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Review: The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

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From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

MY REVIEW

I’m just going to keep this review short and sweet. The Honey-Don’t List is a book that you’re either going to love or you’re going to hate. For me, it was just an ok read. I thought the idea of the story was fun and different. I love home remodeling shows and would be perfectly happy lounging around the house, watching HGTV. I was excited to see where this writing duo would take this story.

What I liked: As I previously stated, the plot was unique. I found the characters to be likable and loved the humorous moments.

What I didn’t like: For me, this book didn’t read as a contemporary romance or even romantic comedy. Yes, it had both of those elements, but the romance between the two main characters really took the back burner in this story. I felt like the main focus of the story was the Tripps, when it really should have been on the budding relationship between James & Carey. So, while I found the characters likable, I was left wanting and needing more. I wanted to know why these characters were together? Why should I be rooting for the two of them? In the end, I just felt like there was something missing.

Overall, this book was an ok read. While there were some aspects that I liked, I just found the story to be lacking and wanted more. So, while this book isn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad I checked it and gave it a chance. I adore this writing duo and will be looking forward to see what they release next.

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

Review: Yours in Scandal by Lauren Layne

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A political golden boy and the woman of his dreams take the risk of their lives in a sexy romantic comedy of strange bedfellows and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.

Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.

Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart

MY REVIEW

Yours in Scandal is the first book in the Man of the Year Series by Lauren Layne and it follows the story of Robert & Adeline. As New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert is at the height of his game. He’s got his sights set on bigger and better things. The only thing standing in his way is an incumbent with a squeaky clean reputation. All’s fair in love and politics, and Robert isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He knows his opponent has a skeleton in his closet, that he wouldn’t like exposed. So, with the advice of his campaign manager, Robert decides to go after his opponent’s estranged daughter. She might be exactly what Robert needs to win the prize…….Adeline Blake is no stranger to scandal. Her younger days were wild, out of control and just filled with rebellion. However, all of those qualities are a thing of the past. Adeline has completely reinvented herself and is a far cry from the wild child she used to be. So, when she’s approached to plan a party for her father’s biggest opponent, she can’t help but be curious. Will Adeline fall prey to Robert’s charm? Will Robert claim the victory he is seeking? There’s only one way to find out….

Yours in Scandal is a quick and easy read. It’s definitely a book that you can read in just one sitting. I thought the plot was fun and original. I loved the mix of politics and romance. I thought the characters were intriguing and they kept me entertained. I enjoyed Adeline & Robert together and couldn’t wait to see their story unfold. Overall, I think this book is a great start to this series. The characters are great and their story is written well. I loved the politics and the banter and everything in between. There was some drama, but nothing too over the top. All in all, this book was a really cute read. I look forward to checking out the next book in this series.

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

Review: The Billionaire in Boots (Princes of Texas #3) by Julia London

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London delivers a sexy new contemporary western, where a lonesome rancher and a no-nonsense cowgirl learn that you don’t choose who you fall for–love lassos you….

As the firstborn son, it’s been drilled into Nick that he is the heir apparent to the Prince family empire. But cattle ranching has never been his true passion. Nick wants to be a pilot. However, when his father dies, leaving Nick to clean up the mess, he knows he must do his duty before following his heart.

Charlotte Bailey can’t believe that Nick is back to run the ranch. As the office manager, she knows it’s her responsibility to help him. If only he wasn’t so brooding and cranky–and so hot it’s a wonder his chaps don’t melt right off him. But when sparks fly between them, she’s adamant about staying away from a cowboy on his way out the door.

Nick knows the ranch’s pretty, smart, and capable office manager is off-limits, but he needs her. And working in such close proximity to Charlotte every day is making Nick crazy. She smells good, she looks good, she makes him laugh, but most of all she makes him want to stay….

MY REVIEW

The Billionaire in Boots is the third book in the Princes of Texas Series and follows the story of Charlotte and Nick. Cattle Ranching may be in Nick’s blood, but it’s not where his passion lies. However, because Nick is a “Prince” that are certain expectations he must follow. And when Nick’s father passes, Nick has no choice but to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess his father left behind….Charlotte can’t believe Nick is back. As office manager, it’s her job to help the broody man out. The one thing Charlotte didn’t plan on was the intense chemistry between them….

Overall, this book was a quick and easy read for me. The story-line was fun and entertaining. I liked the tension and chemistry between Charlotte and Nick. I loved Charlotte’s spunk and how she wasn’t afraid to give Nick a piece of her mind. I liked seeing Nick try to figure out who and what he really wants in life. I thought Nick & Charlotte had some excellent push and pull and looked forward to seeing how their story would come together in the end.

The Billionaire in Boots is a sweet romance that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

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

Review: A Highlander in a Pickup (Highland, Georgia #2) by Laura Trentham

A Highlander in a Pickup is the second book in award-winning author Laura Trentham’s romantic comedy Highland Georgia series, full of love, laughs…and highlanders!

When a gorgeous new man—in a kilt—comes to town, life in Highland, Georgia will never be the same…

Iain Connors is the poster boy for the strong and silent type. Growing up a loner at Cairndow Castle in Scotland with only the cliffs and moors for company, it’s understood Iain will assume the mantle of Cairndow groundskeeper when his father is ready to relinquish it. But his stint in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces has opened up a whole new world—and now, rather than settle down, he accepts an invitation to travel to the States to take charge of the Highland Games. After all, he’s led men into battle, how hard can planning a party be?

Anna Maitland is ready to step up for her best friend Isabel Blackmoor, who can’t run the Games in their hometown this year. Surely Anna, a dance instructor with boundless energy, spirit, and charm, is up for the challenge? What she doesn’t anticipate is a man in a kilt who turns up claiming he’s the one in charge. What’s worse about this Iain? He’s so infuriatingly handsome that she can’t help but fantasize about him whispering sweet-nothings in her ear in his rumbly, sexy brogue. . .

MY REVIEW

A Highlander in a Pickup is the second book in the Highland Georgia Series and it follows the story of Iain & Anna. When Anna’s best friend Isabel is unable to run the Highland Games this year, Anna steps up to the challenge. However, Anna quickly discovers that she might just be in over her head. And when Iain shows up to give her hand, he knocks her world off its axis…..

Overall, I thought this book was a quick and easy read. I had a fun time returning to the Highland Georgia Series and couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us this time. Anna is a strong and independent woman. You can count on her to help a friend who is need. And Iain is the strong, silent type. He’s very loyal and takes his duties seriously. Together these two are very similar and can’t help but butt heads. And the sizzling sexual tension doesn’t help the situation either. I loved watching these two butt heads and deny the feelings they had for one another. I knew it would lead to something pretty special and couldn’t wait to see how it would all play out.

A Highlander in a Pickup is a fun and entertaining read. You can easily finish it in a single sitting. The characters are fun and easy to connect with. The story was easy to read and written well. It had good humor, light angst and steamy moments. All in all, a nice read to spend your day getting swept up in.

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

Review: Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne, comes the final installment of the Central Park Pact series, a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

MY REVIEW

Marriage on Madison Avenue is the third book in the Central Park Pack Series and it follows the story of Audrey and Clarke. Audrey and Clarke have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Friends is as far as it has ever gone between the two of them, and both of them know they can count on the other, no matter what. So, when Clarke comes up with a wild idea to throw his mom off his trail, he knows without a doubt, that Audrey will have his back….It started off as a simple white lie and quickly spiraled out of control. Lines will become blurred and friendships will be tested. Things will about to become more complicated than these two friends ever bargained for. As time goes on, the deeper Clarke and Audrey will fall. Nothing will ever be the same again…..

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been waiting for Audrey’s story to get here. As the third member of the Central Park Pack, I just knew her story was going to a good one and author Lauren Layne does not disappoint. She combined the friends to lovers troupe with the fake relationship one and totally knocked it out of the park. These troupe combinations are ones that I live for. They give me all the feels and keep me devouring each and every word.

Clarke and Audrey had some amazing chemistry. Their friendship, the kind that stands the test of time. You could tell they cared deeply for one another and they would do anything for one another. I loved watching their story develop and their feelings change. These two kept me glued to the pages and I couldn’t help but root for them to get their happily ever after.

Marriage on Madison Avenue was everything that I was looking for. It was a wonderful addition to this series and I loved seeing Audrey’s story come to light. I laughed. I swooned. I fell head over heels for Clarke and Audrey, and hope you will too.

Marriage on Madison Avenue wraps up this series in a nice little bow. It’s been fun to see these ladies overcome what brought them together. To see them build this amazing and life-altering friendship. To see them go through all the ups and downs life has to give and find their way out the other side stronger and happier than ever. The Central Park Pact Series has been a joy to experience and I am totally sad to see it go……

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

Blog Tour with Review: Vendetta Road (Torpedo Ink #3) by Christine Feehan

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan pushes the limits in her next novel in the Torpedo Ink series.

Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.

High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman.…

MY REVIEW

Vendetta Road is the third book in the Torpedo Ink Series and it certainly kicks things up a notch!

Vendetta Road follows the story of Ice and Soleil. When we first meet up with Ice, he’s in Vegas with his crew and comes across a woman who knocks his world off its axis. Their meeting is fleeting, but makes an impact. Little did Ice know that this chance sighting wouldn’t be the last time he saw his mystery woman…Soleil has just been drifting, floating along. She has no family, no friends, no one in corner. She’s trapped in a loveless relationship, and when said relationship takes a violent turn, Soleil is desperate to escape. Before Soleil knows it, she finds herself swept up in Ice and his biker world. He offers her the chance of a lifetime: family, love, protection…she’d be a fool to turn him down….

I fell in love with Soleil and Ice from their very first meeting. Their chemistry was instant and definitely fits the bill for an insta-love story-line. And even though they fell hard and fast for one another, it totally worked. I loved how Soleil had this air of innocence about her, but she was anything but. When it came to Ice, all of her inhibitions went out the window and lets just say, these two were the perfect match. And Ice, I loved how quickly he was knocked on his butt by Soleil. He took one look at her and had to make her his woman. He was possessive and swoon-worthy at the same time. He totally fit the bill of alpha male and would do anything for his woman.

Vendetta Road kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. I couldn’t put it down. This book was dark and gritty and filled with lots of passion. This story deals with some tough issues, but the author handled those issues with care. This author doesn’t hold back and definitely keeps her readers hanging on each and every word.

Probably one of my favorite things about this book was just how tight the characters were with one another. You know they’ve all seen and done some terrible things. They all have that darkness that haunts them and are just looking for someone to shine some light and happiness on them. The crew of Torpedo Ink are the exact definition of family. They support one another, they look out for each other and will always have their backs, and their women are treated like royalty.

Vendetta Road is sexy, action packed and totally hits the ground running. This book sucks you in instantly and will leave you holding your breath and waiting for more. Vendetta Road checked all of my boxes when it comes to the biker genre. I had a great time getting lost in this crew and can’t wait to see where this series will take us next.

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

EXCERPT

Chapter 2

Soleil ran through the lobby, uncaring of turning heads. One didn’t run in a very swank hotel. She wanted to grab security, but Winston had a way of talking that made her look hysterical or childish and him look totally controlled, the adult having to put up with tantrums. She wasn’t about to take chances, not when she knew they planned to kill her.

Who would believe her? Her own fiancé? A lawyer? A policeman? All conspiring to kill her? She would look crazy and Winston would explain she’d lost Bennet, the only one she had as family. He would get sympathy and understanding, and they would all look to him to take care of her. He’d probably sedate her. Did he have a doctor involved too? It was possible. She’d met one through him, one he considered important.

She burst out onto the street, her lungs hurting. Clearly, she needed more exercise if she was going to have to run for her life. Her thoughts were wild and a little hysterical. She couldn’t have that. It would only play into Winston’s hand. She raced to the crosswalk, and fortunately the light changed and there were few people in her way. She was able to cross quickly and get into the relative shelter of the hotel-casino on the next street.

Noise erupted all around her. The concentrated smoke from cigarettes threatened to choke her. For a moment, she paused, a little disoriented. The whiskey she’d drunk was making her feel a lot better. Clearer. She knew exactly what to do. She made her way through the casino with more dignity, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

The casino floor was set up so that the exits were difficult to get to. Every little turn put her in front of card tables, the roulette wheel, craps, or, when she managed to find her way through the maze, machines. A sea of them. They didn’t matter. The drinks had finally steadied her, and she was feeling as if she was in control and could do this.

Still, it was a good distance to the exits and it took her a few minutes to make her way to the other side of the room. The casino was enormous, so much so that she knew she’d probably covered a block at least. She had to have. But she walked with more confidence and less panic. Every now and then, just to be certain, she glanced over her shoulder, or paused at a machine to see if Winston was behind her. So far, her plan had worked. Most likely, he’d gone out onto the strip and worried she’d hailed a cab or taken one of the hotel’s private limos. She was afraid to do that. He could trace a cab and he’d talk any driver into coming back for him.

She thought about getting another drink, but she hadn’t eaten. Already she was much clearer in what she had to do. She felt very courageous. It only took a couple of times going in a small circle before she mastered the maze of machines and was able to push open the door that let her out onto the street. The lights were much dimmer, but still illuminated the sidewalk.

She looked left and right. She was right in the middle of the block. Across the street, neon blue signs flashed, and the sound of music was loud. Each of the bars seemed to be playing a different song, but she loved to dance and the one on the end at the right blared the best music. She headed in that direction and then changed her mind, a little shiver going through her. She knew Winston. He would hire men to find her. He would call the police and report her missing, saying she had a mental disorder and he was worried for her safety. This street was still too close.

She hurried down the block to the next line of bars. The streets seemed darker, and as she came around the corner, a few men standing on the sidewalk in front of a bar looked up, nudging one another. Alarms went off and she paused to get oriented. Just in front of her was another bar blaring dancing music and in front of it were motorcycles, instantly reminding her of Lana. Her heart jumped. Lana. She hurried toward that one without hesitation. If Lana was there, she would know what to do. She was that kind of woman.

Review: Dark Alpha’s Temptation (A Reaper Novel) by Donna Grant

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There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Carrying Death’s orders is my sole duty. I’ve never had reason to question her, even if I disagreed. But Kyra’s fierceness and willpower sheds light on my mission. She drives the darkness of my world away. The answers to the Others’ goals lie in her past. For Kyra, I will risk going against Death’s wishes. For her…I will battle the past and the future itself.

MY REVIEW

“I can’t explain why I’m drawn to you.” “It’s inexplicable, but it’s the truth. I tried to leave, I’ve attempted to forget you, but I can’t.”

Dark Alpha’s Temptation is the 9th installment of the Reaper Series. I have no read any of the previous books in this series, and after finishing this book, I have been clearly missing out. Yes, I have the worst habit of reading series like this out of order, but I will say that this book is written so well that I was able to jump in and follow right along.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation was a quick and easy read for me. I enjoyed the characters and was quickly addicted to their story. I really liked the connection between Kyra & Dubham. Yes, their connection was of the insta-love type, but it totally worked for me. I felt their connection and liked how they couldn’t stay away from each other. They definitely shared some steamy moments together and kept me glued to the pages to see how their story would play out.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation sucked me in from the very first page. I thought this book was written and paced very well. I loved all of the paranormal aspects and the world that this author has created. This story was sexy, captivating and had some really great twists. I can definitely tell that this story is leading to a pretty epic battle and I can’t wait to continue on with this series. As I previously said, I do think you could read and enjoy this book without reading any of the previous ones like I did. However, I definitely plan on catching up on the series, so that I can fully enjoy and appreciate the overall world and story.

All in all, I found Dark Alpha’s Temptation to be a really enjoyable read and I look forward to reading and discovering 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*