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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Release & Review - The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Title: The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other... 

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...


Buy Link: Amazon

3.5 “Fake Dating” Stars

I was expecting a little more from The Wedding Date, but I ended up enjoying it by the end.

The plot here is pretty simple--after getting stuck in an elevator with Drew, a hot doctor from Los Angeles, Berkley’s mayor's chief of staff Alexa agrees to be his fake date at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. Of course they fall in love after that, but lack of communication, physical distance and other problems keep them apart until their happy ending.

As you can see, the premise is pretty similar from lots of other books out there, but that didn’t exactly bother me since The Wedding Date made up for the lack of “oh, this is new” premise with compelling characters, interracial relationship (Alexa is black and Drew is white) and a narrative that felt authentic when it came to the female main character’s POV.

The thing I liked the most about this story was that both Drew and Alexa had fulfilling professional careers. I especially loved seeing Alexa as a powerful and important figure as the mayor’s chief of staff (baby Olivia Pope, anyone?). She was great at her job and she developed an important program for kids in need that I wished we could see more in real life. Her relationship with her sister (and her sister’s story overall) made for great moments, too.

 There’s also a compelling, sensitive and smart take on racial prejudice and privilege, with Drew opening his eyes to things he couldn’t see before he met Alexa. The way Alexa faced people’s prejudice was also pretty amazing.

There was a little bit of drama and angst because of Drew’s past when it came to women and relationships, but I felt most of their problems could’ve been solved with a little talking. For two extremely smart people, they lacked skills when it came to communication.

The book was filled with cute scenes, though. Drew and Alexa had their moments and they had chemistry. It wasn’t as strong as I normally liked, but it was there. Overall, this was a good debut.
  
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Monday, February 12, 2018

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: From Lukov with Love
Author: Mariana Zapata
Age Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 1st, 2018
 
If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.




Buy Links: Amazon

4 "Yes, YES, More Zapata" Stars


OMG, was this the best reading week or what? I not only got an ARC of Baby Maker by P. Dangelico, but I also find out that Mariana Zapata had just released another book. How in the world of books did I not know about this release from one of the queens of slow burn? No idea!!!




But I correct that mistake, and I did it fast. Almost as fast as I read this book. 

One moment I had just started it, then I blinked and it was 1 am and I needed to sleep because WORK IS A THING (why is work a thing when we have great books to read?) and then I sort of had to make time during work to read just because I could NOT stop. So I did. Don't tell anyone!

I simply devoured this book. Even after getting my fix of love-to-hate + slow burn from Baby Maker, I couldn't control myself when it came to From Lukov with Love because it was just that amazing. 



So, what was this book about? Oh, well, it was about amazing, brilliant, strong, independent, please be my friend Jasmine Santos and smart-ass, hot, animal-lover Ivan Lukov and how they hate each other and how they are perfect for each other.

Dude, the shipping throughout this book was insane. Insane. I wanted them together from the moment Jas mentioned Ivan and how she disliked him, so imagine my complete joy when their first interaction was basically those two mocking each other and eye-sexing eaching other even though they had no idea that was what they were doing.




It took forever and ever for them to go from eye-sexing to everything sexing, but who cares when all I want in life is my fix of slow burn romance? So while I wanted for the kisses and all, I got to see a lot of this:



And this:


And tons of this:



All of it made me happy.


*sighs*

So, if you didn't get it from this incoherent review, I loved this book! And I love Mariana Zapata's brand of turning enemies into friends and into lovers with that slow, slow burn  even more.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - Baby Maker (It Take Two #1) by P. Dangelico

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Baby Maker
(It Take Two #1)
Author: P. Dangelico
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 20th, 2018
Stella Donovan’s biological clock is a ticking time bomb.

The successful financial manager has spent her adult life building a career and neglecting her personal life. Problem is, she doesn’t believe in marriage. Not after watching her mother be treated like garbage by her father. Nope, marriage is not for her. All she wants is a baby. All she needs is a man to agree to her terms.

Dane Wylder, recently retired NFL tight end and future Hall of Famer, wants a baby.

Naturally, marriage is off the table. He’s not the marrying type. Women are great––as long as they’re trying to get into his bed and not his heart. But after years of living only for himself, he’s ready to be a father.

Sparks fly when a successful financial manager and a legendary football player enter into a legal agreement to have a kid together. They planned on everything––they just didn’t plan on each other.
 


4 “Have a baby with me” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you!!!

After reading three books by P. Dangelico, I can absolutely say I'm a fan and I need more.



Baby Maker brings the same SLOOOOW burn, awesome main characters and sizzling chemistry that made me fall in love with her other books, so it's no surprise I read this in one day and loved it.

One thing I can always count on when it comes to P. Dangelico's romances are strong female characters. All her MC's are independent women who face their problems head on and make the men know they're the bosses.




In this case, the boss is Stella Donovan, a successful financial manager who despises the idea of marriage, but is more than ready to have a baby. She doesn't want a husband, but she wants her kids to have a present father, so she's looking into the idea of co-parenting (a concept I wasn't familiar with) and looking for the perfect candidate. Easier said than done, but Stella isn't willing to give up.

Enter retired NFL player, Dane Wylder, a man who wants the same thing as Stella: a child, but no wife. They seem perfect for each other. Except Stella pretty much hates his guts--and it's all his fault. But just like Stella, Dane isn't willing to give up on his mission to prove that he's the perfect candidate to make a baby with her.

If you're familiar with this author's work, you know what follows: despise turns into companionship that turns into friendship that turns into mutual attraction that turns into flames that finally turns into romance. Slow, slow and slow, and exactly how I like it. And when it happens.... You guys!!! The begging got me like nothing else did.


"Kiss me back...please kiss me back".




I also have to give extra points for all the scenes with characters from her previous books. I love Ethan Freaking Vaughn, so I'm always happy to see my baby. Cam and Calvin also made an appearance, since Stella's mom is Calvin's trusted housekeeper.

So, what I'm saying is: Go read this book. Go read Baby Maker, Wrecking Ball and Sledgehammer. Go read whatever P. Dangelico wrote before those books, and keep an eye on what she'll write next. You can thank me later.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Release Blitz - Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, comes BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS—a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again! Don’t miss this stunning new title from Kami Garcia!

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS is now available at all fine retailers. Order your copy today!

   

From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.


   

April narrows her eyes. “I’d be careful if I were you.” “Or what? You’ll throw lip gloss at me?” I almost laugh. I’m done here.
Grace stifles a smile as I pass her on my way out, and I stop. This girl deserves a break. “By the way, your friend, and I use that term loosely”— I gesture at April—“didn’t dump Christian. He dumped her. She was whining about it before you walked in.”
“You bi—” April shouts at me as the door closes.
That was fun.
Sticking up for Grace cheered me up a little.
The stadium has emptied out for the most part, and the sight of the green field makes me feel like running. As a striker, it was my job to move the ball down the soccer field and score goals. The team relied on my speed.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play soccer. Dad spent hours dribbling alongside me—him with a standard soccer ball and me with a toddler-sized version. He stood in front of a flimsy net we’d made out of PVC pipes, and played goalkeeper for hours so I could practice my corner shots. I lose myself in the memories.
“Hey! Watch—”
I look up in time to see a guy’s broad chest before I walk right into him. My knee gives out, but he catches my arm.
“Nice save,” he says, as if I’m the one who kept him from falling instead of the other way around.
I jerk away from him. The combination of hearing Reed’s voice a few minutes ago and feeling a guy grab me from out of nowhere . . . it’s too much.
“You okay?” Brown eyes that look even darker against his pale skin.
It’s Owen, the mystery guy from the parking lot. “I’m fine.”
“You sure?”
Why won’t my pulse slow down?
“Yeah. I have to go.” I take off in the opposite direction, embarrassed.
I bumped into a guy and almost jumped out of my skin? This isn’t me. I’m the person who never flinches during horror movies.
The leg brace makes me feel helpless. What if a stranger had grabbed me instead of Owen? Knowing I couldn’t run or fight someone off terrifies me.
Or if someone tries to hurt me again.
Mom and Hawk are exactly where I left them. The Twins have returned from the locker room, freshly showered, and they swapped their football uniforms for jeans and T-shirts. The four of them are huddled together talking. They’re probably discussing my fragile state. They think I’m too traumatized to hang out at a stupid party. But I’m not the damaged person everyone thinks.
refuse to be that girl.
I walk up behind the Twins and squeeze between them. “So when are we going to that party you were telling me about?”
    “Something wonderful happened to me as I read this—I fell in love. Genuine, shattering, deep, heart-pounding love. Thank you, Kami Garcia, for Peyton and Owen. We need their story." —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe



       

HEAR IT FIRST
Order a digital or print edition of BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia and be the first to hear an exclusive announcement from Kami about her next book--a secret project her publisher is keeping under wraps! Fans of Beautiful CreaturesDangerous Creatures, and The Legion series won't want to miss this exciting news!
This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 28, 2018! You must register your preorder to receive the exclusive announcement from Kami!


    


    Kami Garcia is a #1 New York Times–bestselling and Bram Stoker–nominated author and the coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Her solo series, the Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller Unbreakable and its sequel, Unmarked. Kami is also the author of The X-Files Origins: Agent of Chaos and The Lovely Reckless. Kami was a teacher for seventeen years and coauthored her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. Kami lives in Maryland with her family and their dogs, Spike and Oz.      

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram | Snapchat | YouTube
           

Friday, February 02, 2018

*Grabby Hands* Blog Tour & Review - Stud by Kelly Siskind

Title: Stud
Author: Kelly Siskind
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: January 31th, 2018 


A down-to-earth carpenter. A Prada loving personal shopper. 


A Habitat for Humanity project that erects more than walls…

The word “nail” has so many meanings:
Ainsley Hall’s manicured nails belong in the Museum of Modern Art.
The fashionista hammers nails at Habitat for Humanity.
She desperately wants to nail Owen Phillips.
Unfortunately, she mistakenly thinks he’s gay.
Owen’s never-ending divorce has taken a turn from messy to downright vindictive. Yearning for the simpler things in life, like working with his hands, he joins a Habitat build. Turns out he also wants to work over Ainsley Hall…but the confusing bombshell flirts blatantly with other men.
When Ainsley discovers Owen’s true sexuality, their mutual attraction ignites, but he hasn’t shared the extent of his divorce drama. If he can’t disprove his ex’s false allegations, it will take more than hammers and nails (and nailing studs) to keep their walls from caving in.




4 “Playing with Words” Stars

ARC provided by the author.

Thank you!!!

I can always count on Kelly Siskind for super sexy, super funny romance stories. Stud is another great addition to this author’s collection and a sure thing for romance fans.

As usual, the protagonist had one of those voices that grabbed my attention immediately. Ainsley was tons of fun in her I-like-design-clothes-but-I’m-not a snob way. I loved how she came across as super relatable despite the fact that she wore every major designer out there. Her devotion to her family made her instantly likable, her friendship with her girls (including Rachel from Legs) was totally friendship-goals, and her lack of bullshit when it came to her sensuality was refreshing. Girlfriend knew she was hot, and she didn’t try to pretend she wasn’t. And when she saw someone she liked, she also didn’t try to play the shy girl. I loved that about her.

Owen didn’t fall far behind. He was another example of this author’s ability to create great love interests. Dude was hot in his jeans and sweaty T-shirts from working in constructions (someone else kept thinking of Fifth Harmony’s Work from Home music video? Nope? Just me. Okay). But what made Owen even more special for me was his black-and-white-movie-gentleman soul. That was such a refreshing aspect. I loved, loved that he enjoyed watching old movies with his grandmother and admired the romantic acts shown in them. But, yeah, he was a fan of dirty talking, too, so there was that. *swoon hard*

The whole thing with Ainsley's broken gay-dar and Owen’s brother was hilarious. By the way, his brother was also an amazing character! All of the misunderstanding lent a funny, light vibe to the story to contrast the tension with Owen’s past.

So, if for some reason you haven’t yet tried one of Kelly Siskind’s book, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

Her gaze dipped down my body, slow and languid, soaking me in. Something in me twitched to life, like a phantom limb reminding me hot blood once pumped through my veins. All my veins. My groin got heavy, heat flushing my thighs. Because she looked at me. I let that notion marinate and did my best to keep my brain on target. “If you plan on volunteering, show up at the construction site at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Nick will take you through the paces.” “Will you be here?” “Possibly.” “Are you here every day?” “Some.” “Do you often answer questions with one word?” “Depends.” She tipped her head, those stunning eyes intent upon me. Suddenly, heading home for beers and pizza didn’t sound as appealing. I dug my boots deeper into the earth. She swiped her tongue across her full bottom lip. “All right, tough guy. I’ll be here next week, volunteer ready, where you may or may not be, depending on if you do or do not decide to show up.” Every word dripped with flirtatiousness, but I stayed quiet. The way I’d all but grunted at her so far, probably better to keep my mouth shut. So we stood there—her waiting on me to speak, a skateboarder barreling down the road at our left. Me unsure why she was affecting me. I missed being with a woman. Missed the slide of soft skin and wet mouths, and locking my girl in my arms for the night. But I’d sworn I’d do it right this time. Not rush in. Make sure I dated someone with depth and interests outside of making bank. Everything about this spitfire girl read narcissistic. When our silence slipped into awkward, she fluttered her fingers in my face. “It’s been…interesting.” I offered her a curt nod. Chuckling to herself, she spun around, but her right heel wedged into the loose dirt. Those damn shoes were lethal. She sank an inch and teetered, but seemed to catch herself. Then her massive purse fell. The thick strap landed on her forearm, tipping the balance. She shot out her hand, struggling to stay upright. I lunged for her, clasping her trim waist to hold her steady. And close. Too close. Not near enough for her to feel how I was thickening behind my zipper, but the air swelled. It dilated with feminine scents. Something sweet. Nice.  She smelled like chocolate. My hands spanned her waist from behind, her curves above and below all woman. Hour glass, like a modern-day Marilyn Monroe. Jean Harlow. Mae West. Over the years, I’d watched every classic movie there was, wishing I could slip to a time when men danced and women sang and loyalty and love were valued over getting ahead. An old soul, my nana always said. Or a romantic. Or just plain trouble. Now I had my hands on a dangerous beauty.

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—gummy bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

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