Monday, April 25, 2016

ARC Review: Without Borders by Amanda Heger

Title: Without Borders

Author: Amanda Heger

Synopsis:

For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend's older brother, who's much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Without Borders, Amanda Heger's debut, was a really wonderful romance. While it took me the first couple of chapters to really get into the story, once I did I couldn't put it down. From the character to the plot to the setting, this book just worked for me on so many levels.

First off, Annie was an absolutely delightful heroine. She wasn't perfect, but she was relatable and likable and I thoroughly enjoyed being inside her head. And then we had Felipe! Felipe was truly the best aspect of this book. He checked off some many boxes for what makes a great romance love interest for me and on top of that he was Hispanic, which made me as Hispanic woman love him even more. Secondly, the romance in this book was really great. Out of all the romance books I have read, Felipe and Annie's is definitely my all-time favorite slow-burning romance. It just flowed so perfectly and as a reader you don't feel like you are being denied anything. Everything happens at a pace that feels right for these two and made the HEA at the end of the book all the more perfect.Thirdly, all the surrounding characters were so wonderful too. Felipe's sister, Marisol, and the other "volun-tourists" contributed to the plot in a impactful way instead of just being throwaway characters as I originally thought they were going to be and I really loved that. Lastly, I just really loved the plot and the things that happened while Annie, Felipe, and crew traveled from village to village giving the locals medical assistance. And I especially loved getting to see the difference in cultures as they traveled. The author really portrayed it in a way that I found very accurate and real.

Overall, I really, really loved this book! It was an incredible debut and I can't wait to see what's up next by this author!

ARC Review: The One That Got Away by A.J. Pine

Title: The One That Got Away

Author: A.J. Pine

Synopsis:

How far will one man go for the woman he’s loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler’s best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they’ve had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he’s been by her side all along.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars

The One That Got Away was a really good friends-to-lovers, road trip romance and a swoon-inducing start to A.J. Pine's new series. While this book was the first A.J. Pine book that took me more than one-sitting to read that does not mean that I didn't love this book because I really did enjoy it. I've just been all over the place reading wise this month, so I took some more time to really savor Jamie and Brynn's love story.

Anywho, let's get to the details. The best part about this book was Jamie Kingston. He was totally on par with the guys in all of the other A.J. Pine books I have read. He was so sweet and adorable and his dedication to making sure Brynn was happy even though he would be miserable watching her be with another man made me love him so much. As for Brynn, I liked her well enough, but her obsession with Spencer Matthews made me want to bang my head against a wall. Like I understood her reasoning, but at the same time I thought it was really stupid reasoning. And as much I loved Jamie there were instances where I just wanted to smack him on the back of the head. Everything would have been so much easier if these two would have just sat down and had a long conversation about their feelings. Lol. But as frustrated as I was with these two at times it did make for some good drama and some really fun times as well as a more than satisfying HEA that made everything so worth it.

Overall, I really liked this book and have become convinced that A.J. Pine is incapable of writing a book that I will not like. Now to anxiously await book two in this new favorite series of mine.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

ARC Review: How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell

Title: How the Duke Was Won

Author: Lenora Bell

Synopsis:

The pleasure of your company is requested at Warbury Park. Four lovely ladies will arrive… but only one can become a duchess.

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others…

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose [Ha!]
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns [blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure]
* Charm and seduce a wild duke [without appearing to try]
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart [no matter how tempting]

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

You know that book that you've been waiting for forever and then you finally read it and it sucks? Well How the Duke Was Won is NOT that book. How the Duke Was Won was an absolutely flawless historical romance novel! Everything about this book was absolutely perfect! James and Charlene were two amazing and memorable characters and their love story in this book was really entertaining and had me captivated from the moment she wrestled him to ground thinking he was a footman. And talking about characters pretending to be people they aren't, I actually really loved that throughout the book that Charlene was being forced to pretend to be her half-sister Dorothea. At first, I thought I would get annoyed by the fact that she and James would be pursuing a relationship with him thinking she was someone else, but I actually really enjoyed it. Plus, the scene in which he figured out everything was really worth the long deception. But, yeah, back to James and Charlene's relationship, I loved how James tried his best to resist Charlene because he wanted a wife with a spotless reputation, but failed miserably because these two were perfect for each other in every way. Seriously, all their moments made my heart race because they were all so wonderful and kind of hot. I couldn't get enough of them.

Aside from the great romance between James and Charlene, I really loved that the premise of the book was James inviting four ladies to his house for him to choose a bride. It was like The Bachelor in a historical setting and all the antics that resulted as a result of it was hilarious. I especially loved Alice and the weird things she would talk about. As for the rest of the characters I really liked Dalton. The crap he said and did throughout the book was extremely entertaining. I also really liked the real Lady Dorothea, which was one of the most surprising things for me since I thought she would have been spoiled and insufferable given her parents, but she was actually quite nice and I wish she had appeared in the novel more because I wanted to know so much more about her.

Overall, How the Duke Was Won was an impeccable historical romance novel. I loved it so much and I can't wait to read more by Lenora in the future especially the second book in this series.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

ARC Review: Magnate by Joanna Shupe

Title: Magnate

Author: Joanna Shupe

Synopsis:

New York City's Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one titan of industry, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city's "high society" types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that…

Elizabeth Sloane's mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York's most accomplished brokers--but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they'll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Magnate, the first full-length novel in Joanna Shupe's Knickerbocker Club series was a remarkable historical romance read. The story, the characters were all even better than I was expecting them to be from what I glimpsed in the novella, Tycoon. Elizabeth was a great historical romance heroine in that she was the complete opposite of what women were supposed to be like during that time period. She was intelligent and oh so determined to make her dreams of making money in the Stock Exchange a reality no matter what. And Emmett was also a really good historical romance character. There's just something about a man who has made something of himself from nothing that I just absolutely love. Also I really loved all the little things he did for his brother and his little sisters and that despite the fact that he wasn't so sure about helping Elizabeth at the beginning that he at least heard her out and gave her chance even though he expected her to fail.

The love story in this book was really great. I really don't know why, but pretty socialites being forced into marriage to preserve their reputations always really works for me and the way everything happened between Emmett and Elizabeth was particularly engrossing. I really loved getting to see these two fall in love with each other. It was absolutely wonderful and all the sweet moments between them left me absolutely giddy. Really the only complaint I had about their relationship was that Emmett didn't pull his head out of his ass quickly enough.

Anywho, this book was a really great historical romance. I usually prefer to stick to Regency romances when it comes to my historical romance reading, but this book was so good that I'm convinced that I need to start reading more historicals set in this time period starting with book two in this series later this year!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Over the Line by Lisa Desrochers (Review + Excerpt)


Happy release week to the second book in Lisa Desrocher's On the Run series, Over the Line!!!

Synopsis:

The USA Today bestselling author of Outside the Lines once again explores love on the edge in an explosive new romance about obsession, betrayal, and a killer attraction.

Lee Delgado never planned on falling in love with the irresistible Oliver Savoca, son of a Chicago crime lord. Considering that their families are rivals, she knew it could never work. And now that both their fathers have been nabbed on racketeering charges, any real chance at a future with the man she loves has been shot to hell. But a greater blow is yet to come.

Not only does Lee learn that a contract is out on her life, she has reason to believe that Oliver is behind the devastating betrayal. Now she’s working closely—very closely—with Federal Agent Sean Callahan to help bring her man down. But however she’s come to feel about Callahan, Lee is still deeply, hopelessly, unabashedly in love with Oliver.

Where that fearless love takes Lee next is beyond her control—but the risk is worth every beat of her heart.


Excerpt:

I want Lee to know, no matter where she goes, I will find her.

At the thought of her betrayal, rage rises up and wraps like an iron cloak around my heart, threatening to crush any bit of humanity left there. I close my eyes and hold my breath until it passes.

And I see her as she was before everything that came after—that first day of business law class at Kellogg, nearly two years ago.

She was starting her first year. I was in my second. I was already seated near Angela Bagglio, who I had a passing interest in due to her loose family ties to the Delgado organization. Her brother was a wise-guy wannabe, little more than a glorified gofer within the Delgado machine. But I’d discovered, sometimes it was the smallest details that led to the largest victories.

When Lee Delgado sashayed into the classroom, I’d like to say I was unaffected. I’d like to believe I was in complete control of everything that happened then and after.

But I’d be kidding myself.

Her bright hazel eyes surveyed the room, and when they caught for a second as they passed over me, I felt a shift in gravity itself. There were times reading nuances in expressions and actions was all that came between me and a slug in my head. That hitch in her perusal of the room left no doubt she was aware who I was.

From that second on, I was helpless to take my eyes off her.

Her sandy brown waves cascaded over the shoulders of her cream-colored silk blouse to an open collar that hung loose, revealing a hint of cleavage. Her burgundy pencil skirt hugged the round curves of her hips and ass and ended above the knee, giving me a glimpse of a pair of toned thighs and calves. She had a killer body and knew it. I had to respect a woman who knew her strengths and wasn’t afraid to use them to her advantage.

She took a seat in my row, but on the opposite side of the classroom. I was barely coherent when the professor started lecturing. I couldn’t tell you the first thing he said.

As she listened, she lifted a hand and combed through her waves with her fingers, separating out a strand and twirling it around her finger. A rush shuddered from my tailbone up my spine to my brain, and even though I had no clue why, that was the moment I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay away.

The rest, as they say, is history.

If she thinks she can hide from me, she’s got another thing coming.

Mob controlled gambling has always been a huge racket, with better payouts because we don’t pay taxes like the legal betting sites. Back in the day, bookies were involved and actual cash changed hands. Now nearly everything is electronic. Bets are collected directly from our clients’ online accounts and payouts are distributed back into them. Payout is calculated after each event based on outcome versus the spread. It’s one of the parts of my job that I truly enjoy. I’m always in the program, tweaking and modifying. But, suddenly, the week before Christmas, two days after Lee and I returned from our weekend in Aspen, I noticed the spread didn’t factor anymore and our payouts went through the roof. I thought maybe I’d screwed something up and tried to get into the program to check it. Ended up throwing my laptop against the wall when my pass code wouldn’t get me in.

It took me the next two days, and the fact that Lee wasn’t answering my texts or calls, to put together what had happened. Though I’m not sure exactly how she managed it, I know it had to have been her who hacked into my program and changed the payout ratios. I’ve looked at it from every angle and there are no other feasible possibilities. And it makes sense. I had an ulterior motive when we started hooking up, and I had no doubt she had one of her own. But as we got deeper into each other, things shifted and I lost focus. I let down my guard and gave her too much, and she took advantage of the opening.

I knew I wouldn’t be seeing her over the holidays because her siblings were all coming back to the family home in Wilmette, just outside of Chicago, for Christmas. It took me another day to decide I had no choice but to go there.

But when I got to the house, the place was swarming with cops and Feds, and yellow police tape was strung across the pillars at the front door. The reports the next day said it was believed the Delgados had fled to Europe after a “gangland style attack” on their home.

The online gambling leg of our business has been bleeding cash at the rate of nearly a hundred grand a month since Lee fucked with the program. Every month it gets worse as word spreads of our big payouts. The guy who designed and encrypted the program is dead; a casualty of my father’s wrath when he made the mistake of telling Victor he’d corrected a system glitch that had cost us a couple hundred grand over the first year of implementation. I’ve done everything I can to break Lee’s pass code, but considering the illegal nature of the account, and the fact that I couldn’t enlist anyone who might report back to Victor what happened, my resources to resolve the issue have been severely limited.

So I put my time and energy into another avenue. Finding Lee.

Like everyone else in Chicago, I assumed that my father was responsible for the contract on Lee and her family. I talked to his guys. Tried to see if any of them had a bead on the Delgados’ location. I couldn’t find anyone who was even looking.

So, as much as I dreaded it, I went straight to the source.

I was dead to my father. He’d made that clear. But that day, for the first time since I’d crossed him, Victor looked at me with pride in his eyes when he asked, “You purchase that special delivery for our friends up in Wilmette?”

And that’s when I knew it wasn’t us. It’s also when I knew I was a dead man unless I could find a way out of this mess on my own.

So I looked harder for Lee, dug a little deeper into the Delgado family tree. I didn’t find her, but I managed to stumble on some other useful information during my search. And then, finally, the stroke of luck that led me here: Rob showing up in Chicago.

I’ve been able to keep everything under the rug since she left, but underground betting has always been the Savoca business’s bread and butter. If Victor or anyone else in the organization discovers the hemorrhage of cash that our gambling ring has become, it’s my head my loving pop will want on a spike.

I told the guys I had some personal business in Vegas; gave Al a direct order to park his ass at my apartment and not to move until I got back. I took a flight to Vegas, and from there, traveled to Florida on an ID I pinched off of a guy we rolled in Little Italy for not making book. He’s dead now, courtesy of Al, so he won’t be divulging my alter ego to anyone.

My family doesn’t know this particular alias. They’d have a hard time tracking me. Once I find Lee, things should move pretty fast. But I have to find her first.

So here I am.


Buy Links:

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

I'm a diehard fan of Lisa Desrochers, so it is no surprise that I absolutely loved Over the Line. With that said the book was very different from what what was expecting. Based on the blurb I was expecting this story to be a complicated love triangle with Lee actively trying to bring Oliver down, but while Lee did have a second love interest in Wes, the story is really focused on Lee and Oliver and their unlikely romance.

And talking about that unlikely romance, I really loved it so much. While Lee and Oliver have a very complicated relationship thanks to their families bad history and the fact that Lee initiated her relationship with Oliver in order to sabotage his business, throughout the book you never doubt that these two are in love and that they are perfect for each other. This was mostly due to the fact that the story goes back and forth between the present and the past. Getting to see how their relationship started and how committed Oliver was to Lee from really early on really sold me on their relationship. And in regards to all the crazy stuff that was going on with them in the present, I really loved all the back and forth between them as they dealt with their issues and figured out if they could trust each other.

As much as I loved the romance in this book, the parts of the book not focused on the romance were all just as great, especially the parts that focused on how the Delgados were getting used to being in witness protection. The only thing I didn't like about this book was Wes. First off, he was kind of useless as a the person in charge of their relocation because he was completely out of the loop about everything Also I wasn't a fan of his romantic interest in Lee and didn't understand why she even humored him because he was just so bland in my opinion. Lol.

Overall, I really, really loved this book and it is by far my favorite of Lisa Desrochers books. It was such a great steamy romance with a good dose of suspense to keep things interesting and an HEA that was more than satisfying. I can't recommend this book enough!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Review: The Player by Kresley Cole

Title: The Player

Author: Kresley Cole

Synopsis:

In this searing stand-alone installment of the erotic Game Maker Series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings readers a tale of a man wracked with dark desires and the beautiful young woman who could sate him at last.

A madman with a shadowed past . . .
In the City of Sin, Dmitri Sevastyan finds her, Victoria Valentine--sexy, vulnerable, and in need of a protector. Obsession takes root deep inside him. Despite a history tainted with violation and betrayal, he will stop at nothing to possess her.

A grifter with nothing to lose . . .
Descended from a long line of con artists, twenty-three-year-old Victoria, a.k.a Vice, needs the score of a lifetime to keep her loved ones safe. She sets her sights on gorgeous and rich Dmitri Sevastyan. Even as the irresistible Russian toys with her body and mind, he tempts her heart.

Love is the ultimate wildcard.
When Vice and her associates maneuver Dmitri into a hasty Vegas wedding, he refuses to protect himself with a prenup, trusting her with all that he has. But can she trust him? As secrets unfold, the newlyweds share days of doubts and nights of the wickedest pleasures. Yet once Vice discovers her husband's past, will she stay to fight for her marriage or cut her losses and run?

***MY REVIEW***

5 out of 5 stars

The Player, the third book in Kresley Cole's Game Makers series, was an absolutely fantastic erotic romance. The book did start a bit slower than the previous books in this series, but once it picked up this book was phenomenal. 

Dmitri is by far my favorite of the Sevastyan brothers. He's has some serious issues he was dealing with thanks to the type of treatment he survived as a small boy, but his determination to get past it and be better and happy made me love him so much. His heroine, Victoria "Vice" Valentine, was also really great. I didn't know if I was gonna like her when I read the blurb initially, but she totally won me over throughout the book.  

As for the romance in this book, I feel like I should've been turned off by the fact that Dmitri was so desperately and obsessively in love with Vice, but it actually kind of worked for me especially when we get to end and can see the big picture of everything that happened. And in regards to Vice's part in the romance, I loved how much she actually loved Dmitri even though she spends most of the book trying to rationalize everything as just being another con job. Also going along with how she felt about Dmitri, I loved how understanding she was and not judgmental when he would reveal horrifying facts about his childhood and past. These two just really worked for me as a couple. Their romance took me for a whirlwind of emotion and I loved it so much.

I also really loved the fact that the plot was all just one big con. It was all so very exciting and thrilling. I don't usually find myself reading about con artists often and the ones I usually encounter are the antagonists instead of the heroes, but this book made me want to read more books with protagonist like this. Seriously, it was just so much fun and felt like a life-sized, real-life version of chess with all the pieces coming together. I just loved it so much especially when either Dmitri or Vice thought they were in control and then things would complete switch up on them. It was fantastic.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was such a satisfying erotic romance. While I had loved the pervious two books in this series I had had some issues with them, but with this book I really had no complaints. I loved it so much and I highly recommend it!

Friday, April 15, 2016

ARC Review: Best Friends with the Billionaire by Coleen Kwan

Title: Best Friends with the Billionaire

Author: Coleen Kwan

Synopsis:

Cassie Cooper has never been the kind of girl noticed for her looks. But around billionaire Kirk Rochester, her best friend from college, Cassie wishes she could turn just one head—his. So when Kirk asks her to be his pretend girlfriend to thwart another woman’s unwanted advances, Cassie embraces the opportunity to prove to him that she does have a feminine side.

Disillusioned by a rough marriage that had an even rougher end, Kirk values friendship more than romance. He’s always had a good thing going with Cassie. But he can’t ignore how sexy she is now playing the role of his girlfriend, and soon he’s fighting a dangerous attraction to her. Even though their time between the sheets is scorching hot, he refuses to take it beyond “friends with benefits.” He’s learned the hard way that loving someone is the first step to destroying his heart, and he won’t risk losing the best person in his life by falling in love with her.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

2 out of 5 stars

This is the second book by Coleen Kwan that I have read and while I liked the other book (Unexpectedly Yours) that I read by her well enough, I just couldn't really get into Best Friends with the Billionaire. I'm all for friends-to-lovers and fake relationship romances, but I found this book kind of meh. While it was well-written and the sex scenes were really steamy, I just wasn't able to buy into Cassie and Kirk as a couple. In my opinion I just didn't see a connection between the two of them and as a result I wasn't able to find their love for each other believable. But while I wasn't a fan of the romance in the book, I did like the overall flow of the book and as I said already it had some really hot sex scenes. Also, I really liked Cassie's character, although I wish she would have been a little more confident in her size and looks instead of always worrying about her mother and sister's idea of beauty. All-in-all this book was just not the book for me, but based on the aspects of it that I did like I can totally see others loving it.

ARC Review: Seducing the Fireman by Jennifer Bonds

Title: Seducing the Fireman

Author: Jennifer Bonds

Synopsis:

Firefighter Jackson Hart is back in Brooklyn and on the hunt for the girl who’s kept him burning for ten long years. The girl he left, in a total prick move, without saying goodbye. Now he’s determined to make it right, to hell with her three-date rule.

But Becca’s not ready to forgive and forget. In fact, she seems determined to stoke his fire every chance she gets. She wants to avoid sexy distractions like him? Fine. Because what she doesn’t know—yet—is that Jax isn’t the kind of man to give up when he wants something. And he always gets what he wants.



***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

So I got to admit I requested an ARC of Seducing the Fireman on a whim, but thankfully once again one of my whims paid off and this book ended up being such a hot romance! I absolutely loved this book! Jackson and Becca were two very fun characters to read about. Jax was the type of alpha male hero that makes me love Entangled's Brazen imprint so much while Becca was strong and independent and made the hero work for her heart. And on top of Jax and Becca just being great characters, their romance was completely off the charts sexually, but at the same time there was so much more to their romance than just sex. These two had history and that history plays a big part in this story that adds an extra emotional element that I really loved. I also loved that their history and the way that things were left between the two of them 10 years before caused this back and forth playfulness between them as Jax tried to win Becca over while she tried her best to resist him. It was just all so much fun and I enjoyed reading this book so much. While I hadn't been familiar with Jennifer Bonds beforehand this book has definitely made me a fan and I can't wait until I can get my hands on some more of her books because if they are anything like Seducing the Fireman I am going to be in romance book heaven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle

This week my pick for "Waiting on Wednesday" is Gone Too Deep by Katie Ruggle!!!

Synopsis:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

George Holloway has spent his life alone, exploring the treacherous beauty of the Colorado Rockies. He’s the best survival expert Search and Rescue has, which makes him the obvious choice to lead Ellie Price through deadly terrain to find her missing father. There’s just one problem—Ellie’s everything George isn’t. She’s a city girl, charming, gregarious, delicate, small. And when she looks up at him with those big, dark eyes, he swears he would tear the world apart to keep her safe.

With a killer on the loose, he may have no choice.

Ellie’s determined to find her father no matter the cost. But as she and her gorgeous mountain of a guide fight their way through an unforgiving wilderness, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a dangerous man in search of revenge. And they are now his prey…

Gone Too Deep releases August 2, 2016!

Why I'm waiting:

Gone Too Deep is the third book in one of my all-time favorite romantic suspense series so there is not real surprise that I'm anxiously awaiting it's August release. Based on where the author left things at the end of Fan the Flames I'm dying to know what's going to happen next in this small town in Colorado especially in regards to the HDG case. Also, I'm just really excited that this is George's book. Out of all the Search & Rescue members he's the one we know the least about, so I can't wait to get to know more about him. So, yeah, it needs to be August already!

So what are some books you all can't wait for?

***"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.***

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Virtual Tour: Off the Hook by Laura Drewry (Review + Excerpt)


Happy release day to Off the Hook, the first book in the Fishing for Trouble series, by Laura Drewry!!!

Synopsis:

Welcome to The Buoys, a West Coast haven where love comes in with the tide. Perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, the Fishing for Trouble series features three unforgettable brothers—each of whom is a great catch.



Major league pitcher Liam O’Donnell knows his best days are probably behind him, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire and become a fishing guide. Still, after all the time he’s spent chasing his dreams, he owes it to his brothers to pull his weight around the lodge. The Buoys is their father’s legacy, and they can’t let some developer take it from them. The one snag Liam isn’t counting on is a blast from the past: his ex-wife.



The moment Kate Hadley steps out of the seaplane, she knows this assignment is going to be trickier than she thought. She has to persuade the owners to sell—and one of them is Liam O’Donnell. Ten years ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life when she married Liam during a fling in Vegas. Now he’s her only lifeline in the middle of nowhere. Kate’s trying to keep things cool, but Liam just reminds her of the scorching few nights they spent together—and tempts her to make new memories that are just as steamy as the old.

Excerpt:

They were almost to her cabin when she shocked the hell out of him by slipping her hand under his arm and nudging his shoulder with hers.

“You’re still a hotshot pitcher, you know. Don’t talk about that in the past tense.”

Liam blinked hard, then leaned in and pressed a slow kiss against her cheek. Half an inch, that’s how close he was to those soft, warm lips he remembered all too well, but no matter how much he ached to taste them again, he forced himself to pull back and smile down at her.

Besides his agent—who didn’t count, because Liam paid him to say it—Kate was the first and only one to even suggest he might have something left, and if she’d said it any other time or any other way, he might not have believed she was sincere.

But looking at her now, with her foot up on the porch, ready to go inside, there wasn’t the slightest trace of doubt in her eyes, just those damn bits of amber flickering like little beacons.

“I, uh . . .” Blowing out a hard breath, Liam shoved both hands through his hair, locked his fingers together, and took a step back. “I better go. It’d really screw things up here if we woke up married tomorrow.”

“Right. Good thinking,” she said, her mouth curling into a slow, knowing smile. “’Cause I promise you this, I won’t be nearly as nice the next time you divorce me.”


About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author, Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Author Links:

Buy Links:

Giveaway:


***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Off the Hook, the first book in Laura Drewry's Fishing for Trouble series, was such a wonderful contemporary romance. I went into this book with almost no expectations since I knew almost nothing about this author beforehand and I was completely floored by how much I ended up loving Kate and Liam's love story. The author delivered such a lovely second chance romance that is easily one of my top five favorites. It was everything I loved in a romance in that it was both sweet and sexy as well fun and emotional and I couldn't get enough

But as much as I loved the sweet and sexy romance, the thing I loved the most about this book was just the characters in general. And I'm not just talking about the main characters, but Liam's brothers, Ronan and Finn, as well as Jessie were just so awesome and I loved reading about them. Especially when it came to all their interactions. It was very clear and evident that they all really loved each other despite all of their passed issues with the brothers's father's drinking problem and subsequent death as well with the fact that they where about to lose the fishing lodge that was so important to all of them. Also in terms of the O'Donnells almost losing their lodge to Kate's shady boss, I just really loved how they dealt with it and the part that Kate played in the whole situation. Seriously, the way that Kate helped them in the end was one of those moments in romance books where I wished I could enter the book and high-five the heroine because what she did was really awesome. Another aspect of the story that I also really enjoyed was the focus on Liam trying to restart his career as a major league pitcher, although it was a little bittersweet in the end.

Overall, this book was an unforgettable contemporary romance and a great start to fun, feel-good series. I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to see what this author has in store for us next with this series.

Monday, April 11, 2016

ARC Review: Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson

Title: Leveling the Field

Author: Megan Erickson

Synopsis:

Reclusive magazine exec Ethan Talley is furious when his business partner hires a photographer—a gorgeous photographer who insists on speaking her mind, damn it—to take pictures for an upcoming article. No matter how badly he wants the woman…under him, over him, against the nearest wall…he has reasons for not wanting to be on camera anymore, and his scars are only one of them.

It takes approximately two seconds for Lissa Kingsman to recognize Ethan as the popular YouTube gamer who fell off the planet years ago. But this Ethan is different than the charming man she used to watch, and the crush she had on him then is nothing compared to the way she’s lusting after the brooding man he is today. If sex is all he can give her, fine. Why not use that bearskin rug in her studio for something other than a prop? But she’s determined to put a chink in his armor, no matter how much he resists.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Leveling the Field, the fourth and final book in Megan Erickson's Gamers series was the book I was looking forward to most in this series and Megan delivered an almost flawless romance that met all of my expectations for Ethan's book.

I absolutely loved the heroine Lissa. She was everything I loved about a Megan Erickson heroine and it was impossible for me not to like her. And obviously I loved Ethan. Since he was first introduced in book one I've been dying to get into his head and being in his head was even better than I thought it was going to be. That along with the way he was with Lissa gave me so much LIFE. I was so invested in their relationship from the moment that Lissa saw him walking into Gamers from the window. Their romance was all kinds of steamy and I really got a kick out of the glitter scene in her office, but what I really loved the most about their relationship was the emotional connection and how they could fully understand the reason why they each did certain things because they had both lost a sibling in the past and where dealing with the guilt over their perceived roles in the deaths.

Anywho, while a lot of Leveling the Field deals with the characters learning to move on and come to terms with their siblings' deaths, the book isn't all dark and gloomy. A lot of the book is actually really happy and hopeful and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside because Lissa and Ethan were so amazing together.

But while I loved this book to pieces, one complaint that I had was that I felt that some of the drama that happened in the book felt kind of unnecessary. I won't go into it too much for spoiler reasons, but I'll just say that I found Lissa reasons for not telling Ethan about her photo project kind of dumb. She was really setting herself up for disaster and I was actually with Ethan on that one. Although, I did find some of the things he said after the fact a little harsh but the way he made it up to her at the end was so wonderful that I got over it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. And while I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters, I was really satisfied with how Megan left everything. It truly was the perfect ending to such fun contemporary romance series.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

ARC Review: To Win Her Heart by Mackenzie Crowne

Title: To Win Her Heart

Author: Mackenzie Crowne

Synopsis:

In order to protect her, they’ll both have to let their guards down…

Country music’s It Girl Jessi Tucker is fed up with her family’s stifling security measures. The threat of a dangerous stalker has gotten the men in her life—including her football star cousin, Tuck Tucker—monitoring her every move. To get the freedom she yearns for, Jessi hatches a plan to recruit Max Grayson, Tuck’s sexy brawler best friend, to play the role of her new boyfriend. But if her scheme works, will she be forced to hide her true romantic feelings for the sake of her independence? Or will she finally steal the heart of her dream man?...

Max has been pining for Jessi for years and would do anything to protect her, but a professional cage fighter with too many skeletons in his closet has no business being with one of America’s sweethearts. Yet while Max does his best to keep Jessi at arm’s length, the Tucker family persuades him to accept her offer.

Max believes he can keep Jessi safe from danger, but can he shelter her from his own dark secrets, the media’s unforgiving spotlight—and a mutual desire that’s harder to resist each day…

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

To Win Her Heart is by far my favorite book in this series so far! Jessi and Max's story was absolutely wonderful and I actually have no complaints about this book at all. Seriously, this book was absolutely flawless.

Jessi and Max were both really, really good together. I thought that I would be a little bit put off by the fact that he only agreed to be her "fake" boyfriend because her father asked him to keep an eye on her because of the creepy fan mail she was getting, but I kind of liked that that was how their relationship unfolded. I say this because while Max originally agreed to the arrangement to keep her safe, while he was pretending to be her boyfriend he really put her first in all things including making it possible for her to finally relax and giving her a little nudge to finally realize what she really wanted to do with her life. Also it was more believable for Max to agree to the arrangement for her safety than anything else because of the type of character he was and it also allowed for their relationship to evolve more naturally and believably as they spent more time together despite all of Max's hang-ups caused by his despicable grandmother.

And talking about Max's horrible grandmother, I really loved how the characters especially Jessi dealt with that situation. I won't say exactly what she did because of spoilers but I totally wanted to high five Jessi because of what she did for Max. That along with what she did at the end of the book to get Max to realize how much she loved him was absolutely glorious and made her my favorite character in this entire series. Aside from the grandma drama, I also really liked the creepy fan mail storyline. It could have been a bit more developed in my opinion, but I really liked that I was completely blind-sided by who ended up being behind the messages.

But as much as I loved Jessi and Max as a couple, the biggest highlight for me in this book was all of their interactions with the couples from previous books because I always love to get see couples after they get HEA. So seeing Gracie and Jake and CC and Tuck so blissfully married made me so happy.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading To Win Her Heart. Mac completely hit it out of the park with this book and I loved it so much!

Friday, April 8, 2016

ARC Review: Summer's Road by Kelly Moran

Title: Summer's Road

Author: Kelly Moran

Synopsis:

After her father's death, Summer Quinn is alone in the world. With no family to fill the void, she finds comfort among friends. But her boyfriend wants to take their relationship to the next level, and suddenly there's an unexpected attraction building between her and her best friend, Ian Memmer--a man who's never settled for one woman. And now her estranged mother has reappeared. As secrets from her family's past and Ian's true feelings emerge, she's faced with choices she's not sure she can make. Happiness hinges on forgiveness and opening herself to love, even if it's not where she expected to find it.



***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars

This book took me a little while to finish because I was in a weird mood, but even with the weird mood I was in I still really enjoyed Summer's Road. It was a really good friends to lovers romance and I loved reading about Summer and Ian. They were both really good characters and you could tell from the very beginning that they were meant to be together even though Summer was in a relationship with Matt at the beginning. All their interactions were just so natural and easy and for a while I couldn't understand why Summer never thought of Ian in a romantic way before. But regardless of that thought of mine, I really liked the way the romance between them developed. I'm usually not a fan of love triangles especially when the other guy is also so wonderful, but looking back on it it was all necessary for Summer to get to where she needed to be in order to get her HEA with Ian. Plus, I hear that Kelly is going to give Matt his own HEA soon, so that makes me happy.

The rest of the plot which focused on Summer still trying to come to terms with her father's death and the reappearance of her mother after so many years was also really good. And the biggest highlight for me in this book was the way that the author went back and forth between the past and the present. It made the story a lot more satisfying to get to see how Summer and Ian's relationship progressed from when they were children as well as how effected Summer was by growing up without a mother and then losing her father to cancer. Getting to see those scenes on the page gave the story that extra emotion that made this story enjoyable for me as a reader and so I'm so happy that Kelly wrote the book this way instead of strictly sticking to the present storyline.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a really nice romantic, emotional read and books like this are why Kelly Moran is one of my favorite romance authors.

ARC Review: Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Title: Fan the Flames

Author: Katie Ruggle

Synopsis:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath—and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she’s managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war—with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

I have to start off this review by saying that I was not supposed to read this book for at least another month, but after finishing reading Hold Your Breath, I couldn't not read Fan the Flames immediately since I had an advanced copy of it. Now that I've read it I got to say that Fan the Flames was worth pushing back all the other books I had to read by a couple of days because Ian and Rory's story was even better than Hold Your Breath.

Rory was a really interesting character because of her background. She was very different from all the other heroines I've encountered in romantic suspense novels and that uniqueness is what made me love her so much. She was strong and feisty as one has to be when they sell guns for a living, but she was also very inexperienced and vulnerable when it came to typical social situations and relationships and that contrast in her character was one of the best parts of this story. Her love interest, Ian, was your typical alpha male and had a lot of complicated shit going on his life that kept him interesting, but as much as I love a good alpha male, what I loved the most about his character was how he was with Rory and how understanding he was of her quirks. It's what really sold me on him because it would have been so easy for him to just think she was cuckoo and try to change her, but instead he embraced her differences and changed things about his way of living to accommodate her, which was really sweet. As with the previous book, the romance in this book was really slow burning and once again I really loved that because it not only builds up the reader's anticipation for them to finally go all in together, but it also allows for the reader to really see that these two characters are absolutely perfect together and makes the HEA in this book so much more satisfying.

In regards to the suspenseful plot I really enjoyed how the author advanced the HDG investigation. It was a little frustrating thanks to some developments, but overall I love how everything is progressing on that front. I also really enjoyed the storyline focusing on the MC that Ian is a part of and how Rory and Ian ended up in the middle of some really crazy shit. Once again Katie Ruggle delivered a thrilling, heart racing story that had me on the edge of my seat and I absolutely loved it.

Overall, as I said already I loved this book even more than the previous book. I already thought that Hold Your Breath was flawless, but somehow Katie Ruggle managed to outdo herself with Fan the Flames. It truly was wonderful and with it Katie has become an auto-buy author for me!

ARC Review: Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle

Title: Hold Your Breath 

Author: Katie Ruggle

Synopsis:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

I got a small taste of this world when I read an ARC of the prequel novella late last year, which I loved, that had me anxious to read Hold Your Breath, but with that said I was still completely blown away by how much I loved this book. For a debut author, Katie Ruggle delivered a flawless romantic suspense novel.

This book that follows ice rescue dive team members, Callum and Lou had my heart racing from the very beginning with everything that was going on. Seriously, the storyline following the investigation of the headless corpse found in the frozen water, which Lou nicknamed the HDG along with the mystery of who was stalking Lou throughout the story was absolutely thrilling and had me on my edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I pride myself on being able to to figure who is the culprit before the characters figure it out, but I honestly was kind of surprised by who Lou's stalker was. As for the HDG investigation, I'm not even going to try to guess who the killer is because their are so many possibilities and because of that I'm kind of happy that the author didn't wrap up that investigation in this book and that instead that investigation is going to be ongoing throughout the series.

But as much as I loved the suspenseful plot this book is a romantic suspense, so at it's center was a really great romance. The romance between Lou and Callum was really slow burning and it was so good. I loved that the author took the time to build a connection between these two characters as Callum helped Lou with her stalker situation and her independent investigation of the HDG. When I read On His Watch, I wasn't sure if I thought Lou and Callum would be a good couple, but based on how the author tackled their relationship, as I already stated, had me riding the Lou and Callum romance train by the end. Seriously, these two were absolutely PERFECT together.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book so much. It really was a flawless romantic suspense novel and I just know I'm gonna get annoying recommending it to all of my reader friends. Lol.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

ARC Review: Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

Title: Luck is No Lady

Author: Amy Sandas

Synopsis:

“You should not have kissed me,” she replied breathlessly.
“I do a lot of things I shouldn’t. It does not mean I won’t do them again.”

Gently bred Emma Chadwick always assumed she’d live and die the daughter of a gentleman. But when her father’s death reveals a world of staggering debt and dangerous moneylenders, she must risk her good name and put her talent for mathematics to use, taking a position as bookkeeper at London’s most notorious gambling hell. Surrounded by vice and corruption on all sides, it is imperative no one discovers Emma’s shameful secret or her reputation—and her life—will be ruined.

But Roderick Bentley, the hell’s sinfully wealthy owner, awakens a hunger Emma cannot deny. Drawn deep into an underworld of high stakes gambling and reckless overindulgence, she soon discovers that in order to win the love of a ruthless scoundrel, she will have to play the game...and give in to the pleasure of falling from grace.

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Despite the fact that I had never read a book by this author I was really excited for this book solely because I loved the cover, but I got to say now that I have read Luck is No Lady judging a book by it's cover totally worked out for me because this book was AMAZING! I loved this book so much. Emma and Roderick are currently my favorite historical romance couple at the moment. Both of them were so great. Emma was such an independent character who got shit done which made me love her so much. Although, I did get annoyed with the fact that she believed that she wasn't allowed to find her own husband and instead focused all her time on her sisters. And while the hero, Roderick, was the type of hero you can usually expect in a historical romance he still stood out for me in this book making him particularly memorable.

In regards to the romance in this book, Emma and Roderick worked perfectly for each other. I loved everything about their romance and how it developed from their first meeting while hiding behind curtains at a party to Emma working for him at the gambling hell to them finally realizing they are the ones for each other and living happily ever after. Seriously, I loved it every second of the love story in the book. It was the best.

Aside from the romance, I also really liked the part of the plot that focused on the money that Emma needed to pay back thanks to her father's gambling debts. I really liked the way it was resolved and the way that Roderick helped out the Chadwick sisters. But as much as I liked this part of the story it did leave me with some questions in the end that I am praying are answered in the next couple of books in this series because I'm really intrigued.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really awesome historical romance read that I know for a fact I'm going to end up re-reading time and time again because I really did just love Emma and Roderick so much. And now that I have discovered Amy Sandas's awesome books I can't wait to read some more of her writing in particular the next two book in this series when they are released.

ARC Review: Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

Title: Fortune Favors the Wicked

Author: Theresa Romain

Synopsis:

Indecently Lucky

As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board--and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything--and everyone--he's experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…


When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict's--and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they'll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they've always dreamed of for a love they've never known…

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

Fortune Favors the Wicked was such a breath of fresh air for me. Usually when I read historical romance novels we have rakish heroes and pure innocent heroines, but in this book we have a heroine who used to be a courtesan and a hero who is blind. Charlotte and Benedict were so different from what I'm used to, but that is what made me love reading about them.

As well as just loving Charlotte and Benedict as the main characters, I just really just loved the plot of this historical romance. The story which centered around Charlotte and Benedict trying to find stolen coins while Charlotte is also having to deal with her second identity as a courtesan being at risk of being revealed thanks to an old lover who just wouldn't take no for answer was all really interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat.

But as much as I loved the characters and treasure hunting plot the thing I loved most about this book was obviously the romance. The romance was a slow burning one and it was just so perfect in my opinion. The author built up the anticipation beautifully and by the end I was absolutely ecstatic when Charlotte and Benedict found a way to be together despite all of the obstacles that they had to deal with throughout the story.

Also I think I should mention that I really liked the little bits of the story that were dedicated to Benedict's sister and his friend that was checking in on her and set up what I'm assuming is going to happen in the sequel. She reveals enough about them to get you really excited for what's to come without giving to much away about what's to come.

Anywho, overall, I really loved this book. It was another example as to why I love this sub-genre of romance so much and I can't recommend Charlotte and Benedict's story enough.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ARC Review: The Unforgettable Hero by Valerie Bowman

Title: The Unforgettable Hero

Author: Valerie Bowman

Synopsis:

To escape a forced marriage to her loathsome, social-climbing cousin, Cecelia Harcourt banks on selling a romantic novel. But when she's hit by a coach on the way home from meeting a potential publisher and loses her memory, the accident leads to an encounter with a fascinating man. . . who she's convinced is the hero of her novel.

Due to his brother's influence, Lieutenant Adam Hunt finds himself honorably discharged from the army. Adam intends to make his way in the world without the help of a war-hero duke, brother or no. He finds his plans for independence sidetracked by a chance encounter with a lady whose memory has gone. She believes he's a hero. Can Adam become the man he was meant to be and fill that lofty role?

***MY REVIEW***

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

5 out of 5 stars

I have been dying to get around to reading a Valerie Bowman book and since The Unforgettable Hero is just a novella it seemed like the perfect book to start with and I wasn't let down. This book was such a fun historical romance. It's such a short and quick read, but it was still a very satisfying story. I loved reading about Cecelia and Adam and the unlikely romance that developed between them when he helped her after she got hit by a coach and lost her memory. I had originally thought when I read the blurb for this book that the memory loss story would be a little far-fetched because Cecelia ends up believing that she and Adam are character in her novel, but it actually worked really well and I was kind of sad when she regained her memory relatively quickly because I kind of wanted to see how long Adam, his brother, and his sister-in-law would be able to play along as the doctor ordered. 

And talking about Cecelia regaining her memory, I was kind of upset by the way Adam reacted once he learned who she really was thanks to some misinterpreted words from her sister. He was really harsh on Cecelia and I should have let her explain her situation before directing accusations at her, but thankfully he had some sense kicked into him and the way he went after her to tell her how he felt at the end left me feeling all giddy. 

Anywho, overall, I really loved this novella in Valerie Bowman's Playful Brides series. It was such a cute historical romance and the perfect read of this author's for me to have started with because it has made me want to read all of her other books ASAP!

Excerpt Reveal: Dirty by Kylie Scott


Synopsis:

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.



Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and
cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.



Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.



After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

Excerpt:

Heavy footsteps roused me from my stupor. I don’t know how long exactly I’d been sitting in the bathtub, staring off at nothing, pondering the catastrophe my life had become. Couldn’t have been too long since sunlight still lit the room.

The footsteps came closer and closer. And then they entered the room. Oh, shit. I froze, not even daring to breathe. There was a loud yawn, followed by the cracking of joints. Then a large hand reached in beside the closed shower curtain and turned on the tap. A torrent of ice cold water poured down. It was like a billion itty-bitty knives stabbing at my skin. All of the scratches and raw patches from earlier stung like shit. I gritted my teeth, shoulders hiked up to around my ears as if that would provide any protection.

Yep, I sat there, all huddled up, listening to the man take a leak.

Awesome. Just plain awesome.

Wasn’t like I could jump out and interrupt the man midflow. And say what? I knew this was not a good situation to get caught in.

1. I’d basically broken into this guy’s house.
2. And had then gone on making myself right at home, having a messy emotional breakdown in his bathtub.

Normal, rational people didn’t do this sort of thing. I didn’t even have a criminal record, had never particularly done anything outlandish or interesting until now. This was all Chris’s fault, the bastard. I’d just have to make the best of it and hope this guy had a sense of humor.

Just as the water began to warm, he flushed the john and freezing cold water drenched me anew. I’d been about to open my mouth and announce my presence, but that put an end to that. Needles of icy cold water pelted down on my skin. I fucking froze. Teeth gritted, I suppressed a squeal of pain and rage.

Then the shower curtain flew back.

“Shit!” The man was very tall, very naked, and very surprised. He stumbled back a step, a hand clutching at the bench behind him, eyes furious and wide. “What the hell?”

Good question.

I opened my mouth, closed it. Language skills had apparently abandoned me. In total silence, the man and I stared at each other.

Even with no clothing to take cues from, the dude was clearly the epitome of cool. He looked about my age, or maybe a little older. He had longish red-blond hair, dark blue eyes set in an angular face, a lean but muscular torso covered in tattoos, and a rather large cock. Not that I meant to check him out, it’s just kind of hard to ignore a penis and scrotum when they’re dangling right in front of your face. I tilted my head, trying to get some perspective. Every viewpoint, however, was equally shocking. There was dick as far as the eye could see.

And I should stop ogling him. Right.

“Hi.” With a calm I didn’t even vaguely feel, I reached up and turned off the tap. Much better. His monster penis had momentarily derailed me, but I was back on track now. Time to talk myself out of this mess. “Hey.”

“What the fuck are you doing in my house?” he asked flatly.

“Right. Well . . .” I neatly tucked my dripping-wet shoulder-length blond hair back behind my ears. As if that would help. My winged eyeliner and false lashes were probably halfway down my cheeks. “I, um, I . . .”

“You what?”

“I’m Lydia,” I said, the first thing to come to mind.

No reply. His handsome face, however, took on a distinctly pissy expression. Even his strawberry-blond hair seemed a fiery hue. Fine, so we weren’t swapping names and getting cozy. Fair enough. You wouldn’t believe how hard it was, keeping my eyes on his face. The struggle was real. It might have been due to my not seeing one in so long, but his dick seemed almost hypnotic. The thing had magical powers, I swear. It was so big and mobile, subtly swaying every time he moved. My gaze kept darting down despite my best efforts.

Finally he put me out of my misery, grabbing a towel off a nearby rack and wrapping it around his waist. It made for quite the hot-looking miniskirt. Not just any man could have pulled off such a look.
But back to my explanations.

“Ah, firstly, I’d just like to say sorry about this.” I waved a hand at him and his bathroom and, well everything, really. “For any inconvenience I might have caused here in your bathroom.”

The guy stood tall, looming over me with his hands on hips. Tattoos covered his arms to his wrists. Still, he had a whole lot of sinew on show. Definitely not the kind of man you’d want to mess with. Dude could probably snap me in half in a second. I bet he was a tattoo model, or a biker, or a pirate, or something. Something a lot hot and more than a little scary.

Shit. I really should have chosen another house.

“I don’t normally break into people’s places and hide out in their tub,” I babbled, on the verge of incoherency. “So I’m really sorry. Seriously. So very sorry. But you’ve got a lovely home.”

“That so?”

“Not that, I mean, that’s not why I’m here. I just . . .” Fucking hell, my mind was a disaster. I took a deep breath, letting it out nice and slow, before trying again. “I love the old Arts and Crafts bungalows, don’t you? They have such soul.”

His brows drew tight. “Are you high? What the fuck are you on?”

“Nothing!”

“You haven’t been popping any pills or snorting something?”

“No, I swear.”

“Nothing to drink?”

“I haven’t had anything,” I said, but the suspicion and anger still lined his face. Paired with the stubble on his chin and the shadows beneath his eyes, my unwilling host was one tired, cranky man. Couldn’t really blame him.

“So you’re completely sober,” he said.

“Completely.”

A pause.

“You’re thinking I’m bat-shit crazy now, aren’t you?” I asked, despite the answer sitting plain as day on his pretty face.

“Pretty much, yeah.”

Oh, god. “I’m not. I’m sane.”

“You sure about that?” He looked down the long line of his nose at me, distinctly unimpressed. “Seen a lot of weird shit in my years. Stuff like you wouldn’t believe. But I got to tell you, right now, this . . . you, are taking the cake.”

“Great.” And I was so definitely probably going to jail. Someone ought to give me a cookie. My ability to take a bad situation and make it worse today was amazing.

“You touch any of my stuff?” he asked. “Take anything?”

“Yes, your sofa is cunningly hidden down the front of my dress. You won’t believe where I fit the TV.”

Again, his eyes narrowed dangerously. “Between you and me, probably not the time to be funny, babe.”

Crap. “Sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. You have every right to be mad.”

“Damn right, I do.”

I nodded, contrite. “I haven’t touched any of your things.”

The dude just stood there, staring. Lots going on behind his eyes. None of which I could read.
A stray tear trickled down my face. It must have saved itself up just for the occasion. Gah. How pathetic. I sniffled, brushing it off hurriedly with the back of my hand.

“Fuck’s sake,” he muttered.

“I really am sorry about this. The truth is, I just needed somewhere to hide for a little while. I didn’t mean to freak you out.”

He sighed. It wasn’t a happy sound. “Lydia?”

“Yes?” Despite my best efforts, my voice trembled slightly.

“Look at me.”

I did so. He still looked cranky and crazy cool while I remained a hot mess.

“I’m Vaughan,” he said.

“Hi.”

He tipped his chin and silence fell between us once more.

With the tip of his tongue rubbing at his upper lip, he looked at the wide open window, and then back at me. Yep, that’s how I’d gotten in. Houdini had nothing on my mad skills.

“What are you doing in my house, Lydia? The truth.”

“It’s kind of a long story, actually.” Along with being excruciatingly embarrassing. But then, what wasn’t about this day?

Vaughan crossed his arms over his wide chest and waited me out while I fussed with my ruined skirts and tried to come up with a way to spin the story to not make me look a complete fool. Christ, the holes in my stockings were huge. On one side, my entire foot stuck out. So screwed.

Vaughan crouched by the side of the tub, resting his arms on the side. Up close the shadows under his eyes seemed even bigger and darker against his pale skin. And there were bags big enough to use as carry-ons. Despite the strong lines of his lean face, the man looked done-in. Ready to sleep for a hundred years.

I knew that feeling.

“Looks like a wedding dress,” he said quietly.

“Yes, it is. I was going to get married today.” I took a deep breath, wiping my face with my hands. Just as expected, my palms came away smeared with black eye makeup. “Ah, boy. I must look a wreck.”

Without comment, Vaughan reached out and grabbed a towel, handing it to me. It was sort of threadbare, old. Dated like the rest of the house. I hadn’t seen more than one room, but real estate agents got a feel for these sort of things. Minimal upkeep for the past five or so years would have been my guess. Perhaps it’d even been left empty. Bushes out front hid the house from view, so I’d never gotten a good look at it before.

“Thank you.” I patted myself dry with the towel as best I could. What remained of my beautiful dress was a sopping wet ruin. “I’m sorry I broke into your house, Vaughan. I swear I don’t normally do this sort of thing.”

“No,” he said, his voice deep. “Figured as much. Where’d you come from?”

“The big house at the back.”

His brow wrinkled. “You climbed over the fence?”

“Yes.”

Tired, red-tinged eyes appraised me anew. “That’s a tall fence. Must have been one hell of an emergency.”

“It was a disaster.”

For a long moment he studied me, deep in thought. Then he sighed yet again, climbing to his feet.
“Are you going to call the cops on me?” I asked, my throat tight with tension. “I know you have every right to, I’m not disputing that. I’d just, I’d like to know. Mental preparation and all that.”

“No. I’m not.”

“Thank you. I appreciate that.” My whole body sagged in relief.

Then he clapped his hands together, startling the crap out of me. “Okay, Lydia. Here’s what we’re going to do.”

“Yes?”

“I arrived late this morning, have only had a few hours sleep. If I don’t get some coffee soon, things are going to get ugly. And you probably need to get dried off.” With no fuss, he held out his hand. “Let’s get shit sorted out. Then we can sit down and you can tell me the long story of how the hell you ended up in my house. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” I said, voice lightening.

He pulled me up. Then, with strong hands on my waist, lifted me out of the tub. Immediately water started dripping off of my saturated dress, pooling on the scuffed wooden flooring at my feet. Chris would have been distinctly unimpressed. Chris didn’t like messes. But as Vaughan didn’t seem to care, neither did I.

“You’re really not going to call the police?” I asked.

“No. Hold still,” he said, carefully plucking a fake eyelash from my cheek.

“Thank you.”

“Your dress is kind of fucked.” He looked me over from top to toe.

“I know,” I said sadly.

“I’ll leave you to get changed.”

“Wait. Please. I can’t get out of it on my own.”

More frowning.

“It’s vintage,” I explained with a grim face. “There’s no zip, just a line of little buttons up the back.”
“’Course there is.” Without another word, he turned me around and got started in on said buttons. As he worked, he hummed beneath his breath, the song vaguely familiar.

“Aren’t you still mad?” I asked, perplexed.

“Nuh.”

“But I broke into your house.”

“Window was open.”

“I still trespassed.”

Busy fingers kept working on undoing the dress. “You sat in the tub and cried because some dickhead fucked you over.”

That shut me up.

“Or that’s what I’m assuming, given the dress and all. I take it he’s the one that gave you that shiner on your cheek?”

“No. No one hit me. And yes, you assumed right about the being fucked over.” I tried to look back at him, but I couldn’t see a thing beyond my wild-ass hair. Impressive how it’d survived the shower. The stylist clearly knew her shit.

“You sure no one hit you?” He did not sound convinced.

“Yes. I lost my grip and hit the floor when I was climbing in the window. My home invasion skills need work.”

“I’d suggest you try a different career.” He finished with the buttons and took a step back, scratching his head. “You okay with the dress now?”

“Yes, thank you,” I told his reflection in the mirror. “For everything, I mean.”

“Sure.” He almost smiled and gave a small shake of the head as if he couldn’t quite believe what was going on. Or maybe it was disbelief that he wasn’t kicking me straight back out the window through whence I’d come.

Lord knows, it’d shocked the shit out of me.

He turned toward the door. “See you out there.”

About the Author:


Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

Author Links:


Are you ready to get Dirty?  
Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar Series.  
Meet Vaughn & Lydia on April 19th!

Pre-order your copy of DIRTY here:
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1MetF1F