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Category Archives: 4 Stars

Review: The Dark King by Gina Maxwell

Review: The Dark King by Gina Maxwell

I thought a weekend away would be the perfect escape. Until I woke up married and trapped… by the king of the Dark Fae.

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.

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MY REVIEW

The Dark King is a sexy and entertaining read that will captivate readers and leave them dying for more!

From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. When we first meet up with Bryn, she’s lost her job and has been offered a dream vacation. When she arrives in Vegas, it’s like all the stars are aligned and luck is finally on her side. But when she wakes up the next morning, Bryn gets more than she bargained for…

I was pulled into Bryn and Caiden’s story from the very first page. I loved their meet-cute and spellbinding chemistry. This story was filled with lots of great fantasy elements as well as humor and a take-no-prisoners female lead character. Bryn totally gave Caiden a run for his money and certainly brought out that dominant alpha male side. Together these two not only steamed up the pages but kept me on my toes as their story unraveled.

The Dark King is sexy, fun, and entertaining. I loved the plot and the easy flow of the story. The characters were equally flawed, intriguing, and frustrating all at the same time, and I mean this in the best possible way. I loved the world this author has created. It not only delivered on the steam but also gave me lots of good twists to keep me to glued to the pages. I can’t wait to discover more of this world that this author has created.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

Review: Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory

An intoxicating and sparkling new romance by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.

Margot Noble needs some relief from the stress of running the family winery with her brother. Enter Luke: sexy, charming, and best of all in the too-small world of Napa, a stranger. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and Margot is delighted that she lucked into the perfect one-night stand she’ll never have to see again. That is, until the winery’s newest hire, Luke, walks in the next morning. Margot is determined to keep things purely professional, but when their every interaction reminds her of the attraction still bubbling between them, it proves to be much more challenging than she expects.

Luke Williams had it all, but when he quits his high-salary tech job in Silicon Valley in a blaze of burnout and moves back to Napa to help a friend, he realizes he doesn’t want to tell the world–or his mom–why he’s now working at a winery. His mom loves bragging about her successful son–how can he admit that the job she’s so proud of broke him? Luke has no idea what is next for him, but one thing is certain: he wants more from the incredibly smart and sexy woman he hooked up with–even after he learns she’s his new boss. But even if they can find a way to be together that wouldn’t be an ethical nightmare, would such a successful woman really want a tech-world dropout?

Set against a lush backdrop of Napa Valley wine country, nothing goes to your head as fast as a taste of love–even if it means changing all your plans. 

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MY REVIEW

Drunk on Love is a light, feel-good, workplace romance from author Jasmine Guillory and follows the story of Margot and Luke. Margot works hard and her family winery and while she loves what she does, she’s in desperate need of a break. And when Luke Williams enters the picture, he might just be the distraction she was hoping for…

Drunk on Love is set in the lush Napa Valley wine country. It’s easy to visualize and get a feel for. I adored both Luke and Margot and found them to be very genuine, real characters. I loved their chemistry and how well they hit it off when they first met. Yes, they were only supposed to be a one-night stand, but you could tell that these two were destined to be more; especially when fate intervened and Margot discovers that Luke is the newest employee her brother hired. Despite the attraction Margot feels towards Luke, she tells him that what happened between them can’t happen again. But, when you have chemistry like these two, you know it’s only a matter of time before they give in to what is burning between them.

Overall, I found this to be a really enjoyable read. I was pulled into the story instantly. I loved the flow of the writing and the likability of the characters. Margot and Luke’s story felt real and genuine. And in the end, Drunk on Love is a sweet romance that will sweep you off of your feet and leave you with a smile on your face.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher, Berkley Books, and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz with Review: Hunted in Darkness by Carrie Ann Ryan

Release Blitz with Review: Hunted in Darkness by Carrie Ann Ryan

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Hunted in Darkness

Series: Aspen Pack #2

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: September 19, 2022

The Aspen Pack series from NYT Bestselling Carrie Ann Ryan continues with a fated romance that was never supposed to happen.

Skye Jamenson-Anderson knows the legacy she must live up to. She’s the daughter of warriors and the granddaughter of the late Alphas who sacrificed everything so their den could survive. Though she feels she doesn’t have a place in her Pack, she does everything in her power to keep them and their allies alive—including saving the Aspen Alpha.

As Alpha of the Aspen Pack, Chase Leyne knows a thing or two about one’s legacy. He’s the son of a traitor and the most powerful wolf in his territory. He also knows without a doubt that Skye is not his mate. When the two decide to lean on another in every way possible, they both go in knowing nothing forever can come out of it.

The enemy is stepping up their game and threaten the stability of the alliance forged in blood. With one bite, Chase and Skye’s world changes, and the one thing that is keeping them apart might be the only promise to save their Packs and their future.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60122911-hunted-in-darkness

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3qyAJQ3
UK: https://amzn.to/3Lf30ET
CA: https://amzn.to/3DlZRRK
AU: https://amzn.to/3d5RGi0
Universal: https://bit.ly/3GmQAZr

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Also available in audio + print

Amazon Audio: https://amzn.to/3wSfw7f
Audible: https://adbl.co/3RYM4ox
Paperback: https://amzn.to/3FLq2R6
Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3wSOVHo

MY REVIEW

Hunted in Darkness is the second book in the Aspen Pack Series and while this story is a part of an ongoing storyline, I do think it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. Having not read the first book in this series I can tell you that this book hit the ground running and kept me intrigued the entire time.

Chase and Skye were the fated romance that was never supposed to happen. Skye has a legacy that she must live up to and while Chase is the son of a traitor, he’s the most powerful wolf in his territory. Together Skye and Chase must come together to fight a common enemy, all while exploring the explosive chemistry between them. Forever may not be in the cards for the two of them, but that put things to a stop. As the enemy steps up their game, one bite changes Skye and Chase’s world forever…

Overall, I thought this was a really great read. It captured my interest from the very beginning and I loved the dynamic and chemistry between Chase and Skye. I loved the paranormal elements and fast pace of this story. It kept me on the edge of my seat and left me wanting more. All in all, a fun book to spend my day with.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Etched in Honor

US: https://amzn.to/3Ba5srP
UK: https://amzn.to/3Bg2O3C
CA: https://amzn.to/3BAqnFS
AU: https://amzn.to/3BE07dR
Universal: https://bit.ly/3PAXjmp

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Also available in audio + print

Audio: https://amzn.to/3LcITWs
Paperback: https://amzn.to/3kEJSEu
Hardcover: https://amzn.to/3FJ5Waf

COMING SOON

#3 Mated in Chaos – Releasing January 16

US: https://amzn.to/3ldTea1
UK: https://amzn.to/3U9d8TA
CA: https://amzn.to/3yEjDWw
AU: https://amzn.to/3yyVBfv
Universal: https://geni.us/ChaosAms
Paperback: https://amzn.to/3yyUqfR


Only available at the following retailers for a limited time


B&N: https://bit.ly/3sBccv7
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3ldTXIh
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3FLnAdo
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3L8LwtN

#4 Harbored in Silence – Releasing May 22

US: https://amzn.to/3BgFJOa
UK: https://amzn.to/3BCUpJ3
CA: https://amzn.to/3eLV5TA
AU: https://amzn.to/3qyqbR1
Universal: https://geni.us/HarboredAms
Paperback: https://amzn.to/3cuza2n

Only available at the following retailers for a limited time


B&N: https://bit.ly/3e2VwZ0
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3AU8Ubd
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3CDbfrZ

AUTHOR BIO

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://carrieannryan.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carrieannryanauthor

Newsletter: http://carrieannryan.com/faq/how-do-i-sign-up-for-your-newsletter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieAnnRyan

Review: Part of Me by Kelly Elliott

Review: Part of Me by Kelly Elliott

Fishing for the Truth

Seasiders,

News on the docks is Sutton Bradley may be adding new stock to her little boutique store, Coastal Chic, on the square. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny that it is sexy lingerie, but seeing as Ms. Bradley has been seen on more than one occasion in the company of Brody Wilson, who, let me remind you, was voted as the catch of the season. One can only come to a certain conclusion and that is…

Love is in the air.

I, for one, would love to see Sutton move on from that terrible first marriage of hers, and in my humble opinion, Mr. Brody Wilson would do a fine job of making her forget all about…what’s his name.

Next on my list of to do’s for today…stop by Coastal Chic! Stay tuned for more on Lingerie Gate!

Fair winds and following seas!

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MY REVIEW

Part of Me follows the story of Sutton and Brody and it picks up pretty much where the last book left off. And I don’t know about you guys, but after finishing Returning Home, I just had to get my hands on this book! When we first meet up with Sutton and Brody, you’re instantly pulled into their story. Things are changing and everyone is moving in different directions, and for one magical night, things change between Sutton and Brody. But the moment reality kicks in, Brody is forced to do something he’ll later regret. He thinks he’s doing the right thing, but he breaks Sutton’s heart and that decision forces her into the arms of another man. It will be many years before the two of them are reunited. Life and time may have changed, but the chemistry between these two burns brighter than ever. Will Brody and Sutton finally have their second chance? There’s only one way to find out…

Part of Me is a wonderful addition to the Seaside Chronicles series. With an intriguing plot and likable characters, this story is sure to pull readers in from the very first page. . I loved getting to know Brody and Sutton. The pull between them was undeniable and I couldn’t wait to see how their story would come together. Their story wasn’t all sunshine and roses, it was filled with its fair share of drama, packing a punch, yet managing to keep things on the lighter side.

All in all, this book was a fantastic read. I’m a huge fan of this series and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in the Seaside Chronicle series. If you’re a fan of Friends to Lovers, Fake Relationships, and Second Chance Romances, you won’t want to miss Part of Me.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams, writing as Selena Montgomery

Review: Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams, writing as Selena Montgomery

Love is a game of chance in this romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestselling author and American politician and activist Stacey Abrams, writing under her pen name, Selena Montgomery.

Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, knows that her undercover work has its risks. So she doesn’t hesitate when asked to infiltrate Scimitar, the terrorist group that has stolen lethal environmental technology. But when she’s assigned a partner—brooding, sexy Adam Grayson—to pose as her lover, Raleigh discovers that the most dangerous risk of all…is falling in love.

Adam blames himself for the botched mission that got his best friend killed by Scimitar, and he believes that Raleigh may have contributed to the man’s death. But the closer he works with his alluring partner, the more his suspicions turn to trust—and intense desire. Now, as he and Raleigh untangle a twisted web of secrets and lies, the tension mounts between them…until their masquerade as a couple proves too tempting to resist.

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MY REVIEW

This is my first book by this author and it certainly won’t be my last one. Rules of Engagement is a thrilling and intriguing romantic suspense novel that will keep you glued to the pages right till the very end.

Having never read anything by this author before, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting myself into and I have to say I was surprised in the best possible way. This story is well-written and intriguing. It hit the ground running and captured my interest immediately. The chemistry between Raleigh and Adam was palpable and lept off of the page. I loved their banter and the pull between them and totally dug the enemies to lovers vibe.

Rule of Engagement is so much more than a romance. It’s a story filled with danger and intrigue. It will leave you wondering who is telling the truth and who can be trusted. I loved the mystery, the suspense, and of course, the romance.

All in all, I thought this was a great read and am really glad to have checked it out. I’m looking forward to discovering more books from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Tour for The Mix Up by Rebecca Wilder

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Release Tour for The Mix Up by Rebecca Wilder

In THE MIX UP by Rebecca Wilder, Arlowe Mitchell discovers the charming bungalow she rented comes with a not-so-charming roommate after a rental mishap. And grumpy Yates Warner finds his unexpected roommate way too happy to become anything more than a short-term fling, just as long as they don’t blur the lines and become attached, should be easy right? Fans of small-town romances will enjoy this spicy, must-read grumpy sunshine romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.

Amazon https://amzn.to/3P48Wld

Arlowe

“I think that there’s been some kind of mix up.”

That’s my first clue that my stay in Lilac Harbor isn’t going to go according to plan.

There’s been a mistake with my rental booking and now instead of having the charming little bungalow on the shore all to myself, I’ve got a not so charming roommate.

Yates Warner.

He’s a grump in every since of the word, but there’s something about the guarded translator that tugs at my heartstrings.

I’m determined to make the best of this situation, and who knows? Maybe my grumpy giant and I can even be friends.

Yates

Yeah, we’re definitely never going to be friends.

Arlowe Mitchell is too sweet for a grouchy loner like me. She’s too friendly, too generous, and way too optimistic.

Also, incredibly too tempting.

The more time that I spend with her, the more that I want her.

When she tells me about the newest book her book club is reading and says how she always wanted to have a summer fling like the characters, I finally get my opening.

A four-week fling. No strings attached and we part at the end of the month to go our separate ways. The only rule we have is to not get attached.

I thought that it would be a piece of cake to follow it but the more time I spend around my new roomie, the more I realize that I’m in real trouble of breaking our one and only rule.

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MY REVIEW

After reading my fair share of dark books lately, I was desperately in need of something light. I am a total sucker for Grumpy Sunshine romances and The Mix Up was just what the doctor ordered. And don’t let the length of this book fool you. It might be a quick read, but it checked off all of my boxes.

Arlowe and Yates had me hooked from their very first encounter. I loved all of their interactions and banter. I loved their instant attraction and couldn’t wait to see how their story would come together.

If you’re looking for a short, sexy, and fun read, you won’t want to miss The Mix Up. This is my first book by this author and it won’t be my last.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 @ Rebecca Wilder

“Are you going to win me a stuffed animal?” I tease when I see him eyeing one of the games that we’re walking past.

            “I doubt it. I’m terrible at all of those games,” he says and I laugh.

            “I’m pretty sure that everyone is.”

            We head into the vendor section and Yates waits patiently as I look around each booth. We get to one that’s selling cake pops and I grab two, passing one to Yates. He huffs out a laugh when he sees the mermaid one that I bought him.

            “Did you want the unicorn one instead?” I ask him, offering him the one in my hand and he shakes his head.

            “No, this one is fine.”

            He takes a bite, finishing the whole thing in about two bites as we continue to browse through all of the craft stands. I debate buying a beaded wallet and a little water painting but put both of them back. I don’t want to carry either of them around for the rest of our afternoon.

            I stop by one of the maple booths and grab Hartley her maple candy. I get another bag for me and then one for Yates and his new candy dish. They have maple everything and I debate sending my mom a bottle of maple syrup but I’m worried it would break before it got to her.

            “Ready for some rides?” I ask him as I tuck the candy in my purse and he nods his head but he doesn’t look so sure.

            “Do you think that your stomach can handle it?” I ask and he side eyes me.

            “I’ll be fine,” he promises and I roll my eyes at his tough guy routine.

            My phone dings as we get in line for the tilt-a-whirl, and I pull it out to see a text from my book club friend, Jamie.

Jamie: Are you ready for next Thursday?

Arlowe: Of course!

Jamie: Can’t wait!

            “Who was that?” Yates asks as we move up in line.

            “My friend Jamie. We’re in a book club together and she was just reminding me about our meeting this coming Thursday.”

            “What book are you reading? A romance one?” He asks.

            “Why? You want to translate it?”

            He rolls his eyes and I grin as we show the ride operator our wrist bands and head onto the ride.

            “It is a romance book, actually. The main characters have this sexy vacation fling on this island off the coast of South Carolina and they end up falling in love. It was so good,” I gush and he nods as the operator closes the bar.

            “Sounds cool,” he says and I grin at his bored monotone.

            “It is! You should read it.”

“Maybe,” he hedges as the operator heads back to the ride box and starts pushing a few levers.

“I’ve always wanted to have a super steamy vacation romance. Something where you can just get what you need without being worried about the rest of the relationship. Something strictly physical. It’s been on my bucket list for ages,” I say with a dreamy sigh.

            “Are you coming onto me?” He asks and I blink at him, my head whipping to the side as I gap at him.

            And then I burst out laughing.

            I didn’t mean to be. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I mean, I’ve been trying to hide my crush from him since I got to town and the one time that I was just saying something innocently, he asks me that.

            I laugh harder and that seems to surprise Yates. He wasn’t expecting that reaction and he frowns at me, looking insulted and I try to backtrack.

            “I mean, you’re gorgeous. I’d love to have sex with you!”

            I freeze.

            I can’t believe that I just said that!

I can see a few people giving us weird looks but I ignore them. All of my attention is locked on Yates.

            We both just stare at each other, neither one of us knowing what to do now. The ride starts and we both look away from each other and grab hold of the bar as the ride starts to spin.

About Rebecca Wilder

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Wilder writes contemporary and new adult romance. She loves writing about opposites attracting and finding their happily ever afters.

When she’s not spending time with her family or friends, she’s reading romance books, watching stand-up comedies, or crime TV shows. She’s also a total Pinterest addict, dog lover, tea snob, and a wannabe yogi.

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About The Meet Cute Book Club Series

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters.

Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy.

These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

This promotional event is brought to you by The Indie Pen PR

Review: Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

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Two high school sweethearts get a second chance at their perfect ending in this charming new romance by Kerry Winfrey, author of Very Sincerely Yours.

Once upon a time, Sandy Macintosh thought she would have her happily ever after with her high school sweetheart, Hank Tillman. Sandy wanted to be an artist, Hank was the only boy in town who seemed destined for bigger things, and they both had dreams to escape town together. But when Sandy’s plans fell through, she stayed in their small town in Ohio while Hank went off to Boston to follow his dreams to be a musician, with the promise to stay together. Only that plan fell through, too.

Fifteen years later, Sandy runs a successful greenhouse while helping her parents with their bed and breakfast. Everything is perfect…until Hank rolls back into town, now a famous alt-country singer with a son in tow. She’s happy with the life she’s built by herself, but seeing Hank makes her think about what might have been. There aren’t enough cliché love songs in the world to convince Sandy to give Hank another chance, but when the two of them get thrown together to help organize the town’s annual street fair, she wonders if there could be a new beginning for them or if what they had is just a tired old song of the past.

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MY REVIEW

High School sweethearts getting a second chance at love? Sign me up, please! Just Another Love Song is a charming, second-chance romance filled with hope and all the feels I was searching for.

High school sweethearts Sandy and Hank, thought nothing could rock them. Both had big dreams for a better life and leaving their small town behind. But, when Sandy’s plans fall through, she ends up getting left behind. Fifteen years later, Sandy’s life is perfect, until Hank comes back into town. And while she’s happy with the life she built, Hank coming back into town stirs up memories she’d rather forget…

Just Another Love Song is a fun and entertaining read. It’s filled with small-town vibes, charming characters, and entertaining dialogue. This story is well written and it’s easy to get swept up in. Before you know it, you’ve devoured it in just a few short hours. And after reading a ton of heavy books lately, this lighthearted second chance romance was just what the doctor ordered for this reader.

If you’re looking for a feel-good romance, you won’t want to miss Just Another Love Song. Just Another Love Song is the perfect summer read. I hope you get swept up in this story just as I have.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Returning Home by Kelly Elliott

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Review: Returning Home by Kelly Elliott

Buzz Bait

Seasiders,

News on the docks is Adelaide Bradley is back in Seaside, and rumor has it she’s here to stay! (No ring was spotted on her finger, I might add!) After eight long years of living in the big city and working for Massachusetts General, she has decided to return to the shores. One can only imagine how thrilled Barbara and Keegan are to have their oldest daughter back.

But it makes you wonder if Adelaide will continue to peruse her nursing career or is she here to help at her family’s restaurant, The Seaside Grill.

A little seagull has planted in my ear that Gannon Wilson is taking the news rather well, considering Adelaide broke his heart all those years ago. I did notice Gannon has been working more than usual, piloting that precious cargo through our ship channel. Maybe he is picking up extra hours to purchase a piece of jewelry, considering he was seen in Reef Jewelers only days ago.

We’re rooting for the two of them to reunite at least as friends. Everyone knows the former homecoming king and queen had a bright future ahead of them until…well…that’s another story for another issue, Seasiders!

Fair winds and following seas! 

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MY REVIEW

Returning Home is the first book in the Seaside Chronicles series and is a sweet and satisfying return-to-hometown romance. Get ready to experience small-town romance as only Kelly Elliott can do it. With steamy romance, small-town feels, and light drama, Returning Home is sure to find its place in heart of romance lovers.

Losing your first love is never easy. Addie and Gannon met in their freshman year of high school and knew that the love they shared was one for the books. Not wanting to give up on their dreams, Addie and Gannon decide to break up and decide if it’s meant to be, they’ll find their way back to each other.

Addie and Gannon’s story was one for the books. I loved how genuine their feelings were for one another and how their love withstood the time they were apart. From the first time you meet Addie and Gannon, you could tell they were meant to be together. I loved seeing them grow and pursue their careers and ultimately find their way back to where they were meant to be.

Now no love story is 100% perfect, and Gannon and Addie did have some light drama and small-town gossip to contend with, but they didn’t let the drama take over and destroy their love.

In the end, Returning Home was just the sweet romance that I was hoping it would be. It gave me all the small-town and swoony feels I was looking for. Not to mention, it perfectly sets up the next book in the Seaside Chronicles series. I for one can not wait to find out what happens next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Tour with Review: Win My Heart by Lauren Helms

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Release Tour with Review: Win My Heart by Lauren Helms

For Bernadette Ross, there are two things she knows for sure, she loves being a kick-ass gamer girl and she’s been in love with her teammate’s older brother for years. Wade Roberts was forced to put her in the friend zone, but when his feelings can’t be ignored any longer, the only option is to keep their relationship a secret. Fans of nerdy romance, Carrie Aarons, and Kaylee Ryan will adore WIN MY HEART by Lauren Helms, a secret relationship, gamer girl romance.

Lauren Helms delivers a sweet and steamy romance that packs an emotional punch.” – Mary @ USA Today HEA on ONE MORE ROUND, Gamer Boy 2

Read Now!

A nerdy gamer girl + a teammate’s older brother = a secret relationship that can’t stay hidden forever.

Bernie
When it comes to gaming,
I’m a pro.
When it comes to my love life?
That’s a different story.

I’ve been crushing on my best friend’s older brother forever.
In return, he’s kept me in the friend zone for way too long.
Then things change between us.
And I get to see a whole new,
And incredibly sexy side to him.

But, he wants to keep things between us a secret.

Wade
I made a promise to my brother.
One I refused to break.
Until now.

I’ve ignored my feelings for the girl for way too long.
And the more time we spend together,
The harder I find myself falling.

There’s just one problem,
I can’t let anyone know that I’ve made her mine.

Can I win her heart before its game-over for us both? 

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MY REVIEW

Gamer Girl✅

Secret Relationship Romance✅

Best Friend’s Sibling✅

Win My Heart by Lauren Helms was an absolute delight to read. As soon as I finished Cocky Gamer, I begged Lauren to write Bernie’s story, and let me tell you, Bernie’s story did not disappoint. Bernie and Wade’s story had all the ingredients for a perfect read and I couldn’t get enough.

Win My Heart was a terrific read from beginning to end. The moment I dove into Bernie’s story, I knew I was going to be hooked. Bernie and Wade’s story pulled me in instantly, their chemistry and banter left me salivating for more. I loved all of the will they/won’t they moments, the frustrating moments where I just wanted to shake Wade, and the swoon-worthy ones that left me with a big smile on my face. Yes, this story delivered in more ways than one.

Win My Heart hit all the marks this reader was hoping for. From an entertaining plot to meddling friends to a swoon-worthy romance filled with mystery and intrigue, this book had it all. Lauren Helms does not disappoint with this latest addition to her Gamer Boy series.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 @Lauren Helms

I rush to the stairs at the end of the hall. It will be quicker than waiting for the elevator, and since I’m only going up one floor, it makes sense. After taking the steps by twos, I’m standing in front of the guys’ apartment in no time.

Brushing a stray hair off my face as I unlock the door, I realize I never changed out of my workout attire. My capri leggings, which I wear while lounging around at home more than working out in, are black with a camo pink design up the sides. Then I’m wearing a crop top tank in the same matching pink.

I’m glad the guys aren’t here, because I don’t dress like this around them. Ever. I’m normally I’m in a pair of skinny jeans and a fitted tee or hoodie. On occasion, I know how to dress up. I’m assuming if the guys saw my midriff, it would be akin to seeing their sister show too much skin.

I take a few steps into the apartment, and it’s dead quiet, as expected. I look around for the speaker and notice the place is cleaner than it was yesterday. Since Dex moved out last month, it’s become blatantly obvious who kept the place clean—or at least held the guys accountable for cleaning up after themselves.

I chuckle to myself at how much fun Gia and Ruby will have when they have to house-train their men eventually.

I remember that we had the speaker back in Link’s room, testing it with his stream set up. So I head down the hall.

I hear a noise and look over my shoulder just as I run into something hard and wet.

I squeak as I whip my face around, and I jump when strong hands grab both of my arms.

“Shit,” a deep voice mutters.

I stifle a scream right as I process what—I mean who—I ran into.

Wade Roberts.

The Wade Roberts.

Dex’s older brother.

My teammate’s big brother and the guy I’ve shamefully had a secret crush on for years.

Yeah, that Wade Roberts.

He grips my biceps tightly, as if he fears I’m going to fall over. And once my vision focuses on him and my eyes drift down his body, and I realize that he’s naked, I think I might just pass out.

Well, hello, abs.

“Bernadette. You good?” His voice is deep, and there’s a trace of humor there.

The way he says my name makes my knees weak. Not many people call me by my full name, but Wade always has.

I nod, still taking him in. Okay, so he’s not naked completely. He’s got a towel wrapped low around his waist, giving me a nearly full view of the perfect ‘v’ and the hint of whatever he’s hiding underneath. I force my gaze back up to his chest, then to his face. Shit, he’s got a nice face.

Christ on a cracker.

“I’m wet now,” I mutter.

His eyes go wide.

I try again. “Shit. No, I mean, why am I wet now that you’re here?”

He barks out a laugh, and I nearly die.

“No, frack. Wait, why are you wet? Because now I am. Is this sweat or water?” I peel my eyes away from the half-naked man I’ve dreamed about for the past few years and take a step back. He doesn’t let his hand drop right away, but then his gaze blazes down my body.

I instinctively cover my stomach with my hand, then drop it because it was an awkward move on my part. I just end up bringing more attention to myself as he drinks me in. When I clear my throat, his eyes find mine.

He seems to shake himself out of something and puts yet another step between us.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry. I just got out of the shower. I wasn’t expecting to run into anyone, so I’m glad I even bothered with the towel.” His throaty chuckle is uncomfortable as I think about what would have happened if he had forwent the towel.

I giggle nervously. “Oh, yeah, same,” I reply. “I mean, wasn’t expecting to run into anyone.”

“Right.” He smiles.

Wow, this is uncomfortable. Anyone looking in would think we were two half-naked strangers running into each other. But we aren’t. I’ve known Wade for almost five years. While he doesn’t hang out a lot with the gang, he’s around. He supports our team and I’ve eaten many meals with him. Some days, I would even consider us friends. We get along well. I’ve just always had a crush on him, and he’s always looked at me the same way the guys do—as a sister. Which is fine. Totally fine. It’s probably for the best.

About Lauren Helms

Lauren Helms is a romance author her nerdy and flirty contemporary words. Lauren has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and write her first novel, Level Me Up. Several published novels later, Lauren created PR company, Indie Pen PR, to help other authors promote their books.

Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three young kid nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the love of things that united Lauren and her husband on their own happily ever after.

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Review: This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

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Review: This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

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MY REVIEW

Three weddings and three funerals-Alessa’s gift is supposed to save the world but ends up killing every suitor she touches. With only weeks left to save her island home, time is running out for Alessa to not only find a suitor but stop the invasion. Alessa’s task is anything but easy, and when a powerful priest casts doubt among the faithful, Alessa quickly discovers that not everyone is on her side. Desperate to survive, Alessa seeks help from Dante, an outcast who has been marked as a killer. Will Dante be able to help Alessa or will his secrets destroy everything? There’s only one way to find out….

What an exciting ride! This Vicious Grace is a little slow to start, but don’t let that discourage you. This book has fantastic world-building and a plot that will leave you on your toes.

Alessa is strong, yet determined to live up to the expectations the gods have set before her. Her mission: find an acceptable suitor, harness his power, and save their island community. Sounds easy enough, except everyone she touches ends up dead. After an attempt on her life, Alessa doesn’t know who she can trust, and that’s how she finds herself with the mysterious Dante. Dante could care less about Alessa’s agenda, but for reasons he can’t quite understand, he takes Alessa up on her offer. Together, these two make quite the unexpected pairing. Their chemistry leaped off the pages and had me dying to know what would happen next.

This Vicious Grace is a heart-pounding and refreshing fantasy novel that will keep you glued to the pages. This story is filled with magic, mystery, and intrigue. At times, I wondered how this could possibly be a debut novel, as the words just flew off the pages and consumed me. I fell in love with the characters and am absolutely dying to find out what happens next. This story took me by surprise in the best way and I look forward to checking out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*