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: Blacklisted (Jay Crownover)

Blacklisted
Series: Loveless, Texas, #3
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a doctor who plays by the rules and the outlaw who breaks them in order to protect her.

Dr. Presley Baskin has always lived a quiet, calm life. Unfortunately, nothing about her life in Loveless, Texas—especially not the wild, rowdy, and impossibly close-knit Lawton family who’ve claimed her—is quiet or calm. Which is how loner Presley finds herself roped into patching up local bad boy Shot Caldwell against her better judgment. Presley wants nothing to do with the dangerous, brooding leader of the local outlaw motorcycle club. But when someone starts stalking her, Shot is the only person she trusts to help. Plus he owes her one…

Palmer ‘Shot’ Caldwell has always known his life isn’t made for relationships. At least until shy, secretive, Presley reluctantly pulled a bullet out of him. He’s oddly protective of the pretty doctor, so when she comes to him for help, hard-hearted Shot suddenly realizes there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to keep her safe.


Blacklisted picked up right where Unforgiven left off in the Loveless, Texas series. I loved where things picked up with Presley and Shot. They were such an interesting couple. Plus, I was really excited to find out where everything was going since the entire series had been building up to this point.

I hate to say it, but this books had some ups and downs for me. I wanted to love it so badly, but ended up just liking it in the end. I’m normally a fan of Crownover’s writing style, but it didn’t work well for me in Blacklisted. It was too wordy. That might sound weird since books are made up of words and the book itself wasn’t too long. There was just too much description and not enough dialog. I was being told too many things instead of experiencing them. It bogged the book down for me. I thought it might have been my mood, so I put the book aside for a few days. Things were a little better when I picked it back up, but I am attributing that more to being at about 50% where the action finally started to pick up and I started enjoying the book a lot more.

What about the ups? Well, the ups were great. I loved Presley and Shot. They had such different personalities and jobs. It was truly a case of opposites attract for them. I loved their chemistry and the way their relationship built. I would have loved to spend more time with them as a couple with a lesser suspense plot. Which is feels funny to say because I actually enjoyed the suspense plot in this book.

Another thing I enjoyed was the Lawton family and how they supported Presley. They showed up for her not only when she needed it, but in general. It was fun to see where they were in life and how Presley fit in. I also liked Shot’s right hand man, Top. He was interesting. I can only imagine what a book with him as the main character would be like.

In the end I truly ended up liking this book. Like I said before, I started enjoying it more once it hit that 50% mark. The characters’ relationship went placed I loved. The suspense plot came together in a way that fit the series and made for a good ending to it. I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters, but I’m excited to find out what’s next from Jay Crownover.

Review: The Rules of Burken (Traci Finlay)

The Rules of Burken
Author: Traci Finlay
Publication Date: April 11, 2019
Genre: Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?


I came across The Rules of Burken when author Tarryn Fisher promoted it on her Instagram at release time. I was intrigued by it then and wanted to read it, so I downloaded it. I don’t have a good reason for taking so long to get to it. It sat on my Kindle for over a year before I picked it up, which I’m not proud of.

This psychological thriller was addictive from the start. I was constantly tense trying to figure things out. The game Charlotte and her brother Ian played was brutal. Their sibling bond fascinated me. I was desperate to understand it, so I could make guesses as to what was happening. There these great flashbacks throughout the story heightened my curiosity even more. Everything moved at such fast pace, I didn’t want to miss anything. I didn’t want to put the book down.

Honestly, I was impressed this was Traci Finlay’s debut novel. The writing was great, the plot moved quickly, and the end left me wanting more. Not only do I want to read another book by this author, but I would read a sequel. It wasn’t the most complex psychological thriller, but it was a good one and I would recommend it.

Review: Chicks, Man (J.D. Hollyfield)

Chicks, Man
Author: J.D. Hollyfield
Publication Date: April 25, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Falling in love was the easy part.
Being secretly in love with my brother’s best friend is where it got tricky.
Levi Dent was off-limits. Which was probably for the best, since he barely knew I existed.

Until one night I saw an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

The problem was, I got caught.

She tricked me.
I knew there was something so familiar about her, but I just couldn’t resist.
Hannah Matthews was nothing more than my best friend’s little sister. Except she wasn’t so little anymore.

I need to forget all about her.

If only it were that easy…


I loved Chicks, Man, but I have to admit that it wasn’t what I was expecting. I knew it was going to have a brother’s best friend trope. What I wasn’t expecting was it to turn into an office romance and have a romantic suspense plot woven in. The first wasn’t quite as shocking as the second. Chicks, Man was just a lot more complex than the romantic comedy I was expecting from J.D. Hollyfield. That’s not a bad thing, though. It was actually really entertaining. I loved the humor and chemistry I expected mixed in with a crazy storyline. It was lots of fun!

My favorite thing about Chicks, Man had to be how grown up Hannah and Levi connected. There were so many sweet moments between them. It was also fun to get a look at how frustrating it was for Hannah to grow up in the shadow of her brother and his friends. I loved how she came into her own and told off a couple of people.

So, yeah. Overall, it was a really fun romance. Not quite was I expecting, but still funny and swoon worthy.

Review: Creole Kingpin (Meghan March)

Creole Kingpin
Series: Magnolia Duet, #1
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March goes back to New Orleans and the world of Lachlan Mount with a dangerous and bold new anti-hero.

The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead.

That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.

We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.

As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.

But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.

So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.

After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.


I don’t know how Meghan March does it. Each book and series better than the last. From beginning to end, Creole Kingpin had me transfixed. I loved being back in March’s New Orleans setting with Magnolia, I character who has intrigued me from the minute I learned her name. Add in Moses, the villain from the Legend Trilogy who I wasn’t exactly a fan of, and things were crazy good.

Magnolia had a rough and not exactly lawful past life. She is ready to leave it all behind. Her navigation out of that world and the resurrection of Moses in her life was so much fun to read about. Add in a little dangerous mystery, and Creole Kingpin was the best kind of ride.

I would leave my review at that, but I HAVE to mention Moses some more. I didn’t think I could love him based on his relationship with Legend. I did, though… His relationship with Magnolia made me see him in a completely new way. I loved it.

So… This is a duet. You know what that means in a Meghan March book, right? CLIFFHANGER. This one went a direction I wasn’t expecting. It left me more curious than shocked, and I’m dying to know what’s going to be revealed in Madam Temptress.

Creole Kingpin is the first book in the Magnolia Duet. Magnolia’s story concludes in Madam Temptress releasing April 14, 2020.

Add to your Goodreads TBR:

http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinGR

Where to buy:

https://meghanmarch.com/creole-kingpin

Amazon:  mybook.to/creolekingpin

Apple Books:  http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinApple

B&N:  http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinBN

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinKobo

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinGP

About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers:  http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

FACEBOOK  WEBSITE |  INSTAGRAM  AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE |  TWITTER |  BOOKBUB

Mini Review: Queen of Lies (Whitney G.)

Queen of Lies
Series: Empire of Lies, #2
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: February 27, 2020
Publisher: WGW Books, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Book 2 in the Empire of Lies trilogy.
The twists and turns in Michael & Meredith’s story continue…

The woman I fell in love with is a walking contradiction…
She’s sexy as hell, yet infuriating. Hopelessly in love with me, but carefully plotting to get the hell away.
She honestly thinks that I’m the ‘king of lies’?
Well, she f-cking fooled you…
She’s the queen.


The surprises that began in King of Lies kept coming in Queen of Lies. I don’t know what to say other than I wasn’t expecting some of the twists and the ending left me wondering what could possibly come next. Meredith and Michael’s story is crazy, epic, and I love it! I CANNOT wait for the final installment of this trilogy!

Review: Unforgiven (Jay Crownover)

I am so excited to celebrate the release of UNFORGIVEN by Jay Crownover with you today by participating in the blog tour! UNFORGIVEN is part of the Loveless, Texas series and you can grab your copy now. Join Jay’s Group for details about all of her titles.

Unforgiven
Series: Loveless, Texas, #2
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.
Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.
When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.


I was immediately drawn into Kody and Hill’s story from the very beginning. They had such an emotionally charged connection that drew them together as well as kept them apart. I loved their dynamic and how they found their way to each other.

Kody and Hill’s romance almost felt like a side story compared to the romantic suspense plot of the story. So much was going on with the investigation into Kody’s father’s murder that it pretty much took over the entire book. I’m not really complaining about that. It was interesting.

What I am going to complain about it the ending. Was there really an ending? That was my question when the Epilogue suddenly began and then again when I closed Unforgiven for the final time. First, Kody basically just explained how things are working out for her with Hill. It wasn’t really an HEA in my opinion and left me disappointed and wanting more. Second, the romantic suspense aspect of the story wasn’t tied off. The Epilogue felt more like one big push toward the next book in that series. Granted, I am SUPER curious about that book now. So while I enjoyed reading Unforgiven, I just felt let down in the end.

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!

Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

Add UNFORGIVEN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Grab your copy of UNFORGIVEN today!
Amazon | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo

———————

About JAY CROWNOVER:

  Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road. Connect with her: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group IS-Blogger-1-1024x158

Review: The Fight for Forever (Meghan March)

The Fight for Forever
Series: Legend Trilogy, #3
Author: Meghan March
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Meghan March LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

You can only keep what you can protect.

That’s all I’ve ever known. It’s the way I’ve lived my life.

Now, everything I never knew I needed is at risk, and I’m not letting anyone take it from me.

I won’t let anyone take her from me.

They say love is a battlefield, so I’m ready for war.

This time, it’s the fight for forever.

The Fight for Forever is the final book in the Legend Trilogy and should be read after The Fall of Legend, book one and House of Scarlett, book two of the utterly addictive Legend Trilogy.


I loved both The Fall of Legend and House of Scarlett, but what I felt for the first two books in this trilogy was only a fraction of what I felt for The Fight for Forever. This book was perfection. Seriously, Meghan March did everything I hoped she would and more. It picked right back up from the brutal cliffhanger in House of Scarlett and answered with action, chemistry, and love.

Gabriel Legend and Scarlett Priest’s story was FIRE. I loved everything about their relationship. They were both strong individual, but together they were a force to be reckoned with. They had a sweet relationship filled with an intense attraction. I loved how they welcomed the (amazing) people in each other’s lives into their own. Many of my favorite moments included them with Bump.

The fight aspect of this book was so much fun to read about. I loved how Gabriel’s preparation for it was worked in. I also loved the suspense the fight brought into this part of the trilogy. March kept me on my toes with everything that went on. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!

As you can probably tell from all of my gushing, I adored this book. The Fight for Forever was an amazing conclusion to the Legend Trilogy. I’m sad I’m done reading it, but I’m also looking forward to reading what’s next from Meghan March. Her writing gets better and better with each new release.

Add to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/TheFightforForeverGR

Buy Now:

http://meghanmarch.com/the-fight-for-forever
Amazon: mybook.to/MMFight
Apple Books: http://bit.ly/AppleTheFightforForever
B&N: http://bit.ly/MMTheFightforForeverNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheFightforForeverKobo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/37qt22M

About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | BOOKBUB

Review: Destructive (Jay McLean)

Destructive
Series: Combative, #3
Author: Jay McLean
Publication Date: January 6, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Some villains are made.
Some villains are born.
And some villains aren’t villains at all.

Nate DeLuca was born into a life he didn’t want.
Forced to walk a path that was already chosen for him.
Grandson to a mob boss, he’s forever torn between his duty, his honor, his legacy, and the truth.
But the truth is never simple, and it’s not at all what it seems.

In a world full of secrets, heartache, and betrayals, Nate only has one thing on his mind: redemption.
But with redemption comes destruction.
And that destruction might cost him his heart.

***

Three Lives.
Two Loves.
One ticking time bomb…
Tick tock.


Destructive is the third and final book in the Combative series. Each book builds on the last, so you don’t want to jump ahead because you will miss out on the build up and all the good stuff. You can find my review for the first book, Combative, here.

Woah.

If Combative left me slightly confused with its cliffhanger and Redemptive left me mind blown, then Destructive left me fulfilled. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted, but needed from Jay McLean and her characters. It tested everything I thought I knew about Nate, Ky, Madison, and Bailey. There were so many revelations, so many moments of clarity. It took McLean years to wrap up this story, and I now understand why. It both shocked and amazed. What a way to end such an explosive trilogy!

Review: Moonlighter (Sarina Bowen)

Moonlighter
Series: The Company, #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?

It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.

Sigh. I loved Moonlighter. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Eric Bayer and Alex’s romance was sweet in a way I wasn’t expecting — only because I didn’t immediately connect the dots as to who Alex was. I don’t know how I didn’t recognize her character immediately. (She’s from Brooklynaire if you need a reminder like I did.) The story was also funny in the way I’ve come to expect from Sarina Bowen. It even had a romantic suspense vibe that I enjoyed because it wasn’t overdone. I couldn’t get enough of Eric and Alex. I wanted their story to go on forever. Sarina Bowen was smart to start this new The Company series with a couple of Brooklyn Bruisers characters. I’m so excited to see what comes next in the series. I would love a Duff or Max book!