Review: The Enemy (Sarah Adams)

The Enemy
Series: It Happened in Charleston, #2
Author: Sarah Adams
Publication Date: August 20, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It’s been twelve years since I’ve seen him. Twelve years since he won our war of wits by outsmarting me with a tactic I didn’t even know was allowed. But tonight…I resurrect the battle.

Ryan Henderson is back in town for our best friends’ wedding, and I plan on showing him exactly how much I don’t care about him—or the almost kiss he ruthlessly dangled over me after graduation.

A lot has changed since our feuding days. I’m a successful bakery owner now, and I plan to rub every delicious detail of my life in his ugly face.

Just one problem: his face is gorgeous.

He wasn’t supposed to look like this or pursue me like a sexy guided missile. I must stay strong until the wedding is over and Ryan scurries back into whatever alternate universe he escaped from.

His interest in me is nothing but a continuation of the games we played in high school…right?

But the longer he stays, the more I wonder if I’m wrong and his tender smile and heated attentions are genuine. Maybe it’s not a game.

Ha! Who am I kidding? This is Ryan we’re talking about. Of course it’s a game. A game called war. And this time, I will win.


About a month or so ago, Kayla and I buddy read Sarah Adams’ The Match. We both found it so adorable that we immediately decided we needed to buddy read the next book in the series. I’m so happy we did that because I found The Enemy to be just as charming as The Match. They were both set in the same city and had some favorite side characters tying them together, but the majority of The Enemy felt like a whole new world that was fun to discover. The Enemy one stood strong on its own.

What was so great about The Enemy? An incredibly fun wedding aspect brought crushes sworn enemies June and Ryan back together over and over after over a decade of not seeing each other. The animosity between the two ramped up in the best of ways. There was also some hilarious doughnut shop, restaurant, and friendship stuff that went on. What made this book truly magical was the chemistry between June and Ryan. Everything that went down between them was entertaining. Their relationship was the sweetest of sweetest slow burn romances. That chemistry was always there, but they took on their past and got to know each other better at a believable pace. There was also a TON of humorous moments — especially when it came to our adorably self-conscious heroine. It was all just so charming and adorable. I couldn’t get enough of it and stayed up WAY too late finishing it.

I’m actually sad that I sped through this book the way I did. I couldn’t help myself, but now I want more. I don’t even know if there is more coming because I haven’t seen a third book listed, but I REALLY hope there is. I want more of these delightful It Happened in Charleston books!

Review: The Right Player

The Right Player
Author: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: September 24, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I have a three date rule — but it’s not what you think.

See, I’ve been told I’m the “good time girl,” not the one you take home to Mom. And while that label stung at first, I’ve since embraced it — living the wild and free life and sticking to a three date max. That’s just enough time to have some fun and snuff out the possibility of catching feelings. And it’s been working for me for years…

Until Makoa Kumaka.

Sadly, he also has a three date rule — and it’s the exact opposite of mine. From the second I meet him, all I can think about is stripping down that six-foot-five Herculean hunk of a man. But like the gentleman I wish he wasn’t, he’s making me wait.

The more time we spend together, the more I feel those pesky emotions creeping in. I’m even tempted to trust him, but blame it on my past or my instincts, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something…

I’ve been playing the game forever, and no man has ever won my heart — which meant they never had the power to break it.

But maybe I just hadn’t met the right player.

Maybe I’ll wish I never did.


Sigh. ADORABLE. The Right Player was so freaking adorable. I knew it would be since it was connected to my favorite Kandi Steiner book, The Wrong Game. I just didn’t know how adorable it would be.

Belle was so vibrant and independent. Mokoa was a sweet, good guy. Their chemistry was perfect. I loved them falling in love. I enjoyed how the tables were turned in this one. Instead of being the guy not wanting a relationship, it was the girl. That spin created such an interesting dynamic. It also created some interesting, low angst drama. Normally, a lack of communication (or lying) doesn’t always work out for me, but it made sense in this case. I might have been cringing waiting for things to go down, but when they did I liked it.

Another great thing about this book was getting to see Gemma and Zach again. Belle and Gemma’s friendship was once again in full swing. I also loved how Zach now played into that friendship. It was just so great to see them all together again. I wish there were more friends for Steiner to write about because I would read another book set in this world.

Obviously, I loved The Right Player. I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend The Wrong Game. You don’t have to read it first, but it might be more fun if you do. 😉

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Meet Kandi

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi

Website:  www.kandisteiner.com
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Review: Lies and Lullabies (Sarina Bowen)

Lies and Lullabies
Series: Hush Notes, #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.


Lies and Lullabies was a sweet second chance romance. The whole rock star and secret baby tropes melded perfectly. I loved Kira and Jonas’ characters. It was easy to understand why Kira kept Vivi a secret and for why Jonas would want to come back to her five years later. Their chemistry was on point, and it didn’t feel weird for them to reconnect quickly. I’m normally not a fan of flashbacks, but they were few, woven well into the story, and didn’t distract from the present but added to it.

Like in all of Bowen’s books, the side characters helped make the story. Kira and Jonas’ daughter Vivi was adorable. There were so many sweet moments due to her. Kira’s brother Adam also had a big part. I loved his character. I’m wondering if we’re getting a book for him because his part in the story felt like it wasn’t resolved. I hope so! And then there was the rest of Jonas’ band. I liked the introductions to Nixon and Quinn. I’m so interested to see where Rebecca Yarros and Devney Perry take those characters.

There were a few things that felt a little too unresolved to me. One was teh whole Luke storyline. The second was Adam’s story, as I pointed out earlier. The third was that I wanted a little more time with Kira and Jonas at the end. There was a perfect epilogue, but the story felt like it ended a little abruptly. I can’t exactly explain why it felt that way. I guess I needed a little more clarification on how everything worked out for them with Jonas’ tour, etc.

Overall, this was a great second chance romance. It was filled with sweet moments and rock star fun. I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!

PURCHASE LINKS:
SERIES PAGE https://www.subscribepage.com/hushnote
All links in one spot → https://shor.by/hush-note
Audible → https://geni.us/Audible-LandL
Paperback → https://geni.us/Paperback-Land…
Amazon → https://geni.us/Amazon-LandL
Apple → https://geni.us/apple-LandL
Kobo → https://geni.us/kobo-LandL
Nook → https://geni.us/Nook-LandL
Google → https://geni.us/Google-LandL

Lies & Lullabies is book one in the Hush Note series. This can be read as a complete standalone. Book two, Rifts & Refrains is by Devney Perry, and book three, Muses & Melodies is by Rebecca Yarros.

Review: Yours to Keep (Lauren Layne)

Yours to Keep
Series: Man of the Year, #2
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

An irresistible baseball star and a resistant hometown girl stumble into love in a flirty romance by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Pro baseball shortstop Carter Ramsey is about to be Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, but the only title that matters to him is out of reach: World Series MVP. Benched by a recent injury, Carter retreats to his hometown to recover. His ten-year class reunion and a potential reconciliation with the sweetheart he left behind could be perfect distractions. Until another old acquaintance throws Carter a curveball.

Olive Dunn admits that her former high school science partner is still a handsome charmer. But she wasn’t swayed then, and she won’t be swayed now. Because Olive remembers Carter’s little shortcoming: he tends to bail the moment it suits him, without a backward glance. Best to keep her feelings strictly platonic while he’s in town.


Except the entitled boy she knew is a changed man: solid, reflective, and generous. As they ease back in to their familiar friendship, things take a surprising turn, and Carter and Olive must decide if what they have is a passing flirtation or a real shot at love.


Lauren Layne is back! Well, she didn’t really leave, but… I hate to admit that the first Man of the Year book wasn’t my cup of tea. That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Yours to Keep because it is very rare that I don’t fall in love with an LL book. I totally fell in love with this book. What made it so great, you ask?

  • Yours to Keep is one of those books that made me smile the entire time I was reading it. The words feel like they’re wrapped in this upbeat, happy bubble wrap no matter what’s going down.
  • The characters were lovable, each in their own way. Carter because he was a professional athlete trying to figure out who he was without baseball (a great guy). Olive because she wasn’t about to let anyone decide who she was without her input. They weren’t perfect, but they were good people.
  • The chemistry was undeniable, but I loved that they started off by developing a friendship.
  • The side characters were great and added some fun moments to the story. I especially loved Carter’s twin and parents.
  • Just have to say that I loved the ending and epilogue for this book.
  • This is a weird one, but I loved that the whole “Man of the Year” article was what tied this book to the first one and not the political aspect from the first book. They almost didn’t even feel related, and that was a good thing for me.

Was there anything I disliked? Not really. The only thing I could probably point out was that I would have preferred it be in first person instead of third, but this LL so the third worked for me. Yours to Keep was another great addition to her contemporary romance catalog, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Can it hurry up and get here, please?

Mini Reviews: Engagement and Espionage & Batter of Wits

Engagement and Espionage
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries, #1
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.
Sabotage!

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

My thoughts:

If you’re a fan of Cletus Winston and his baker love Jenn Donner, you will most likely enjoy Engagement and Espionage. It’s a fun cozy mystery filled with antics that can only be attributed to Cletus. Plus, getting more of Cletus and Jenn’s relationship was so fulfilling. They are a couple of favorite characters of mine and I’m so glad there are more books in this series to come.

Batter of Wits
Series: Donner Bakery, #5
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

My thoughts:

I’m always a little hesitant to read a book by one author set in a world created by another author. I’m afraid that it just won’t have the right “feel” to it. Penny Reid’s writing style, settings, and characters are one of a kind. Her Green Valley, home of the Winston brothers, has a special place in my heart. I have read a couple books in this world now, and neither of them quite reflected the setting or style I expected. This is all a big build up to say that Karla Sorensen is the first author who has managed to write her own unique characters and do Green Valley justice. Batter of Wits felt like coming home to Green Valley, and that’s a good thing. I loved Grace and Tucker. Their love story had some uncomfortable bumps, but it was fun.

Review: Dirty Empire (Nina West)

From internationally bestselling author K.A. Tucker, writing as Nina West, comes the dark and sexy Dirty Empire series.

Dirty Empire
Series: Dirty Empire, #3
Author: Nina West
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Mercy Wheeler and Gabriel Easton’s sordid tale continues in Dirty Empire as Mercy finds her loyalties tested and Gabriel’s attempt to break free of his family’s legacy comes with unexpected consequences.

Dirty Empire is the third book in the Dirty Empire series and should be read after Sweet Mercy and Gabriel Fallen.


One word for Dirty Empire: EXPLOSIVE.

Why explosive? If I gave away Gideon’s secrets he would kill me, so this review is going to be a little sparse. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Things started where they left off. The drama and suspense continued and actually heightened in this third book.
  • Gideon and Mercy’s relationship went next level and got hotter, if that was possible.
  • There were some revelations I guessed but still managed to be a little shocked by.
  • Dirty Empire was supposed to be the end of Gideon and Mercy’s story, but IT’S NOT!!! There was another crazy cliffhanger and there will be a FOURTH book. I can’t decide if I love or hate that.
  • Dirty Empire was a fabulous addition to this series and I can’t wait for the fourth book!
Dirty Empire by Nina West is now live!
Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Dirty Empire (#3 Dirty Empire)

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Sweet Mercy (#1 Dirty Empire) is also FREE!

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 Meet Nina

 Nina West is the author of the sinfully sexy and highly addictive The Wolf Hotel series and Dirty Empire series. She lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness.

Connect with Nina

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-West/e/B0184G39E0
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14465382.Nina_West
Website: https://www.ninawestauthor.com/|
Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nina-west
Facebook: @K.A.Tucker.Author
Instagram: @katucker_
Twitter: @kathleenatucke

 

Review: The Set Up (Meghan Quinn)

The Set Up
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: September , 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I’ve fallen victim to a heinous act.

An act so vile, so downright dirty, that I’m not sure as a twenty-year-old man I’ll ever recover. Brace yourself, because what I’m about to tell you might have you gasping in secondhand horror.
Ready? Here it goes . . .

I’ve recently become the pawn of a meddling mom.

Yes . . . A MEDDLING MOM–who’s been trying to set me up all summer.

Now, I understand it’s not a crime for a mother to want her child to fall in love, but when she makes it her relentless MISSION, the heinous act should be classified as a misdemeanor at least.

Of course, my mom, the evil matriarch in the devil’s leggings, made her final stab at finding a girl for me days before I went back to college.

And I hate to admit it, but she saved a doozy for last.

A titan in black skinny jeans.

A boss of nonchalance.

And a girl who would not only turn my life upside down, but do it while juggling a soccer ball, looking effortlessly gorgeous around campus, and is one hundred percent against relationships. Of any sort.

Thanks, Mom.


MEGHAN QUINN! Where did this story come from because I want more! Seriously. The Set Up was perfect in so many ways.

The Set Up began in a hilarious way. From that initial meeting, I knew I was going to fall in love with this story and the characters. Lincoln was every bit as swoony as Maddox from The Change Up. Those were big shoes to fill and somehow Meghan Quinn outdid herself coming up with Lincoln. To top it off, she created the perfect match in Indie. The fact that Indie was an athlete as well made her chemistry with Lincoln even stronger. I loved how they pushed each other to excel while developing a cool friendship. If they were real, I would so want to be in their circle.

Oh, that “friendship”… It was such a ride! Lincoln and Indie might not have wanted their feelings for each other to be known, but their chemistry was undeniable. I smiled and laughed so hard while they tried to figure things out. Quinn’s trademark humor shined big time in this book. I don’t know how she comes up with the stuff she does, but I appreciate it. She took a friends to lovers romance and made it something special with all that humor.

Since I’ve been talking about friends, it’s only right to mention Lincoln and Indie’s friends. You’re going to love them! They added some of the best moments to the story. I loved the way they all interacted and how I could feel the bonds they had.

The only thing I still don’t know how I feel about in this book was the dramactic event. It felt shocking. I should have expected it based on how each book in this series is set up and by who I knew Lincoln to be based on The Change Up. Somehow, I had forgotten. I was so wrapped up in how everything started and went down along the way that I forgot what I already knew. I just didn’t enjoy that part. It made me sadder than I wanted to be. I guess it did fit in with everything, though. I can’t fault that too much. It’s probably more of a “me” or mood thing.

I absolutely loved being back in the Brentwood college sports setting. This book did not end my love of the characters, sports, and school. I have not gotten enough of it. I hope Meghan Quinn will continue to give us hilarious new adult romances set in this world. There are some roommates from this book who’s stories need to be told.

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AVAILABLE NOW!!!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author:

 

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.

 

Connect with Meghan:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
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Review: Midnight Sun (Stephenie Meyer)

Midnight Sun
Series: Twilight Saga, #5
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?


I truly enjoyed being back in the Twilight Saga world. It was like hanging out with an old friend. No, scratch that. It was like hanging out with an old friend’s significant other and hearing about how they fell in love from his/her perspective. Pretty much what you knew, but with new insight. It wasn’t a completely fresh take, but it makes you love Bella and Edward’s love story that much more.

Edward isn’t my favorite Twilight Saga character. I would probably be in the “Team Jacob” camp. Midnight Sun had me appreciating Edward in a new way. I was surprised by how much I ended up liking him. He wasn’t the most pleasant at times, and that was kind of refreshing. His opinions of Bella throughout the book delighted me. I also loved the deeper look it gave me into the rest of the Cullens as well.

Had I read Midnight Sun around the same time as I read the rest of the Twilight Saga, I probably would have rated this book even higher. What kept me from doing so was that so much of the content felt recycled. Yes, I loved seeing things through Edward’s eyes. I just wish more of it would have not be a rehash of events that took place. It was like Meyer combined his new thoughts with everything that went down in the original. That made for a LONG book. 662 pages was too many in my opinion. Maybe I just feel that way because I read the hardback, and it was freaking HEAVY.

I read somewhere that Meyer may or may not keep writing the series from Edward’s POV. I’m down for that. I would read them. I had fun being back in this world again. I would actually love if Meyer wrote New Moon from Jacob’s POV. I also wouldn’t mind a book about Alice. Twilight Saga fans don’t ask for much, do they? 😉

Review: Well Played (Jen DeLuca)

Well Played
Series: Well Met, #2
Author: Jen DeLuca
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.


Jen DeLuca’s Well Met was one of my favorite debut novels I read in 2020. I remember finishing it and being excited about what could possibly come next from the author. I was hoping it would be a second book set in the same world, and I lucked out because it is! I was so excited to go back to the Faire world DeLuca created and get to know some of the characters better.

Well Played was even better than Well Met. DeLuca’s already strong writing has only gotten better in her sophomore book.  The feelings she had me feeling… so much emotion!!! I felt like I was Stacey through so much of this book. It was a little overwhelming — in the best way.

I loved Stacey and every minute I spent with her. I also really loved her love interest. The way they got to know each other over emails and texts was a big plus for me! To be honest, I figured out right away who “Dex” really was. The blurb and some stuff at the beginning of the book kind of give it away. I would have liked it to have been more of a surprise, but  it didn’t diminish how much I enjoyed this book too much because I immediately liked the guy.

It was also fun to see some of the other characters I met in Well Played show up again in Well Met. I enjoyed finding out how Emily and Simon were doing. I loved knowing that Mitch was up to his old tricks. All these great characters had me wanting even more books in the Well Met series.

Well Played was such a cute romance novel. I feel like I am not adequately telling you how cute and fun it was. I think other readers are going to love this book.

Review: Must Love Dogs…and Hockey (Kelly Jamieson)

Must Love Dogs…and Hockey
Series: Bears Hockey, #1
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lilly:  My life is like the love child of a train wreck and a dumpster fire right now. I’ve been canned, my professional reputation is shredded, and now I’m walking dogs to make ends meet.
But I still believe everything will work out. Somehow.
Then a dog at the park attacks my friend’s dog. At first, I’m ready to give the owner hell—but it turns out he’s in desperate need of doggie daycare. I figure, why not? I love dogs and I need the cash.
Too bad his cocky bad boy attitude annoys me. He’s too damn cute for his own good. And I’m not talking about the dog.

Easton: My coach is riding my ass and I’m not handling it well. When I’m saddled with an abandoned pooch, my teammate thinks a dog will keep my temper in check. I think I have enough problems already.
But when my new dog gets into a tussle that leads me to meet a smoking hot chick who knows how to handle the rascal, I start to think pet ownership isn’t all bad. At least it gives me an excuse to see Lilly again. . . .
Neither of us are interested in a relationship. First they steal your bed, then they steal your heart. And I’m not talking about the dog.


Before I start my review, I just have to say I’m really digging this cover. With so many authors going illustrated covers, this cover made me want more like. I absolutely love the couple loving on the dog. Plus, the green props. A+ cover in my book.

As for the story, it was as cute as the cover. I adored the way Easton became a dog owner. The way Otis wrapped his legs and heart around Easton made me so happy. Everything involving that dog was magic. I loved that Otis was responsible for Easton meeting Lilly and, therefore, what came after.

Lilly and Easton were both interesting characters, mostly due to their pasts. Those pasts weighed them down a lot. I liked how they reminded me and seemed to be based off a couple of real life events. That could have made the feel to this story on the angst ridden side, but it didn’t. I liked how light the story still felt despite what the characters were dealing with. Lilly and Easton’s romance had this nice, natural feel to it. Everything seemed to happen just as it should, in a cute way. When things went wrong (because you know they do at some point in a romance usually), I felt their heart ache, but I still felt happy because I knew good things were to come. The romance between them was so cute and well written.

I did have a few of things I wanted more of from this book. The first was regarding everything that went down inside the hockey organization. That was such a big deal, and I think I wanted to feel the explosiveness of the situation rather than just be told how it all went down in the end. Same with Lilly’s court case. Maybe that would have made this book heavier than I wanted, though. I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to feel more in touch with those two events. Oh! I also wanted to know what was up with Lilly’s freaking dad. That kind of resolved, but we never got to know the why of it all. That was frustrating.

That being said, this truly was a fun, new hockey romance series from Jamieson. I like how it started, and I can’t wait to find out what’s coming next in it. I’m guessing a certain someone’s book who was mentioned at the end. I am loving that idea. I also very much want a Cookie book. How could I not with a hockey player nicknamed Cookie. Makes me think of a giant teddy bear.