Monday, March 19, 2018

Review, Giveaway & Excerpt: On Hart's Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Publication Date: March 20th 2018 by Intermix
Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

One of New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young's most beloved couples returns for the first time in a brand new novella set ten years after her blockbuster bestseller Before Jamaica Lane ...

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.
My Thoughts:
Loved Nate and Olivia’s story in Before Jamaica Lane, so I was all over revisiting them ten years later with this novella.  Yet, Nate and Olivia, are at a point where they’re having some trouble.  I think most married people would agree, it isn’t all smooth sailing and there are ups and downs. It’s all in how you deal with and move on that makes all the difference. 

My heart hurt for Olivia as she struggled with loneliness, hurt and insecurity; I don’t think there’s a woman out there who wouldn’t relate on some level.  Olivia’s pain was vivid, and intense.  When you love someone so powerfully they have the ability to really hurt you, whether they mean to or not. I wasn’t sure what was up with Nate, but I wanted these two to get things squared away. 

A trip to the States, on Hart’s Boardwalk helped with their road to healing, and man, oh man did things get so very hot and dirty!  Nate and Olivia continue to be one of my all-time favorite couples in the On Dublin Street series!  They had a bit of a crisis, with some angsty bits, but it made the making up so much sweeter, with lots of sizzle, of course!  On Hart’s Boardwalk wasn’t very long, but it was well done and oh-so-wonderful!  This one definitely goes on the favorites shelf!

4.5 Suns


The lovely people of Berkley Books have generously provided a Paperback Copy of Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #2) by Samantha Young to one lucky reader!  Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

I have a new favorite author: Mariana Zapata!

I know I'm late to the party here, but I've just discovered Mariana Zapata's romances, and I'm hooked! I've read three of her books in the last month, and I'm eager for more!  I'll share the books I've read (listened to) and a few thoughts:

Publication Date: February 28th 2016 
Pages: 637
Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

Vanessa Mazur knows she's doing the right thing. She shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she's beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn't find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He's asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

My Thoughts:
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is my favorite of the three Zapata books I’ve read so far.  Aiden, the famous and lusted after football player, at first comes off as so rude and unreadable and Vanessa, as his personal assistant has had to jump to his every command for the last few years without any acknowledgment or gratitude outwardly expressed by him. No matter, she never intended to work for him forever, but when she quits, everything changes, and this is where it gets fun!

Be warned, it takes a while to set the stage and Aiden comes off as a total asshole for the first 20-25%?  Hang in there, though!  I dare you not to fall in love, like I did! Plus, there’s no angst or 3rd person drama! Yay! Vanessa was just pure awesomeness, and I loved that she started marathon training! I seem to always be training for a marathon (although mine are half-marathon, not a full) so it was a fun addition for me.

5 Suns

Lingus by Mariana Zapata narrated by Callie Dalton
Publication Date: August 7th 2015
Pages: 500
Purchase links: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn't know. "My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn."

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she's both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places
My Thoughts:
Going into Lingus I was a little apprehensive because I don’t like my hero screwing other people while developing a relationship with the heroine.  How is that possible with a porn star? Well, thankfully Tristan/Robbie didn’t seem to do too many jobs during the story and when he did, it was referred to very vaguely, because otherwise there’s no way I could’ve enjoyed this one. 

Tristan and Kat meet at a porn convention, at first Kat has no idea who Tristian is, and they instantly get along, having fun throughout the day until she discovers his identity.  They stay friends and end up hanging out all the time, and Kat thinks her attraction to Tristian is one-sided, and she’s not sure she can continue with it when her feelings continue to grow.  My heart went out to her a couple of times when he went on a job. Kat kind of gets him back, not while meaning to, but just through trying to live her life.  I loved their easy friendship, but I was more than ready for these two to acknowledge their feelings and get it out in the open!  This is definitely a slow burn romance, but worth the ride!  

4 Suns

Publication Date: March 20th 2015
Pages: 570
Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.

This was going to be the longest season of her life.

My Thoughts:
Another fabulous slow burn romance! Kulti, like Aiden in the The Wall of Winnipeg & Me, was an unreadable asshole at first! Wait for it, though, because I ended up loving this man!

As a seven-year-old, Sal idolized this famous soccer player, and so did the rest of the world.  He was the reason she became a soccer player and strived to be the best.  Kulti’s been out of the lime light for the last few years, but he registers on the radar again when he agrees to be the coach to Sal’s team, the Piper’s. She’s beside herself, the thought of her longtime idol coaching her team floors her! She must keep reminding herself that he’s just another human just like her, put aside all those adolescent dreams of marrying him and having mini-Kulti’s!  Once Kulti opens his mouth, though, that’s not really a problem, because he’s a complete asshole! That’s okay, Sal has no problem schooling this Sauerkraut!

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me was my favorite Zapata, but only by a hairsbreadth!  Kulti is another 5 star read for me.  I loved all the nicknames that Sal called him, at first under her breath, mind you: Sauerkraut, German Chocolate Cake, Reindeer, Arnold, Bratwurst, lol!  Kulti had a few nicknames for Sal, too, but my favorite was Schnecke!  

The sports aspect was a fun, too! Sal's determination and drive was inspiring!

Sooo, so good!

Callie Dalton narrated all three books, and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance!  I plan on reading From Lukov With Love just as soon as the audio version releases, which is currently underway.  I've heard of it being compared to the '80s movie The Cutting Edge which is one of my favorite cheesy movies! Can't wait!

5 Suns

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review: Undone by You by Kate Meader

Publication Date: March 5th 2018 by Pocket Star
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

USA TODAY bestselling author Kate Meader brings her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (RT Book Reviews) to this novella in the Chicago Rebels series, following the general manager of the Rebels as he scores with one of his players off the ice.

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know...

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

My Thoughts:
I don’t read many m/m romances, but I love Kate Meader’s So Over You, the previous book in this series, I knew I wanted to give this a chance.  I was not disappointed.  Cade and Dante were smoking hot together, and this romance was full of steamy hookups, and tender moments. 

Dante a retired NHL player and now the general manager of the Chicago Rebels, the team Cade plays in.  Dante finds Cade seriously hot, but completely off limits since first, he’s not gay and second, Cade’s his subordinate. When Dante is having a drink at a low key gay club, Cade shows up looking irresistible and Dante sees the vultures circling.  Of course, Dante’s going to step in, not because he doesn’t want anyone else having Cade (yeah, right, lol) but because this could be a PR nightmare for the team.

Cade hasn’t come out, but Dante is just too tempting to resist. Dante shows Cade the life he could have if he had the courage to come out, but he’s not sure it’s a risk he can take.  Also, coming out isn’t the only roadblock to their relationship, since Dante’s job could be on the line if they expose their affair. 

This is a quick read with only about 147 pages, but Kate Meader manages to make it a fulfilling romance, with characters fully fleshed out, and very likable.  Yes, this is a romance that’ll make you hot and bothered with playful, sexy banter and sizzling sexy times, but one that made you care for the characters future happiness.  

In between Dante and Cade’s romance we get a glimpse of Violet and Bren’s upcoming romance next in line, and I’m so looking forward to it! I do love a sexy Scot, so bring it on!

4 Suns

Connect with Kate Meader:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Collision Point by Lora Leigh

Publication Date: February 27th 2018 by St. Martin's Press

About the book: 

From #1 bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Collision Point, part of the thrilling Brute Force series—packed with powerful men, steely women, and explosive passion.

Riordan Malone is more than a bodyguard. As an Elite Ops agent, he’s ripped, raged, and ready to rumble—a true warrior, inside and out. But no war zone can compare to the battle in Rory’s heart when he lays eyes on the only woman he’s ever loved—and thought he had lost forever. . .

As the daughter of a crime lord, Amara Resnova has endured the cruelty of her father’s enemies—and has tried to escape that world ever since. Now, she must reach out to the one man who saved her life, even if she’s never forgiven him for breaking her heart. But Amara is tougher today than she was then. She’s also more desirable to Rory—and dangerous to love. Can he protect her from her father’s enemies without surrendering to his own passions…or will love seal their fate for good?

My Thoughts:
Riordan Malone almost lost his life rescuing Amara Resnova, his lover and charge, from her father’s enemies and has spent the last six months getting back to 100% without a word from her.  Now she’s back at Riordan’s door, asking for help, because it appears someone is still after her.  Riordan’s more than a little upset that Amara turned away from him but won’t turn her away when she’s in need. 

Amara can’t remember the last year of her life, but she’s has vivid nightmares of death, and haunting erotic dreams of a man she discovers to be Riordan Malone, a man who was once her bodyguard.  Odd occurrences and accidents start happening, and Amara just knows she’s in danger all over again.  She has only shadowy memories of him, but her instincts tell her Riordan is the one to help her, a man she can trust to protect her.  What she doesn’t expect is the animosity rolling off him when they meet.

Collision Point was an entertaining read, one that held my attention until the end, but not without some issues for me.  The story was heavy on sexy times, which as a romance junkie I do appreciate, but it was to the point that it interrupted the pacing and urgency of the mystery.  Also, the writing was a bit distracting.  Long sentences had me reading and rereading to get the meaning. Some of the descriptions of the sex were too wordy and had me cringing, at times.  Even so, the book was still pretty darn hot, with a lot of sizzling sexual tension between Amara and Riordan!

Even with the above issues, I couldn’t put the story down.  I suspected the reasons Amara lost her memory, but I wanted to see how it all worked out.   Also, I wanted a happy ending for Amara and Riordan.

3/3.5 Suns

Author Bio:
#1 New York Times bestseller Lora Leigh is the author of the Navy SEALS, the Breeds, the Elite Ops, the Callahans, the Bound Hearts, and the Nauti series.

Connect with Lora Leigh:

The lovely people of St. Martin's Press have generously provided a Paperback Copy of Collision Point to one lucky reader! The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!