Mini Reviews: I Promise You, The Bribe, & Take A Number

Today, I’m sharing with you three mini reviews for new releases I’ve read recently.

I Promise You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: October 12, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the last book in Madden-Mills’ sports romances set at Waylon University. This time it’s newly starting quarterback Dillon McQueen’s turn to shine. His character was so much fun. He started off with a cocky flare, but I liked what was layered beneath. Dillon was a good dude who seemed to be a little misunderstood. I liked his pairing with Serena. She also had some great layers to unravel. She had an ex to move on from and insecurities to deal with. Their love story and characters might have felt a a little cliche at times, but it was the romance was entertaining. I especially loved that first scene. It was a good way to finish up the series.

The Bribe
Series: Calamity Montana, #1
Author: Willa Nash
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I’ve been waiting for this book since I read a preview of it in the One More Step Anthology. It was just as good as I was expecting. I loved the small town vibe and all the characters. Lucy and Duke were adorable together. I even enjoyed the suspense aspect that managed to surprise me. The Bribe was everything I’ve come to expect from Devney Perry — or I guess I should say Willa Nash. I wish she would have kept it branded Devney Perry because it didn’t seem like a departure from her regular romance brand.

Take A Number
Series: Wait With Me, #4
Author: Amy Daws
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Publisher: Stars Hollow Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I binged the first three books in this series about a month ago. I was so excited to see this fourth book coming so soon. I have to admit that Dean has not been my favorite character in this series, but I looked forward to getting to know him better. He proved himself to be not as arrogantly disgusting as I expected. His romance with Norah was actually a really great fake relationship. It was everything I liked about the trope. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Norah being described as OCD at the beginning. It sounded like she had some traits of OCD, but then it kind of just got put off as being controlling after that. I needed some clarification. Otherwise, this book was a lot of fun.

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.

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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: Snapped (Alexa Martin)

Snapped
Series: Playbook, #4
Author: Alexa Martin
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

A rocky initial meeting only leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, she realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve ever imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.


I was a little nervous prior to starting Snapped. I’ve enjoyed the Playbook series up until this point, and the reviews I have seen for this fourth book are very mixed. People seemed to either love or dislike it, so I wasn’t sure how it would hit me. Snapped started out with a letter from Martin about how the book and she relates to Elliot, the NFL, and the racial injustices/inequalities in it. I appreciated this letter because it enhanced how I saw the character and what was going on. It made me forgot about the worry I had and just dive in.

I enjoyed the experience of reading Snapped more than I thought I would. It didn’t really feel like a romance, more like women’s fiction for the most part. That didn’t bother me because I was immediately pulled in with the writing and story. Based on the subject matter it covers, I was imagining it being a heavy read. It had its heavy moments, mostly at the climax of the story, but was overall not too angsty. The build up to the climax did make me uncomfortable, but it was supposed to. Martin did a great job making me feel the tension Elliot was feeling. Did I love feeling that tension? Not really, but I pushed through.

What I liked the most about this book was Elliot and the self-discovery she went through.  I could feel her fears, frustrations, sadness, and hope. I can’t comment on how true to life her experiences were as I’m not biracial, but I’m hoping maybe they mirror the author’s enough to be authentic to readers who are.

Quinton was a gem of a character. I loved how he stood up for his beliefs and didn’t back down. I only wish I would have gotten dual point of view because I would have loved to hear his thoughts straight from his own head. It would have made this book and its topics that much more powerful.

I feel like I need to warn readers who are fans of the series at this point. I know I mentioned how this didn’t read like true romance novel to me (and it’s definitely not a rom-com). There’s a lot of getting to know each other, working together, and building rapport between Elliot and Quinton through most of the book. Things don’t truly progress further until about 70% and then it feels like fast forward was hit. I do wish the romance was heavier at the beginning, but the progression to the start of a relationship did feel natural.

Overall, Snapped was a good addition to this series. Each book has gotten a little heavier in subject manner, and this one continued that trend. I wish there had been a little more romance throughout the book, but I wouldn’t want it to take anything away from the important, relevant issues touched on. It also set up what I’m guessing is going to be book #5, which I am very interested in reading.

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.

 
 
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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.

 
🄿🅄🅁🄲🄷🄰🅂🄴 🄷🄴🅁🄴
𝐕𝐚𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐫
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★☆★Read FREE w/Kindle Unlimited★☆★
 
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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. 😉

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

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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: 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?

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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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.

 

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor
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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.

Mini Reviews: The Trouble with Quarterbacks, Until November, Until Nico, Hard Fall, & Southern Seducer

Today, I have some quick mini reviews for you.

The Trouble with Quarterbacks
Author: R.S. Grey
Publication Date: August 6, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

The Trouble with Quarterbacks was a fun read. I loved the slightly quirky British main character. Candace made me laugh a lot. Her friends were bananas, too. The things those three got into… Well, it was entertaining. I also loved Logan. He was more lovable because of the things that drew him to Candace and his relationship with Briggs. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the drama toward the end. It just felt a little thrown in for my taste, but it didn’t ruin the story or anything. Overall, I loved reading this one. It was a quick, upbeat read.

Until November
Series: Until, #1
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: September 15, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

November and Asher are a couple I’ve read about as side characters several times since I started mid-series. It was nice to finally go back and read their story. I loved their romance. Even though it’s extremely instant love, I liked how that was explained and how things went. Asher was a MAJOR alpha and I loved how November stood her ground with him. It was a very sweet story.

Until Nico
Series: Until, #4
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: May 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This series just keeps getting better and better! I adored Nico’s turn for the BOOM. He and Sophie were so cute together. Nico was all tough alpha bad boy. Sophie was a sweet librarian. I loved how their differences in appearance and attitude blended. This was definitely one of my favorites in the series.

Hard Fall
Series: Trophy Boyfriends, #2
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

After reading Hard Pass, I knew I had to read Hard Fall and get to know the annoying Trace “Buzz” Wallace. He was like that fly that wouldn’t go away with his idiotic humor, but he had a heart of gold. I couldn’t help but love his character even when I wanted to throw something at him for Hollis. I loved Hollis’ character so much! She was a great match for Buzz. I smiled a lot while reading this book. My biggest complaint, much like the last book, was that the instant love was strong and the book was too short. I wanted more of Hollis and Buzz. That being said, I still can’t wait for Trace’s twin brother Tripp’s book next.

Southern Seducer
Series: North Carolina Highlands, #1
Author: Jessica Peterson
Publication Date: August 8, 2020
Publisher: Peterson Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I enjoyed Annabel and Beau’s friends to more story. It had a sweetness other romances don’t because of some of the important aspects of the story. Annabel has been diagnosed with PPD 4 months after having a baby as a single mother. Beau has recently been diagnosed with possible CTE. Those two angles were ones I haven’t read often in romance novels. As a mother, I could relate to some of the tough new baby stuff Annabel was going through. I think I would have appreciated this book even more when if I had read it soon after having my child. One thing I have to say is that I’m not a fan of this title. The “Seducer” gave me a the feel that this book would be on the scandalous side when in truth it was a sweet romance. I think others who might benefit from this book might skip it based on the title, which would be sad.

Review: Filthy Forward (Kelsey Cheyenne)

Filthy Forward
Series: Cocky Hero Club
Author: Kelsey Cheyenne
Publication Date: July 19, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Cocky. Filthy. Player.

Tatum Trevino waltzed into my life like he owned it. The renowned soccer star showed up as my new coach and changed everything.

Until rumors started flying about the bad boy prodigy kicked off his team. I thought he was nothing but another cocky playboy, but there was another side to him under the facade.

Late training sessions, secret getaways, and a delicious sleeve of tattoos led to temptation. We kept our relationship private, but I wasn’t the only secret he was keeping.

And it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out.


Filthy Forward was not a book on my TBR. It wasn’t even on my radar until I saw Alecia‘s review for it. Her review was so positive and spiked my interest. Since it was on KU and sounded like something I was in the mood for, I gave it a try. It worked out well for me.

This is my first attempt at reading something by Kelsey Cheyenne. I loved the writing style. I was immediately pulled in and connected with the characters. I liked Bria and Tatum. Both got a POV, so it was cool to hear their thoughts about each other. They didn’t like each other at the beginning, so it was fun for them to get to know each other and develop a deep connection. Their fall into love felt natural.

Another thing I really loved was the soccer. Personally, I’m missing soccer in my life right now, so reading about it felt like watching it. I loved that practice, training, and games were involved. It was even cooler that it was Bria who was the main focus of it, even though Tatum was also a soccer star.

Normally, I’m not a fan of romances that have a student-teacher feel. This is one with a player-coach thing going on. I don’t think I would have liked it at all if 1) the player wasn’t an adult in college, 2) the coach was an assistant who wasn’t much older and had only just joined the team, and 3) there wasn’t anything illegal about their relationship. It did still make me cringe a bit at times, but probably because I will never b 100% okay with a relationship in this dynamic. Filthy Forward actually reminded me a bit of R.S. Grey’s Scoring Wilder. If you liked the tone of that book, you would probably like this one.

The only other thing that I have mixed feelings about was the conflict. It involved a lot of miscommunication. If miscommunication or lack of communication bugs you in a romance, this one probably won’t be for you. I could let it go because there were so many things that twisted and combined to caused the issue that I found entertaining.

Oh! And I shouldn’t forget — The “filthy” in the title didn’t exactly fit for me. Tatum actually seemed like a stand up person. I guess maybe it was just catchy or portrayed what his reputation might have been prior to this book. That word might stop some people from reading, so I thought I should mention it.

Overall, this was a great introduction to Kelsey Cheyenne’s writing for me. I would definitely read another book by this author. It was a fun sports romance.