Release Tour: Hard Count by S.R. Grey ~ 3 stars

Title: Hard Count
Series: A Men of Fall Novel
Author: S.R. Grey
Genre: Sports Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 24, 2022
 
Pro footballer Mike Vinceton desperately wants to get away before the Comets’ new season begins.
Lucky for him the tropical destination he chooses turns out to be perfect.
Not only does he find himself rested and refreshed, but he just met the most tantalizing woman. Her name is Lexi, and their connection is insane.
Too bad their time is cut short—before Mike can learn her last name . . . or where she lives.
Alas, such is life.
Resigned that he’ll never see Lexi again, Mike returns to Ohio to head off to training camp. But what he doesn’t know is he’s about to run into her again, in a most unexpected place.
See, Lexi is the Comets’ owner’s daughter. And though her dad would love for her to take more of an interest in the team, that definitely doesn’t include her dating a player.
Hell no!
Cue the sneaking around . . . and Mike and Lexi praying her dad doesn’t find out.
Hard Count is the fifth novel in the bestselling Men of Fall football romance series and can be read as a standalone.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodreads Review – “I was riveted from the first to the last chapter….”
Goodreads Review – “It was a true love story.”
Thelma and Louise Book Blog – “This is a captivating read with wonderful characters and it will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”
Review Graphic
Mike & Lexi meet, and awed by their connection spend a few hours together, never expecting to see each other again… Until Lexi & Mike realise that their worlds collide in the best way possible. But their reconnection isn’t without its obstacles.

While it had a decent plot, I found the book a bit rushed, especially near the end. Fans of insta-love, low-drama romances will totally enjoy this.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

 
 
 
 

S.R. Grey is a USA Today Bestselling Author of the popular Boys of Winter hockey books and Men of Fall football novels. Both series can be read in any order or as standalones. Other New Adult and Romantic Suspense works of hers include the Judge Me Not books, the Promises series, the Inevitability duology, A Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy, and the Laid Bare series of novellas.
When not writing Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, and cheering for her hometown sports teams. Sometimes all at the same time!

 
 

 

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Review Blitz: On the Edge by Julia Connors ~ 5 stars

Release Date: May 18

A steamy second-chance romance set in the world of competitive skiing…

 
Once upon a time I had it all: an Olympic gold medal, a career as a professional ski racer, and a happily ever after so close I could almost touch it. Then my perfect life imploded in one tragic weekend. 
 
Five years later I’ve rebuilt my life with the best girlfriends, the perfect new boyfriend, and a new career. Now my ex—the one who wrecked everything five years earlier—is back as the newest member of the National Ski Team and I’m forced to be his physical therapist. 
 
My days are filled with him. He’s constantly shirtless and sweaty and sexy as sin, and trying to make me fall in love with him again. 
 
But I built these walls around my heart for a reason—and his presence is threatening to undo everything I’ve created without him. With the stakes this high and the sexual tension this hot, this could all go so very wrong. 
 
Or, maybe we’re on the edge of getting everything we ever wanted.

Grab Your Copy Here!

Review

“Without love, there’s little purpose to life.”

Jackson has spent the last 5 years getting over her ex, Nate. He left her when she needed him most, breaking every single promise he’d made to her. When she finds out that she has to work with him as he trains to race on the National Ski Team, she is livid. She’s sure she’s moved on, but whenever he’s near, her body and heart become traitorous. When she finds out that things didn’t go down the way she thought they had, will she make the necessary moves to ensure their HEA? Her heart says they belong together, but her mind has other ideas.

Nate knows he did Jackson wrong when he left her 5 years ago, but he’s hoping that this time around, they have a fighting chance to right all the wrongs that happened in the past. But has he left things too long? Will his past and his budding career work against him, too?

This second chance romance was moving. A slow-burn that burned just the right amount with a healthy dose of push-and-pull, pain and angst, it was a pretty good read.

“I promised you a long time ago that even though you weren’t my first, you’d be my last.”

I really liked the cast of characters introduced here, and I definitely look forward to more from Julia Connors.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Meet Julia Connors

Julia Connors grew up on the warm and sunny West Coast, but her first decision as an adult was to trade her flip-flops for snow boots and move to Boston. 

She’s been enjoying everything that New England has to offer for over two decades, and now that she’s acclimated to the snowy winters and finally found all the places to get good sushi and tacos, she has zero regrets. 

 

You can usually find her in front of her computer, but when she stops writing she’s most likely to be found outdoors, preferably with a pair of skis or snowshoes strapped to her feet in winter, or on a paddleboard in the summer. 

 

To learn more about Julia Connors and her books, please visit here

 

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Release Blitz: Stone Cold by Winter Renshaw ~ 5 stars

 

Amazon 

From #1 Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Winter Renshaw comes a scorching hot forbidden romance …
 
 
The most humiliating moment of my life begins with an early morning message from my ex’s notoriously heartless best friend.
Jovie—
In no way does this mean my opinion of you has changed.
I’m reaching out because sometime in the middle of last night you tagged yourself in Jude and Stassi’s engagement photo.
I don’t care if you were drunk or it was unintentional. I suggest you remove it immediately since the wedding is in two months (which I’m sure you know since you were clearly FB stalking them). The damage is done, but no reason to make things more awkward.
You’re welcome.
Stone
I waste no time removing my accidental tag before the sharp-tongued novelist in me fires off a response to the man who harbored extreme and inexplicable hatred of me during the three years I dated his best friend in college.
Only I didn’t expect him to respond.
And nothing could have prepared me for what he would say …
… or for all the ways this gorgeous villain with cruel icy blues would become the biggest plot twist my life had ever known.

Stone

The Hannaford Supermarket is packed on this Friday afternoon. I imagine we’re all doing the same thing; ditching work a couple of hours early, grabbing some dinner items, and heading home to kick off our weekend. I wonder if this is what Paul meant when he told me there’s no such thing as a unique experience.

I tuck a six pack of Heineken beneath my arm and head for the meat counter to grab a porterhouse and half a pound of stuffed mushrooms.

“I mean, what would you feed a dog if you had one?” A pony-tailed blonde in neon blue yoga pants asks a pimple-faced butcher.

“I don’t have a dog, ma’am,” he says, his Adam’s apple bobbing.

“But if you did though,” she says.

“I’d probably feed him kibble, ma’am.” His eyes shift toward the long line forming behind her.

“I guess I’ll just take two sirloins,” she says. “The eight ounce, not the five.”

The young man wraps the steak in brown paper for her before sealing it with a sticker.

“Anything else?” he asks.

“That’ll be all, thank you,” she says before taking the package, turning on her heel—and walking right into me. “Oh my god. I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you there.”

In her defense, I was probably standing a little too closer, but the little old lady behind me kept inching closer to me, which made me inch closer to her and it became a big circle jerk of inching.

“Jesus,” I mutter under my breath when our eyes catch.

I’d know those Pacific ocean blues anywhere, the ones so effervescent they almost make me forget it’s been about a week and a half since I ignored her last message.

“Jovie,” I say.

“Stone?” She squints, as if she doesn’t believe her eyes. Then again, I imagine I look slightly different than I did five years ago. Shorter hair. More muscles. Dressier clothes. Bigger big dick energy …

“What are you doing here?” I ask.

The little old lady behind me clears her throat, and I motion for her to go around me.

“I’m watching my neighbor’s dog and he’s refusing to eat. I think he’s depressed. I thought maybe if I got him a steak …” she shrugs. “What are you doing here? I thought you were in Baltimore?”

She remembered …

Our senior year in college, I was accepted into the University of Maryland School of Law that upcoming fall.

“Yeah,” I say. “I was offered a position up here from one of my law professors who was opening a practice here.”

Her lips inch into a wistful yet friendly smile. I’m sure it’s strange seeing me here—of all people. Or maybe she’s looking at me but thinking about Jude. It’s hard to tell. I imagine seeing me all these years later rustles up some old memories she wasn’t prepared to think about at the grocery store on a Friday afternoon.

The last time I hung out with Jovie was before the ill-fated Tulum trip. We were sitting around eating burnt frozen pizza from the campus convenience mart and downing cheap beer. And if that weren’t enough, Jovie forced us to play some God-awful card game where we had to shout certain phrases and clap and make fools of ourselves, but by the end of the night I was drunk enough to actually enjoy it.

The last thing I remember before passing out on the living room couch that evening was Jovie covering me with a blanket before adjusting my pillow so I wouldn’t have a kink in my neck.

I mumbled something to her about not being half bad.

She replied with a coy, “Yeah, I know.”

Everything turned black after that.

Who’d have ever thought that would’ve been the last time we’d hang out, the three of us?

Certainly not me.

I doubt Jude did either.

“You know, I’m still waiting for you to reply to that last message,” she winks and crinkles her nose. “You left me on a cliffhanger.”

“I didn’t feel like answering it.” And it’s the truth.

“That’s your prerogative, I guess.”

I’ll admit, I debated sending her another clever deflection last week, but then I got busy with work and decided it was best just to leave it alone. Besides, some things are better left unsaid.

“You know Jude lives here too,” I say, leaving out any mention of Stassi because it goes without saying.

She lifts her brows. “Okay …”

“You haven’t run into him yet?” I swear he’s never home. Stassi’s always got him running to this festival or that concert or this new restaurant.

She shakes her head, her ponytail flicking over her shoulders.

“I’ve only been here about a year,” she says. “I moved here with my ex … and I guess I haven’t gotten around to leaving yet.”

My chest tightens at the idea of Jovie being with someone new, some faceless pencil dick who probably doesn’t deserve her. From the second time we met, I knew she could never be mine. But even after Jude left her, I never once stopped to picture her with someone new. No need to torture myself.

We linger in silence for a beat, as if neither of us wants to go, yet there’s nothing more to be said.

Her full mouth curls at the sides, flanked by two perfect dimples as she stares up at me through a fringe of curled lashes. I’ve known far too many people who let themselves go after college. The stress of a corporate gig, a robust travel schedule, and a social life that revolves around drinking on the weekends tends to do that to a person. But Jovie looks even more beautiful than she did the night I first saw her.

There’s a calmness about her, as if these last several years in the real world have given her the kind of education she couldn’t get from a four-year institution.

Jovie waves her package of steaks. “I should probably get home and feed Domino.”

“Right.” I rake my hand along my jaw, taking her in for what very well might be the last time.

“It was nice seeing you though.”

Most of the time, when people say that, they never mean it.

“You too,” I say.

She walks away, turning back once more. “You should really think about answering my question …”

“Not a chance.”

She laughs before spinning on her heel and heading to the front of the store to check out.

A moment later, I realize I’m standing there wearing a dopey grin. I’m sure I look like a damn lunatic.

I wipe the expression off my face, get back in line, and order my filet mignon.

Years ago, I used to wonder what would be worse: Jude and Jovie getting married and me having to spend the rest of my life watching my best friend live happily ever after with her? Or Jude sending Jovie packing and me never having to see her again.

It never occurred to me that there could ever be anything in between.

Now I know.

Only I don’t know how I feel about it.

None of these scenarios end with me getting the girl.

Review

This book pulled me in and wrapped me up in it pages.

This forbidden, ex’s best friend romance will surprise you with not only its plot, but its sweetness. The flashbacks, the tension and conclusion make for amazing reading.

You will alternately groan at the what-could-have-beens and cheer while Stone & Jovie navigate the newness of their relationship. I definitely recommend this read!

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.
And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j

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Blog Tour: A Little Bit Dirty by Willow Winters ~ #4stars

A LITTLE BIT DIRTY by Willow Winters

Release Date: April 28th

Genre/Tropes: Second Chance Romance/Small Town Romance/Blue Collar

AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Grab your copy for the special release price of $2.99 this week only!

https://geni.us/jkgLVdU

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57877306-a-little-bit-dirty

Blurb:

From USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling romance author, Willow Winters, comes a second chance with a filthy mouthed, possessive hero, not willing to lose the love of his life again.

I’ve got a thing for men who work with their hands.

I thought I learned my lesson years ago. But here I am, back in the small town I grew up in, staring down the man who broke my heart years ago.

I intended to tell him off.

My plan was to flip him the bird and prove to both of us that he hadn’t ruined me.

I sure as hell wasn’t going to sleep with him.

Until he tells me he’s sorry.

Until he gives me that smoldering look I still dream about.

Until he whispers just beneath the shell of my ear… His breath trails down my neck and he leaves an opened mouth kiss right there, in that sensitive spot.

“You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.”

My treacherous heart wants more. More of him. More of us. But there’s a reason it didn’t work before and when you don’t learn from your past mistakes, you’re bound to repeat them.

Review

Brianna is back home from college, and is trying to avoid – though she knows it is impossible – her ex-boyfriend, Asher. The two broke up while she was away at college, but Brianna is not over their breakup or Asher.

Asher’s life has been far from a picnic for the past two years, but the one thing he knows was a mistake is breaking up with Bri. However, he’s not sure it’s fair to put his burdens on her, or if she’ll love him again, baggage and all.

This fast-paced second chance romance was short, but sweet and steamy, with lots of small town familiarity. At the end, you find yourself wishing for some more. I totally recommend it.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

About the Author:

Willow Winters is so happy to be a USA Today, Wall Street Journal and #1 Contemporary Best Selling Author!

Willow started writing after having her little girl, Evie, December 2015. All during her pregnancy with Evie she continued to read and she only wanted to read romance. She was reading a book a day — sometimes two.

In January 2016 Willow was staying up late with Evie and just thinking of all these stories. They came to her constantly so she finally sat down and just started writing. She always wanted to do it so she figured, why not? Today Willow cannot be happier for making that decision!

Stay up to date with Willow:

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Blog Tour: Matchmaking a Billionaire by Angela Denise ~ 4.5 stars

He’s a rich, entitled jerk and she’s falling for him fast.

Matchmaking a Billionaire, a hilarious, billionaire, matchmaking rom-com from New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank and USA Today bestselling author Angela Casella writing as Angela Denise is out now!

Excerpt

Bryn
“People are always watching you, aren’t they?” I ask.
Rory takes a step toward me, and I think again about all those watching eyes. Everyone in town will be watching us now, and they’ll sense . . .
Well, they’ll sense that we’re obviously in lust with each other.
“Are you watching me, Bryn?” he says softly.
Well, throw a bucket of water on me and call me the Wicked Witch of the West.
“Sometimes it’s hard to look away,” I admit, my mouth forming the words before I have time to give it a talking-to.
His eyes sparkle, as if I just confirmed something he’s wondered about, desperately. “Do you ask so many questions of all of your clients?”
“Yes,” I fib. While he might be averse to white lies, I’m not. But before that sparkle can dim all the way, I admit, “But I don’t usually offer any information in return.”
His smile burrows under my skin. Then he glances up, taking in our observers, and says, “Let me walk you to your car.”
“It’s in the back of the parking lot,” I say.
He nods. “Lead the way.”
He walks beside me, a little too close, and even though it’s a warm night, I can feel his heat leaping toward me, like flames to paper.
Once we’re away from the front of the brewery, his hand slips to the small of my back and lingers there, and if there’s ever been anything so sexy, I don’t know what it is. We’re about to pass a copse of trees on the side of the lot when he glances around, grabs my hand, and pulls me into it. We’re in near darkness, evergreens dancing around us, and we’re standing close enough that I can feel his breath feathering my face.
His eyes are so warm they nearly immolate me.
“I don’t mean to tell you how to do your job,” he says, “but I think you succeeded before you started. I want to be set up with you.”
“Micromanaging me already, are you?” I ask, a little breathless.
“Yes.” He reaches up to touch my jaw, tracing the shape of it. “I’d like to kiss you.”
I should tell him no. Setting aside the whole four dates thing, we’re going to be working together. Giving into this . . . madness . . . is the last thing we should be doing, but I’ve been so lonely, and he’s more of a man than I’ve encountered in . . .
Forever.
He’s the kind of man I didn’t think existed in real life, to be honest.
So maybe I can temporarily forget I’m setting myself up for disaster. Because just about a year ago, my fiancé of twenty-four hours and I broke up, and within a week he was with another woman. Within three months, he’d married her. If I let myself fall for Rory, if I let myself give in to these feelings tugging at me, insisting I acknowledge them, then I won’t just be giving myself a front-row seat to him moving on . . . I might have the displeasure of being the person who helps him do it.
Still, I find myself leaning into him. “Then quit talking and do it already.”

Synopsis

Bryn

I used to believe in what we do at Mayberry Matchmakers, but now? Love is just another four-letter word.

Too bad my grandmother hasn’t gotten the memo. When tech billionaire Rory Byrne approaches us, wanting to develop the matchmaking app my sister and I dreamed up (and Nana shot down), she jumps at the chance. My grandmother is nothing if not opportunistic.

Of course, there’s a catch. She’ll only do it if Rory lets us matchmake him the old-fashioned way.

He’s going to say no.

Please God, let him say no.

The last thing I want to do is matchmake an entitled rich jerk…especially one who looks like sin and talks a good game.

***

Rory

I’ve screwed up in love a few times, but I never screw up in business. Mayberry Matchmakers has the idea for something amazing, and I have the money and the experience to make it come to life.

I should deny Nana Mayberry’s condition. If I let them matchmake me, it’ll be all over the news, and making headlines has never interested me…especially not after the personal betrayal that nearly broke me. But I’m having trouble caring about what I should do, because Bryn Mayberry is smart, snarky, and not the slightest bit impressed with me.

Actually, this may be Mayberry Matchmakers’ easiest job yet.

Fall in love today!
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3IDctE4
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Kobo: https://bit.ly/3sBxQzM
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Available in Amazon and Kindle Unlimited April 28th
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CaHZ9T
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MatchmakeaBill

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/35tX6PL

Review

This is an interesting, never-a-dull moment introduction to the Mayberry Matchmakers series.

Bryn Mayberry has lost interest in love. But the arrival of billionaire Rory Byrne in her small town sets more than tongues wagging; her heart seems to think that Rory might be the man she was waiting her whole life for. But he’s her new business partner, and she’s determined not to mix business with pleasure or love.

Rory never planned on falling in love. He’s in Highland Hills to do business. But after finally meeting the elusive Bryn Mayberry, he’s sure he could do a little pleasure, too. But, maneuvering himself into working closer with her also ensnares him in a clever matchmaking trap created by Bryn’s insufferable grandmother.

This is a really good story, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I liked the plot, as well as the majority of the cast of characters. Bryn & Rory’s story is fun, sweet and steamy. I would love to see where this author duo takes the series.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

About Denise Grover Swank

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten ho uses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Connect with Denise
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gLPdF2
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Website: https://bit.ly/3hRjcNl

About Angela Casella

ANGELA CASELLA loves writing romcoms, particularly with the lovely Denise Grover Swank. They write together as Angela Denise. Angela also writes the Fairy Godmother Agency series. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, and two geriatric dogs. Her hobbies include herding her daughter toward less dangerous activities, stress baking, and marathon watching TV shows.

Connect with Angela
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gOsV5v
Website: https://www.arcasella.com/

About New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank and USA Today bestselling author Angela Casella writing as Angela Denise

ANGELA DENISE is the pen name for the writing duo Angela Casella and Denise Grover Swank.

ANGELA CASELLA loves writing romcoms, particularly with the lovely Denise Grover Swank. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, and two geriatric dogs. Her hobbies include herding her daughter toward less dangerous activities, stress baking, and marathon watching TV shows.

DENISE GROVER SWANK is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author and has sold over three million books. She indie published her first book, a romance mystery, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, in 2011. She has since published over fifty novels, multiple novellas and short stories as an indie and with five publishers. She is published in seven languages. She is a single mother to six children and four dogs and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Connect with Angela Denise

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3k1DQNt

Blog Tour: Overdrive by Denise Wells ~ 4 stars

Overdrive

by Denise Wells
Publication Date: February 17, 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Get your copy: Amazon

How do you send a fake relationship into overdrive?
Turn it into something real.
With your best friend’s ex.
Who hates you.

My life is about risk – racing cars for a living. So, a fake girlfriend should have been no more dangerous than anything else.

It was supposed to be temporary, just a few fake meet-ups, nothing too serious.
A small white lie to help fix my so-called “bad” reputation.

Who would have thought I’d want more than a few dates?
Not me.

Or that the girl who was supposed to be my fake something would turn into my very real everything?
Also not me.

The question is, do I let her believe it’s all still pretend?

Or tell her how I feel and wait to see what happens?

Overdrive FB 1

Review

Jace has racked up many indiscretions lately, and needs a quick, believable image rehab. The idea to choose his PR agent as his fake girlfriend seems excellent, but their fake show soon has real feelings. Can he trust these new, unfamiliar feelings?

Charlie is suckered into being Jace’s fake girlfriend. Disbelieving of his ability to keep up the ruse, she is pleasantly surprised when the Jace she gets seems completely different from the man she thought she always knew. Can this bad boy leopard change his spots?

I really, really liked Jace & Charlie – Jace especially. The book was funny and sweet, with just a bit of drama. I would have liked for some resolution for Charlie career-wise, but otherwise, it was a great read that I absolutely recommend.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Overdrive FB5

About the Author

Denise has been reading since before she could talk. And to this day, escaping into a book is her go-to activity before anything else.

She likes to write about sassy women and semi-flawed alpha-esque men (hard on the outside and just a little soft on the inside.) Denise’s female characters always have strong friendships, potty mouths, and like to drink—a lot.

Denise is loyal to a fault, a bit too sarcastic, blindingly optimistic, and pretty freakin’ happy with life overall. If she couldn’t be a writer, she’d be a singer in a classic rock band. Right after she learned to carry a tune. She has more purses than days in the month, an obsession with colored ink pens, and a slightly unhealthy bracelet habit.

Home is in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with five Siberian Huskies and a husband (BW) who has the patience and tolerance of a saint. And, lest she forget, Denise also lives with too many to count characters inside her head, who will eventually have their stories told.

For more about Denise visit her website at: www.DeniseWells.com

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Review Blitz: The Rocker by Harlow Layne ~ 4 stars

 Release Date: February 17

The moment I saw her, I knew she’d be mine.

 

The only problem is she’s my band’s manager, and if we get caught, she loses her job.

 

I only wanted one night with her. One night to fuck her out of my system and be done with her.

 

The only problem is after one taste of Pen, I’m addicted. I can’t get enough of her, and she’s pushing me away.

 

She says what we had is a lapse in judgement, but I have to disagree. It’s the most sane thing I’ve ever done, and I’ll do anything to get her back underneath me, beside me, and to make her mine even if that means ruining what I’ve worked so hard to build up.

 

Grab Your Copy Here!

Review
From the moment they meet, Pen & Walker are drawn to each other, but contract clauses and insecurities have them – especially Pen – wary. But as their feelings deepen and it becomes harder to hide how happy they make each other, will their love story have a happy ending?

This had a pretty good angst-y vibe to it, with lots of off-stage drama that kept me hooked on the story. I really liked Walker, and he and Pen were really great together, with great chemistry between them.

I recommend this read. Pen & Walker’s story isn’t all sweetness and smooth sailing, but it sure is one that was good to read.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Meet Harlow Layne

Indie Author. Romance Writer. Reader. Mom. Wife. Dog Lover.  Addicted to all things Happily Ever After and Amazon.
Harlow Layne is a hopeless romantic who is known for her contemporary writing style of beautiful slow-burn, sweet, sexy and swoon-worthy alpha and fast pace, super steamy romance in her Love is Blind series.
Harlow wrote fanfiction for years before she decided to try her hand at a story that had been swimming in her head for years.
When Harlow’s not writing you’ll find her online shopping on Amazon, Facebook, or Instagram, reading, or hanging out with her family and two dogs.

 

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Blog Tour: The Mastermind by Dylan Allen ~ 5 stars

This time he’s playing for keeps.

The Mastermind, a standalone novella set in the Rivers Wilde World from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Dylan Allen and 1,001 Dark Nights is now available!

He lives under a golden spotlight.
I’m shackled to a past that must stay hidden.

Omar Solomon is the king of the comeback.
Ten years ago his career as a star athlete ended in injury and scandal.
He may have traded in his cleats for Gucci loafers, but he’s been as victorious in the boardroom as he was on the pitch.

He returns to London, wealthy, influential, and powerful beyond measure.
And he spends every weekend in the pub where I work.
A law student with a night job and a dark past,
I’m hardly the type of woman a man like him would notice.

Or so I thought.

When he offers me a no-strings-attached affair,
I forget all the reasons I should say no.
He’s straight out of my dreams—
with a body and a mouth made for sinning.

Our passion turns my gray existence into a vibrant, colorful life.
But it has an expiration date.

When his time in London is over, we will be, too.
And it will be for the best.
Because he can never find out who I really am.

But my Mastermind has set his sights on a new goal: me.
And this time he’s playing for keeps.

**Every 1,001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Grab your copy today!
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Review

Dylan Allen has been on my TBR list for some time, but this blurb of this novella really caught my attention. It hinted at intrigue and I was hooked.

“Staying alive and living aren’t the same thing, and I’ve only ever been able to do one at a time.”

Jules has been beaten down in life, and she’s always trying to claw herself out of the depressing hole of her life. Working multiple jobs to assuage her guilt and keep her demons at bay, she is blindsided by the attraction and depth of feeling she develops for Omar, former world famous athlete. Though she originally thought they’d be temporary, her heart has already decided that Omar will stay in it permanently. When her past comes knocking, though, their new relationship will be put to the test.

Omar is a hero you love almost immediately. He’s drawn to Jules in a way he’s never been drawn to a woman before.

“…the beauty that first caught my notice has become the secondary driver of my attraction and respect for her.”

Confused and hurt with family issues, he finds peace in Jules, and seeks to become hers, too. But when the woman he’s falling for suddenly begins keeping secrets, he’s worried that he’s been taken for a fool all over again.

I loved this read. It was romantic, with bits of suspense and lots of twists and turns – but pretty inspiring. It was longer than I expected a novella to be, but it was a satisfying read. At the end, I found myself wishing for more of Jules & Omar. I very much enjoyed the author’s references to calypso/soca music; I felt seen!

I recommend this read wholeheartedly and unreservedly. Jules & Omar will wow you.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Excerpt

He cuts through the crowd of people in glamorous garb, crystal cut tumblers or fragile flutes in their wildly gesticulating hands. Yet they seem to move just as he wants them to so that he doesn’t need to turn sideways to accommodate his broad shoulders or taper his remarkably long strides.
Long strides that are bringing him straight toward me.
I barely have time to spin around before he’s right behind me.
“Scotch on the rocks,” he tells the bartender when he slides onto the empty barstool next to me. I disguise my gasp as a cough, place a hand on the bar to steady myself, and stare straight ahead.
The young man nods and grabs a glass. “We’ve got Macallan 18 for the masses, but I’ve got a bottle of Craigelachhie that might be more to your taste.”
“I don’t really care, whichever,” he responds in a voice that’s not rude but doesn’t match the adoration in the server’s. Undeterred, the young man leans forward across the bar and lowers his voice to a loud whisper. “I know you’ve been gone a while, but I’m still a huge fan, Mastermind. Can I snap a selfie?”
To my surprise, Omar doesn’t rebuff the bartender. “Only if you promise you won’t post it for a bit. No one knows I’m in London yet, and I’d like to keep it that way for just a few more weeks.”
I watched an interview from very early on in his career when he was asked about his dislike of public availabilities.
He explained that he understood it was part of the job. So he did it. “I play for the love of the game, and if I had my way, I wouldn’t do any interviews at all. I don’t even know why you want to interview me. I say everything I need to out on that pitch. I get it. I had sports heroes, too. But when they fall off the pedestals you put them on, you swoop in and eat them alive.”
That interview would prove prescient when he left Chelsea years later. The press tore him to shreds for sitting out an entire season, leaving as soon as he became a free agent and basically abandoning London, his fans, and his team.
He still doesn’t talk to the press regularly, but he doesn’t leave their accusations unanswered. He became his own press secretary and posted videos on social media pushing back on false headlines. And when they lost interest, he started sharing his private pictures. And sued newspapers that used his images without his permission.
I watch the exchange between him and the bartender out of the corner of my eye and am giddy that the wickedly sweet dimple is as deep as I’d imagined. And God, I want to lick it. One day, my pretty.
This has to be a sign. He’s so far out of my league, I shouldn’t be able to see him. And at the pub, I wouldn’t dare approach him.
But here I am, close enough to see and touch. And I look good tonight. I’m glad I took special care to send my most fashionable friend off.
The bustier I invested in makes my otherwise unimpressively small breasts look their very best in the very low neckline of my scarlet red minidress. It’s hugging every inch of a body that even CrossFit and a vegan diet couldn’t kill the curves on.
The lighting in this ballroom sets off the healthy glow of my bare legs, shoulders, décolletage, and back that is courtesy of my homemade sugar scrub. It leaves me smelling like a tropical garden at midnight.
Liquid courage and my heels give me height and confidence that override my nerves, and I shoot my shot.
“Do you want to dance?” I ask loudly so there’s no way he won’t hear me.
Those wolf eyes slant down to look at me, unblinking, the smile he’d given the bartender long gone. There’s no flicker of recognition, but there’s no mistaking the interest as he stares at me. He’s never done more than look past me at the pub, so I don’t know why I’m disappointed that he doesn’t recognize me.
“Excuse me? I didn’t hear you,” he says when he finally speaks. His voice. It’s deep, smooth—no gravel but a lot of bass. And is there anything sexier than an American accent? I smile as widely as I can manage, the punters at the Effra call it my traffic stopping smile. Then I break my golden rule and repeat myself. “Would you like to dance?”
He doesn’t return my smile, and when he turns to look at the dance floor, that scowl reappears. “I don’t dance,” he comments without looking back at me.
I follow his gaze. “Childhood trauma on the dance floor?” I ask with a teasing grin.
His lips tug up a little, but he doesn’t smile. “No. General observation. People look ridiculous when they dance.”
I can’t deny that. But I shake my head in disagreement. “They’re having fun, not putting on a show.”
He shrugs. “That’s not my idea of fun. Like I said, I don’t dance.” He reaches into his jacket pocket, pulls out his phone, and glances at it. He gives me a quick, stiff smile. “I’m sorry, but I have to take this call.” He doesn’t sound sorry at all and doesn’t wait for me to respond before he walks off.
“Ouch,” the bartender drawls, and I want to glare at him and tell him I didn’t ask for his feedback. But he’s so right I can’t be mad.
“I know,” I groan.
“For what it’s worth, if I wasn’t working I wouldn’t have said no.” He grins, and I wish I was attracted to him instead of Omar.
I smile gratefully and take the refill he hands me. But a few sips of it while swaying by myself to a song I’ve never heard before only makes me feel worse.
I put my glass on the tray of a passing server and head to the coat check to collect my things.

About Dylan Allen
Dylan Allen is a Texas girl with a serious case of wanderlust.
A self-proclaimed happily ever junkie, she loves creating stories where her characters chase their own happy endings.
When she isn’t writing or reading, eating or cooking, she and her family are planning their next adventure.

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Review Tour: Scammer Girl by Michelle Dayton ~ 4 stars

Jo is a professional online romance scammer and Jamie is The Conscience of Silicon Valley. They don’t trust one another, and when they meet in person, they quickly discover that not everything appears as it seems. Fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne will love Scammer Girl, a spicy enemies to lovers romance.

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Five years ago, Jo Harper did a bad thing. Dumped, injured, and in crippling debt, Jo did what any desperate woman with a PhD in psychology and above-average computer skills would: become an elite, undetectable online romance scammer. Now Jo and her team of four young women bring in enough cash to keep them securely afloat. Their targets? Married cheaters.

Jamie March, Bay Area royalty known as “The Conscience of Silicon Valley,” hates every aspect of online crime, especially those who defraud people. And when it appears that his brother is the victim of a sophisticated romance scam, he can’t stand idly by.

What’s weird though, is that when Jo and Jamie meet…they don’t hate one another. Not at all. He makes her laugh and feel alive again. She challenges his intellect like no other. But they can’t trust one another, right? And you can’t fall in love with someone you don’t trust—or can you?

Add to Goodreads!

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Michelle Dayton

We swayed together as the song reach its climax. It was much more of an embrace than a dance. My lips were inches from that damn freckle, and his hands were roving through my loose hair, tugging my head back. My lips parted—

He stiffened, just the slightest bit. I felt the withdrawal. “What’s wrong?”

There was a storm in those sea eyes. A sharp bite in his voice. “Does every man you target feel like this? Like you’re both the drug and the antidote?”

If he’d physically slapped me, it wouldn’t have hurt more.

I took a step back, dropping my hands and jutting out my chin. Not that it mattered or that he would believe me, but, “You were never a target.”

The song ended, and I raised my hands in applause to the stage before coolly pointing to my sofa, marching to it, and sitting down. “I assume you want to discuss your brother.” Jamie lowered himself to the cushion next to me, but he didn’t relax into the seat. His rigid posture made me want to give him a good shove.

“I’m sorry I said that,” he mumbled. “I’m extremely uneasy about the effect you have on me.” His lips tightened. “I know a lot about the ways people can be damaged by Internet scams: financially, emotionally. But I’ve never been involved in one personally.”

He moved his head from side to side, a little sheepish. “The past month, our letters. There was always the possibility you were acting or lying. But I didn’t think you were. I chose to believe that the letters you wrote were coming from you, not someone you made up. That the conversation we had the night we met was real.” He looked at the band, at the couples swaying. “When we were dancing, I was so … so fucking thrilled, I scared myself. What if you’re pretending? Performing? What if I’m the world’s biggest idiot?”

His straightforward truthfulness was jarring. Maybe I’d been in the game for too long, but I just didn’t expect men to be so open about their feelings, especially ones that made them vulnerable. In writing, yes. In person, no.

“I’m not pretending or performing,” I bit out. The truth came through my lips before I could stop it. “I’m extremely uneasy about the effect you have on me too.”

His shoulders relaxed a few inches. “I do want to talk about Bobby,” he admitted. “But,” he leaned forward. “First I just want to talk. To you. About anything.”

Still a little stung, I just shrugged. “Well, no Jeopardy! tonight. So I guess we won’t be trading quotes from classic literature.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “There’s one perfect quote that’s been boomeranging around my skull for the last several weeks.” He quirked one brow and made meaningful eye contact. “‘You have bewitched me, body and soul.’”

Oof. I hung my head in mock surrender and covered my heart with my hands. He just undid with me with his ridiculous adorableness. “Ok, Indy. You win. You’ve just recited my favorite line in all of fiction. Let’s talk.”

Jamie’s eyes widened with glee. “Indy? That’s the Harrison Ford I am? Indiana Jones? Should I buy a hat and whip?”

I burst out laughing. “I mean, sure. You’d look great in a fedora. But I was referring to Indiana Jones in professor mode. With the three-piece suit, tie, and glasses.”

He slumped down, looking deflated. “Oh. Yeah, that makes more sense.”

I poked him in the shoulder. “Don’t pout. There is a huge population of women who find classroom Indy even sexier than sweaty jungle Indy.”

He cocked his jaw. “Interesting. Are you within that population?”

Oh. This was getting dangerous. But not even a little part of me felt like stopping. I smiled directly into his eyes. “Hell yes.”


Review

This book lured me in and surprised me in the best of ways.

Jo Harper is an online scammer, targeting married, cheating men. She’s been hurt before and, using her smarts and her computer, she’s managed to regain a bit of what she lost 5 years earlier. Jamie March is the proclaimed ‘good Internet guy’, crusading against unsavoury online behaviour. They cross paths – purely by chance – when Jamie suspects that his brother may have been targeted in a scam. An unlikely attraction blossoms into something the pair is afraid to name – as they’ve both been scared to trust.

I thought, initially, that the single POV would have irritated me, but it gave me an appreciation for Jo’s reasoning behind her decision to become an online scammer. It also provided the insight as to why her methods were not as mainstream as I expected them to be.

I liked Jamie. A lot. He and Jo were on opposite sides morally, but their chemistry and banter had me wishing eagerly that they would end up together sooner rather than later.

This is a well-written book. I loved that the leads were closer to my age. Michelle Dayton takes us on an intriguing journey that I recommend to you.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

About Michelle Dayton

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel – as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.

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Blog Tour: 1228 Wanderlust Lane by Mandi Beck ~ #4stars

1228 WANDERLUST LANE by Mandi Beck

1228 Wanderlust Lane is a novella and part of a 52 multi-author book series.

Welcome to Cherry Falls!

Release Date: December 28th

Genre/Tropes: Second Chance/Small Town Romance/Contemporary Romance

AVAILABLE NOW!!! FREE IN KU!!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3ErPUzj

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3FsZbbz

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3z13kkJ

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Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55154257-1228-wanderlust-lane

Review

Jett has had a crush on Lynnie since high school. Now that they’re older and wiser, he’s going to try his very best to get her to see him in the same way.

This is a cute read. I liked the author’s attention to details, and I liked the bits of humor sprinkled throughout. A quick read, it’s a great book to settle down with for a bit, partly set in the Christmas season.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an ARC of this book.

Blurb:

She’s looking for an adventure. Lucky for her—that’s his specialty!

Jett Wild has had a thing for Evelyn “Lynnie” Branch since high school. He gave up on her the day she shot him down for prom…until now. He’s ready to settle down, and the only woman he can see himself doing that with his Lynnie. Even if she doesn’t take him seriously because of a decade-old misunderstanding.

Lynnie wants a life of travel and adventures—of all the things she reads about with the ladies…and man…in her Romance Readers of Cherry Falls book club. She never entertained the thought of having someone to do it all with, especially not a man like Jett Wild. But now it’s all she can think about, and it’s all his fault. Lately, everywhere she turns, there he is. He joined the book club. HER book club. He hangs out at Books by the Bay, engaging her in conversations about baking, and hot cocoa, and Christmas carols. Jett is ridiculously handsome and charming. Almost enough so to make her forget why she turned him down all those years ago.

It’s up to Jett to show Lynnie that she can have roots and wings—and she should have both with him. He’ll need a Christmas miracle and maybe some mistletoe to get her to take a chance on him. ’Tis the season and there’s magic in the air … he hopes.

The youngest brother of The Wild Brother’s Outdoor Adventures is about to teach the pretty bookstore owner all he knows about romance, the kind they’ve only read about.

Cherry Falls is filled with returning characters and iconic destinations that will begin to feel like family. When you leave the city and drive into Cherry Falls, it’s like you’ve finally come home.

The cherry on top? Each book delivers a swoon-worthy romance!

So welcome to Cherry Falls. We hope you stay awhile!

About Mandi Beck:

Mandi Beck has been an avid reader all of her life. A deep love for books always had her jotting down little stories on napkins, notebooks, and her hand. As an adult she was further submerged into the book world through book clubs and the epicness of social media. It was then that she graduated to writing her stories on her phone and then finally on a proper computer.

A wife, mother to two rambunctious and somewhat rotten boys, and stepmom to two great girls away at college, she shares her time with her husband in Chicago where she was born and raised. Mandi is a diehard hockey fan and blames the Blackhawks when her deadlines are not met even though her favorite hockey player calls her…mom.

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