and the moment was gone.

I passed when I shouldn’t have.

Not a total loss. I gained a best friend instead of whatever we might have been.

Sydney is hands down the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and I’ll do anything to keep her in my life. Even bury my feelings deep inside.

But one hot summer together at the lake filled with lots of teeny-tiny bikinis and I’m ready to risk it all for a second chance.

It’s time to take my shot.

(This is Shaw and Sydney’s story!)


As best friends to more books go, this one is a new favorite of mine. It was just so stinking cute and fun and sweet and everything I needed a contemporary romance to be at this moment. I liked how it started off (even if it did frustrate me a bit) with the missed possibility of Sydney and Tanner hooking up and then being locked into friendship. I loved their friendship first and foremost, and it made the switch to romantic relationship all the more fun. The lake house setting was perfect and made me crave summer. There wasn’t a ton of sports in this sports romance because summer break, but I did love that Sydney and Tanner were both collegiate athletes with a lot to think about going into their senior year.

The only thing I didn’t like in this book was Tanner’s sister, Tara. She was a witch and never quite redeemed herself to me. There wasn’t much drama for Sydney and Tanner other than what Tara created. That was a good thing in my quest for an angst free contemporary romance, but also left a bad taste where Tara was concerned. Her only road to redemption in my mind is a book of her own where she wins me over. Other than how mad Tara made me, The Pass was sweet best friends to more perfection. I’m so happy Rebecca Jenshak decided four books just weren’t enough for this series. I won’t complain if more than five are needed.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐬 𝐛𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐜𝐚 𝐉𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐤 𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄!! 

Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

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Review: The Not-Outcast (Tijan)

The Not-Outcast
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Tijan
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Cutler Ryder was everything I wasn’t.

He was the hockey star. I was an outcast.
He was best friends with my stepbrother, that same stepbrother who hated me.
His two parents loved him. My mom was a junkie. My dad barely knew me.

Years passed.
I got my life together.
Cut went onto NHL stardom.

Then there was a text.
I was drinking.
There was a party.
Cut was there…

I loved Cutler Ryder since the first moment I saw him.
The only problem? He never knew I existed. 


I remember reading the prologue to The Not-Outcast in the Australia anthology.  It was called I Mean, It’s Cool in that anthology. It was different from anything I had read. I didn’t know what to think of it then. I wanted to know more about Cheyenne, Cut, Chad, and everything else that was going on. I was so glad there was going to be a full length novel to continue the story.

The Not-Outcast was a special book. It puts the reader inside Cheyenne’s head. Cheyenne was a chaotic character. Her mental illness shaped her life and her thoughts. I probably don’t know enough about Cheyenne’s diagnosis to say whether or not they were true to life, but I have experienced anxiety and those moments felt real. I loved that Tijan chose to spotlight someone dealing with all the things Cheyenne had to deal with.

This time around we also got Cut’s point of view. I had much respect for Cut throughout the entire book. He didn’t scare easily and stood up for what was right. Seeing how easy loving Cheyenne was for Cut was inspiring. I liked seeing her through his eyes.

I mentioned Cut’s best friend Chad above, but I’ll leave him to those reading the book. Instead I’m going to talk about Cheyenne’s girlfriends. Melanie and Sasha were freaking awesome. I loved how they were ride or die for each other. I felt their love for each other and the strengths of their friendship. (I would totally read a book about either of them.)

I know I’m not giving you much in this review, but I honestly don’t know how to explain most of it without giving too much away. If you’re a fan Tijan’s writing, you will like it. It’s got the drama, the strong female characters with issues, a tough but loving hero, and more drama. I enjoyed the ride and I’m sad it’s over for me. I guess I could always reread it…

The Not-Outcast an all-new emotional slow burn romance from New York Times bestselling author Tijan is available now!

 

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About Tijan
Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author that writes suspenseful and unpredictable novels. Her characters are strong, intense, and gut-wrenchingly real with a little bit of sass on the side. Tijan began writing later in life and once she started, she was hooked. She’s written multi-bestsellers including the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She is currently writing a new YA series along with so many more from north Minnesota where she lives with a man she couldn’t be without and an English Cocker she adores.

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Review: You Had Me at Hockey (Kelly Jamieson)

You Had Me at Hockey
Series: Bears Hockey, #2
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Publisher: Random House LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Can a spirited, down-to-earth influencer get an uptight hockey player out of his shell?

Josh
I am a warrior. That’s been my motto since I recovered from a near-death accident when I was younger. Now I enjoy my nice, settled life in Dallas playing pro hockey—a boring life is better than being dead. I’m not a party guy or an adventurer; I like my routine and peace and quiet. So being traded to New York is the worst possible change that could happen. And meeting unfiltered and fascinating Sara Carrington throws my life into even more chaos.

Sara
I’ve been considered weird my whole life, which is why I’m still a virgin, but I’ve turned it into a career with my YouTube videos. Who knew people would love watching me talk about my zits, taste test meatless burgers, and try to learn TikTok dances! Now I’m launching a podcast. Getting hockey star Josh Heller as a guest will help gain listeners for sure. I expect a bearded jock with no teeth and nothing to say, but I get a hot as H-E-double-hockey-sticks grouch with a surprisingly dirty mind. My mission to make him laugh is successful, but I want to know why he’s so uptight underneath that panty-dropping smile. Maybe I can teach Josh to have some fun . . . and maybe he can teach me a thing or two along the way. . . .


I loved You Had Me at Hockey. The entire thing was adorable. Sara was this funny, impulsive, down to Earth chick that made me laugh so hard. She brought out the best in Josh. Josh (of the Heller family for those who have read that series) was this slightly grumpy, uptight hockey player. He lived by his plans and it was fun to see him unravel with Sara by his side. These two  had serious chemistry and their banter was hilarious. They played so well off each other. I also liked the realities the two faced pertaining to their pasts. It was easy to identify with both of them.

You Had Me at Hockey was truly a great, heartfelt romance. Most of all, it made me laugh and smile. It’s going down as one of my favorite sports romances from Kelly Jamieson. I want more like it.

Review: Jordan Reclaimed (Scarlett Cole)

Jordan Reclaimed
Series: Preload, #1
Author: Scarlett Cole
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s a rockstar, she’s a ballerina, they’re worlds apart yet just what the other needs.

Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.

Now he’s made a career out of playing the music he loves, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.

Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.

She craves Jordan.

Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his hard rock edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he’s never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?


Jordan Reclaimed is one of those books I most likely wouldn’t have picked up based on the blurb. I’m not usually into books starring ballerinas. I have no idea why, but they don’t make me pick up a book. I picked this one up because my friend Lenore from Celebrity Readers recommended it to me. I’m so happy she did because I truly enjoyed this book.

Jordan Reclaimed deals with heavy topics like child abuse and eating disorders. It could have been a very angst filled read, but it wasn’t. There was just the right amount of angst and lightness. There was also a ton of heart in it. It was very well written and a great introduction to Scarlett Cole’s writing for me.

Jordan had such a devastating story. The guy had been through some of the most horrible things. My heart broke for him. I adored his relationship with his “brothers” and bandmates. The way they came together and supported each other was fantastic. Jordan meeting Lexi added to his support group and made him grow in the best way possible.

Lexi didn’t go through quite the horrors that Jordan had, but she had issues of her own with a demanding father and career. (I actually enjoyed the look at the ballet world that I got more than I expected to.) From a readers perspective, it almost felt like Lexi had nothing of her own until she met Jordan.

Jordan and Lexi had great chemistry. I liked how they contrasted each other. Lexi felt like light while Jordan felt like darkness. Somehow their differences made them more compatible than I thought they would be. I loved how they were able to read each other so well, push when they needed to push, and pulled back when they needed to give space. It was such a well written and thought out love story.

I mentioned the band for a moment above, but there is so much more to say about the guys from Preload. None of them had it easy growing up and their bonds were some of the tightest I’ve read. They got each other in very specific ways and you could see how important their friendship brotherhood was to them. I loved how they were able to tease each other and boost each other up. It was all very sweet.

There wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t love. If I have to point out something, I would say that I didn’t love that it was written in third person. There were some places where the story switched from one POV to another without a chapter change or heading that threw me off. There was also a Pretty Woman moment that felt weird and, well, too Pretty Woman for me. Nothing that was a huge deal or took away from my love of the characters and their romance.

I’m very thankful to Lenore for recommending Jordan Reclaimed to me. I enjoyed it so much that I am immediately jumping into reading the second book in the series. I feel a series binge coming on…

Review: Secret Puck (Rebecca Jenshak)

Secret Puck
Series: Campus Nights, #1
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: October 19, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Secretly hooking up with the team captain’s sister was a bad idea.
In my defense, the first time I saw her I didn’t know who she was.
Kind, gorgeous, a little naïve. Ginny brightened my world from day one.
I knew I was no good for her. She was just out of a relationship and I had a reputation for having a new girl in my bed every weekend.
I tried to do the right thing. Honest.
I’m the one who insisted we should be just friends.
That lasted about as long as you’d expect.
But Ginny? She’s the best – best friend, best everything.
So yeah, hooking up with the team captain’s sister wasn’t a great idea.
Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat.


You know how some books make your heart happy? That’s exactly what Secret Puck did for me. I loved it from the very start. I had no doubt I would, getting to return to the same college setting that hosted Jenshak’s Smart Jocks series, and getting to know Nathan’s little brother Heath better. It was more than that, though. Jenshak has become an author I know is going to make laugh, smile, and fall in love with her characters.

Ginny and Heath were so stinking adorable together. Their relationship had this natural progression that I really dug. It may have been a “secret” relationship at the start, but that didn’t weigh things down emotionally. Secret Puck was low on angst, even when dealing with the more complex issues Ginny and Heath faced. I loved how they truly enjoyed each other’s company. It was all just so swoony!

Another thing that made me incredibly happy were all the side characters. Heath’s teammates and roommates were perfect additions to this book, and make me excited to find out what’s coming next in the series. Ginny also had some great friends who I can’t wait to see find their significant others in the future. There are just so many possibilities for romances coming. I can’t stand waiting!

So, yeah. I loved this one. I loved it so much that I don’t know that I really have anything non-gushy to say about it. It was just one of those romances that I could sit back, read, lose myself, and enjoy. If you like college sports romances, this is definitely one I would recommend.

🏒🏒 #OɴᴇCʟɪᴄᴋ:

Amazon Universal: https://smarturl.it/6d6k5j

The author is doing a signed paperback/swag giveaway on her Facebook and Instagram pages. Stop by to enter!

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Rebecca Jenshak is a self-proclaimed margarita addict, college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

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Review: Overdue (Miranda Elaine)

Overdue
Author: Miranda Elaine
Publication Date: October 8, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Growing up, Griffin Thorne was the most annoying, adorable, and infuriating boy I’d ever met. I told myself I wanted nothing to do with him, but no matter how much I tried to hate him, that crazy boy somehow became my best friend.

As teenagers, we were inseparable. Despite the high school rumors, we never crossed any lines. Friends forever. That was our motto.

Griffin grew up to become a smoking hot firefighter and I got my dream job as the town librarian. Life was perfect. However, when tragedy strikes and we’re forced to move in together, our friendship is put to the biggest test yet.

Do I risk everything for the chance at an epic love? If I follow my heart, I could lose my best friend. But if it works, we could finally get our very own Happily Ever After.


This review is harder for me to write than I was expecting. Expectations are truly the issue here. I am a big fan of Miranda Elaine’s Fixing series. That is a contemporary romance series filled with some big emotions. I went into Overdue expecting the same type of story, and that’s not what it was. Overdue was a contemporary romance with a romantic comedy vibe. There were emotions, but it didn’t feel as emotional overall. It wasn’t what I was expecting, so I had to switch gears. That being said…

Miranda Elaine is a writer who knows how to pull me into a story. She makes me fall in love with her characters quickly. Firefighting, best friend Griffin was a sweetheart. I loved that he knew Leni enough to know when the time was right. He let her grow and that was swoon worthy. As for Leni, she could have been a token “special snowflake” character with her quirky dressing and love of books. She didn’t come off like that way. Leni came off as someone who built walls around herself that was just waiting for the right person to knock them down. Obviously, her best friend was the person to do that. What I loved most about their relationship was that the friendship always came first and developed naturally.

Leni and Griffin were joined by some other special characters. Leni’s grandmother was a hoot. I’m enjoying the trend of crazy, amazing grandmothers in books lately. Her new neighbors were a fun addition, too. I’m hoping Parker gets a book.

I only had one issue with Overdue. I didn’t find Miranda Elaine’s writing quite as seamless as I did in the Fixing series. Some of the words and sentenced felt a little awkward to me. Maybe that was just a minor editing issue or a sentence structure preference on my part. The story also didn’t flow quite as elegantly as I wanted. I’m going to blame it on the flashbacks. The flashbacks were cute and gave some insight into the past of the characters, but I am not big on flashbacks in a romance in general. They might have worked better all combined in a prologue or Part 1 for me. That’s a personal preference, though. It’s not like they took away from the romance or story. They enhanced it. I just preferred the present story line more.

So, yeah, not quite what I was expecting. That’s okay because I ended up enjoying Leni and Griffin’s sweet and slightly funny romance anyways. The time I invested with them was time well spent. Overdue is a romance I would recommend to readers who are looking for a sweet, upbeat contemporary romance.

Overdue, a swoonworthy best friend to lovers, standalone romance from Miranda Elaine is available now!

 

Download your copy today or read Free in Kindle Unlimited!
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About Miranda
Miranda is a loving wife and barely surviving mother of three occasionally good kids. Her hobbies include lying to herself about the calories in donuts and banana pudding, as well as running out of excuses when procrastinating. She’s been an avid reader since she was a young girl. Whether she’s by the pool, curled up in bed, or hiding in the closet, as long as she has a book in her hands she’s happy.

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Review: Varsity Rulebreaker (Ginger Scott)

Varsity Rulebreaker
Series: Varsity, #3
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: October 8, 2020
Genre: Mature Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC provided by WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Hollis Taylor is allowed to break the rules. She’s coach’s little girl. And she’s good. If that means she gets to bump one of the guys for the starting catcher’s job on the Public High baseball team, then the others on the squad better suck it up and deal.

But breaking rules has taken Cannon Jennings far in life. One of the nation’s top pitching prospects, he came here to throw to his cousin and show college recruiters everything he could do on the mound. Taking his signs from a girl was not part of his blueprint, especially one that screwed over his favorite relative and best friend.

Too bad he broke the biggest rule of all before he knew exactly who she was.

It was just a New Year’s kiss. Totally forgettable. Especially under the circumstances.

So why can’t he stop thinking about it?


Varsity Rulebreaker was a home run. It was everything that Ginger Scott excels at in her novels. Here’s what I loved about it:

  • The writing was addictive with just the right amount of teen angst.
  • Hollis and Cannon were a good match. I loved the feelings of not just romance but friendship developing between them.
  • I also loved the friendships they had with previous series characters. These characters didn’t take over, but were there for support.
  • The issues Hollis and Cannon faced in life were socially relevant to today’s teens and packed a punch in the special way Ginger Scott has. This book spotlighted some very important topics without feeling preachy.
  • There was also a TON of actual sports related situations. This sports romance was heavier in that area than most.

Varsity Rulebreaker was a great sports romance that was big on baseball and love. It’s my new favorite in this series. I would highly recommend it. I think it could be read with or without having read the previous books.

 
 
Vote for Varsity Rulebreaker on the October 2020 Most-Anticipated Reads list: https://bit.ly/2GY4CFX
EXCERPT:

“Well?” I lift a brow.

His stare is decisive. No more blinking lashes to lull me into submission. I’m being dissected solely by the dominant glow of his swimming-pool blue eyes. His nose is pink from being out in today’s sun and reflective clouds. His wet hair is drying right before my eyes into touchable waves that I imagine in my fingers. I’m thankful my arms are crossed to hide them because I can feel them twitch.

“Fine.”

I flinch at his sudden answer, most of me prepared for him to bail on this little wager. By the way he rounds the table and motions with his hand for me to step back, I start to tremble at the knees. Cue ball palmed in his left hand, stick grasped in his right, he steps into the space between me and the table and comes close enough that I can feel the warmth of the breath he exhales from his nose.

“Pardon,” he says, and I step back several feet to lean against a pub table.

Cannon positions the ball a little off-center then dabs one more dusting of chalk on the end of his cue, blowing the dust away while he looks at me, his eyes focusing away from the tip of the stick and onto my gaze. His mouth quirks on one side, and it’s in that small look that I know I’m done. I’m so fucking screwed.

He lunges over the table in a smooth pivot, bringing the stick back slowly and getting the feel of the slide before letting it rip, knocking the balls in all directions and quickly sinking one of each—a solid and a stripe. His eyes on the center of the table, he rounds it, his tongue sticking out the way Michael Jordan’s always did when he was deciding whether to put the game away with a dunk or a little fadeaway from the top of the key.

“You got a preference?” he asks.

“I…well…” I stumble on my words, his sudden confidence really nailing me to the floor.

He chuckles then bends down, lining up a shot at a solid.

“It’s alright,” he says, quickly leaning his head to one side to glance up at me and wink. “It won’t matter.”

And it doesn’t. He proceeds to sink his initial target, and then every other solid ball on the table, sometimes two at a time. I’m half expecting him to drain the eight-ball without even looking. He has to work at it a little, though, what with so many of my balls still on the table and in his way. He calls the side pocket and when the ball falls in easily, I breathe out heavily enough to flap my lips, then I drop my stick.

“Two out of three?” I scrunch my lips up with my pathetic attempt to regain my edge.

“You think it will matter?” He lays his stick on the table and saunters toward me.

My nervous knee begins to twitch, and I find myself rocking where I stand to try to keep my legs busy and my blood flowing. Cannon stops about a foot away from me, and he looks down at the floor as he slips his hands into the pockets of his jeans. I draw in his scent, letting it numb my nerves like the venom of a scorpion. I got sloppy, arrogant even. And that trust I felt so sure of is waning a little now that he’s calling in his bet. I gave him a free pass to surprise me, to ask something of me or dare me or…that’s the thing. It’s the unknown. I did that. I did that!

My hands balled into fists at my sides, I roll my shoulders back and lift my chin, determined not to let my worry shine through.

“Bet’s a bet,” I say, shaking my head with tight lips. I had no idea I was going up against a pool shark.

“That it is,” he says, glancing up while keeping his head low. The way he peers at me through the strands of his hair that now shadow his eyes is both ominous and so freaking enticing.

“Five a.m. Saint Peters Gulch. Tomorrow.” He leans in and for a moment I think he’s going to kiss me, but instead he pauses while forward on his toes. “I’ll let you know what you owe there and then.”

I swallow and he sees it, his eyes darting to that place on my neck that betrays my bravado.

“Fine,” I gurgle out.

He laughs lightly and falls back to give me some space.

“Relax, Hollis. I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it.” With one last wink, he brings his hands from his pockets and claps them a few times to remove any leftover chalk. I force myself not to look over my shoulder as he leaves, and I keep that promise to myself, spending the next twenty minutes playing out the rest of the balls on our table and realizing I never even had a chance.

 
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𝐕𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫
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𝐕𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐓𝐢𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫
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Review: Muses & Melodies (Rebecca Yarros)

Muses & Melodies
Series: Hush Note, #3
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Yarros Ink, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If I can keep Hush Note’s leading guitarist, Nixon Winters, on the straight and narrow for the next six months, I’ll finally get my own band to manage—assuming we don’t kill each other first.

The egotistical, irritating rock star is fresh out of rehab, but it’s obvious his demons followed him home—and now I’m sleeping down the hall. I’ve watched him self-destruct every summer, and with album deadlines and tour dates looming, I can’t let it happen again. My career is in his hands.

But tattoos can’t cover every scar, and I’m starting to see through his trademark, irresistible charm to the damage beneath.

Everyone wants the rock star.
I’m falling for the man.

If he doesn’t let me in,
he’ll never break the cycle—
And when these six months are up,
I might be the one left broken.


This is how you end a series! It feels weird saying that because each book in the Hush Note series was written by a different author, but still! Rebecca Yarros ended this series in the best way possible. I loved each book in the series and I love each author’s writing, but I’m going to have to admit that Muses & Melodies was my favorite in the series.

Rebecca Yarros is so talented at making me feel emotions. Nixon’s tortured soul came alive in this book. I felt his pain and struggles. The way Yarros handled Nixon’s addictions was impressive. He very easily could have been the token drug addicted, womanizing rock star cliche type of character I can’t stand, but he wasn’t. I was rooting for him right along with Zoe.

I immediately adored Zoe. She was one mentally strong chick. The stuff she put up with — I think I would have walked away. Her ability to see the good in Nixon and help in ways others might not have been able to was fascinating. Her thought process made me respect the choices she made.

Zoe and Nixon… I don’t actually have a ton to say about their relationship. They had a ton of chemistry. What stood out even more was the respect they had for each other, the understanding that grew with their changing relationship. I loved it all.

There is some other stuff I really, really want to talk about, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Yarros’ fans are going to be excited about some things. I know I was. That’s all I’ll say.

Muses & Melodies brought the Hush Note series to an end in the best way. I don’t know that any other author could have done Nixon’s character justice the way Yarros did. I loved seeing not only the characters grow but also the band itself.

   Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52697272-muses-and-melodies

AVAILABLE NOW!!
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Kobo: https://geni.us/mu2Ac
Nook: https://geni.us/w6Ze

About the Author:

Rebecca is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of over fifteen novels, and is always ready to bring on the emotions. She’s also the recipient of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence for Eyes Turned Skyward from her Flight and Glory series. She loves military heroes and has been blissfully married to hers for eighteen years. She’s the mother of six children, ranging from kindergarten to law school, and is currently surviving the teenage years with two of her four hockey-playing sons. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the hockey rink or sneaking in some guitar time. She lives in Colorado with her family, their stubborn English bulldog, and a feisty chinchilla. Having fostered then adopted their youngest daughter, Rebecca is passionate about helping children in the foster system through her nonprofit, One October.  Visit her website at www.RebeccaYarros.com for more!
Connect w/Rebecca:
Website: http://www.rebeccayarros.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/rebeccaelizabethyarros
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RebeccaYarrosFlygirls Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaYarros
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccayarros
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7539785.Rebecca_Yarros
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rebecca-yarros
Amazon: https://amzn.to/39ZKtZ6