Review – Handle With Care by Helena Hunting

 

New York Times bestselling author of SHACKING UP and I FLIPPING LOVE YOU Helena Hunting mixes humor and heart in this scandal-filled romantic comedy.

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.
Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman.

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.
Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

Buy Handle With Care Today

 

Excerpt

Scroll to the bottom of this post for an Excerpt of Chapter One in Handle With Care.

 

BFF K’s Review of Handle With Care

There are few tropes I like as well as the rough and gruff jerk turned sweetheart and Handle with Care is the blueprint for how to do this storyline justice! To say that Lincoln is rough around the edges would be a gross understatement. But, when Wren is assigned as his handler she vows to turn him into the camera-ready CEO that his company needs. Along the way they find that while Lincoln isn’t perfect, he’s a perfect fit for Wren.

Lincoln is rough around the edges. He’s harsh and cynical. He has ZERO interest in staying in the city and even less interest in taking over his family’s business. This family has more issues than all of the magazines their company creates combined. Lincoln has to determine what battles are worth fighting and just who the true enemies are.

Wren is not thrilled about being the handler to the newest Moorehead arrival, but it’s got to be better than constantly cleaning up after Lincoln’s brother Armstrong. She’s confident and capable and focused on seeing this job through successfully to achieve her bigger personal goals. What she discovers is a softer side to Lincoln that goes beyond a shave and a haircut. Deep down he’s thoughtful, caring, smart and kind. And they can’t help their mutual attraction.

Handle with Care is a terrific story with two strong, independent and individually likeable main characters. You will appreciate both on their own merits and be thrilled when they give in and give love a chance. Their attraction is immediate, but the affection and respect builds over time and pays off gloriously in a twisty-ending that you likely won’t see coming! Handle with Care packs a huge romantic payoff and should definitely be put at the top of your TBR!

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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Excerpt From Handle With Care

CHAPTER 1

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?

WREN

I slip onto the empty bar stool beside the lumberjack mountain man who looks like he tried to squeeze himself into a suit two sizes too small. He’s intimidatingly broad and thick, with long dark hair that’s been pulled up into a haphazard man bun thing. His beard is a hipster’s wet dream. His scowl, however, makes him about as approachable as a rabid porcupine. And yet, here I am, sidling up next to him.

He glances at me, eyes bleary and not really tracking. He quickly focuses on his half-empty glass again. Based on the slump of his shoulders and the uncoordinated way he picks up his glass and tips it toward his mouth, I’m guessing he’s pretty hammered. I order a sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

What I could really use is a cup of lavender-mint tea and my bed, but instead, I’m sitting next to a drunk man in his thirties. My life is extra glamorous, obviously. And no, I’m not an escort, but at the moment I feel like my morals are on the same kind of slippery slope.

“Rough day?” I ask, nodding to the bottle that’s missing more than half its contents. It was full when he sat down at the bar an hour ago. Yes, I’ve been watching him the entire time, waiting for an opportunity to make my move. While he’s been sitting here, he’s turned down two women, one in a dress that could’ve doubled as a disco ball and the other in a top so low-cut, I could almost see her navel.

“You could say that,” he slurs. He props his cheek on his fist, eyes almost slits. I can still make out the vibrant blue hue despite them almost being closed. They move over me, assessing. I’m wearing a conservative black dress with a high neckline and a hem that falls below my knees. Definitely not nearly as provocative as Disco Ball or Navel Lady.

“That solving your problems?” I give him a wry grin and tip my chin in the direction of his bottle of Johnnie.

His gaze swings slowly to the bottle. It gives me a chance to really look at him. Or what I can see of his face under his beard, anyway.

“Nah, but it helps quiet down all the noise up here.” He taps his temple and blurts, “My dad died.”

I put a hand on his forearm. It feels awkward, and creepy on my part since its half-genuine, half-contrived comfort. “I’m so sorry.”


He glances at my hand, which I quickly remove, and refocuses on his drink. “I should be sorry too, but I think he was mostly an asshole, so the world might be better off without him.” He attempts to fill his glass again, but his aim is off, and he pours it on the bar instead. I rush to lift my purse and grab a handful of napkins to mop up the mess.

“I’m drunk,” he mumbles.

“Well, I’m thinking that might’ve been the plan, considering the way you’re sucking that bottle back. I’m actually surprised you didn’t ask for a straw in the first place. Might be a good idea to throw a spacer in there if you want tomorrow morning to suck less.” I push my drink toward him, hoping he doesn’t send me packing like he did the other women who approached him earlier.

He narrows his eyes at my glass, suspicious, maybe. “What is that?”

“Cranberry and soda.”

“No booze?”

“No booze. Go ahead. You’ll thank me in the morning.”


He picks up the glass and pauses when it’s an inch from his mouth. His eyes crinkle, telling me he’s smiling under that beard. “Does that mean Imma wake up with you beside me?”

I cock a brow. “Are you propositioning me?”

“Shit, sorry.” He chugs the contents of my glass. “I was joking. Besides, I’m so wasted, I can barely remember my name. Pretty sure I’d be useless in bed tonight. I should stop talkin’.” He scrubs a hand over his face and then motions to me. “I wouldn’t proposition you.”

I’m not sure how to respond. I go with semi-affronted, since it seems like somewhat of an insult. “Good to know.”

“Dammit. I mean, I think you might be hot. You look hot. I mean attractive. I think you’re pretty.” He tips his head to the side and blinks a few times. “You have nice eyes, all four of them are lovely.”

This time I laugh—for real—and point to the bottle. “I think you might want to tell your date you’re done for the night.”

He blows out a breath and nods. “You might be right.”

He makes an attempt to stand, but as soon as his feet hit the floor, he stumbles into me and grabs my shoulders to steady himself. “Whoa. Sorry. Yup, I’m definitely drunk.” His face is inches from mine, breath smelling strongly of alcohol. Beyond that, I get a whiff of fresh soap and a hint of aftershave. He lets go of my shoulders and takes an unsteady step back. “I don’t usually do this.” He motions sloppily to the bottle. “Mostly I’m a three drink max guy.”

“I think losing your father makes this condonable.” I slide off my stool. Despite being tall for a woman, and wearing heels, he still manages to be close to a head taller than me.

“Yeah, maybe, but I still think I might regret it tomorrow.” He’s incredibly unsteady, swaying while standing in place. I take the opportunity for what it is and thread my arm through his, leading him away from the bar. “Come on, let’s get you to the elevator before you pass out right here.”

He nods, then wobbles a bit, like moving his head has set him off balance. “That’s probably a good idea.”

He leans into me as we weave through the bar and stumbles on the two stairs leading to the foyer. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop him if he goes down, but I drape one of his huge arms over my shoulder anyway, and slip my own around his waist, guiding him in a mostly straight line to the elevators.

“Which floor are you on?” I ask.

“Penthouse.” He drops his arm from my shoulder and flings it out, pointing to the black doors at the end of the hall. “Jesus, I feel like I’m on a boat.”

“It’s probably all the alcohol sloshing around in your brain.” I take his elbow again, helping him stagger the last twenty feet to the dedicated penthouse elevator.

He stares at the keypad for a few seconds, brow pulling into a furrow. “I can’t remember the code. It’s thumbprint activated though too.” He stumbles forward and presses his forehead against the wall, then tries to line up his thumb with the sensor, but his aim is horrendous and he keeps missing.

I settle a hand on his very firm forearm. This man is built like a tank. Or a superhero. For a moment, I reconsider what I’m about to do, but he seems pretty harmless and ridiculously hammered, so he shouldn’t pose a threat. I’m also trained in self-defense, which would fall under the by any means necessary umbrella. “Can I help?”

He rolls his head, eyes slits as they bounce around my face. “Please.”

I take his hand between mine. The first thing I notice is how clammy it is. But beyond that, his knuckles are rough, littered with tiny scars and a few scabs, and his nails are jagged.

“Your hands are small,” he observes as I line his thumb up with the sensor pad and press down.

“Maybe yours are abnormally big,” I reply. They are rather large. Like basketball player hands.

“You know what they say about big hands.”

I fight not to roll my eyes, but for a brief moment, I wonder if what’s in his pants actually matches the rest of him. And if he’s unkempt everywhere, not just on his face. I cut that visual quickly because it makes me want to gag. “And what do they say?”

His eyes crinkle again, and he slaps his own chest. “Something about big hands, big heart.”

I bite back my own smile. “Pretty sure you’re mixing that up with cold hands, warm heart.”

His brow furrows. “There’s a good chance.”

The elevator doors slide open. He pushes off the wall with some effort and practically tumbles inside. He catches himself on the rail and sags against the wall as I follow him in. I honestly can’t believe I’m doing this right now.

He doesn’t have to press a button since the elevator only goes to the penthouse floor. As soon as we start moving, he groans and his shoulders curl in. “I don’t feel so good.”

Please don’t let him be sick in here. If there’s one thing I can’t deal with, it’s vomit. “You should sit.”

He slides down the wall, massive shoulders rolling forward as he rests his forehead on his knees. “Tomorrow is going to suck.”

I stay on the other side of the elevator, in case he tosses his cookies. “Probably.”

It’s the longest elevator ride in the history of the world. Or at least it feels that way, mostly because I’m terrified he’s going to yak. Thankfully, we make it to the penthouse floor incident-free. On the down side, now that he’s in a sitting position, getting him to stand again is a challenge. I have to press the open door button three times before I can finally coax him to his feet.

In the time between leaving the bar and making it to the penthouse floor, the effects of the alcohol seems to have compounded. He’s beyond sloppy, using the wall and me for support as we make our way to his door. There are two penthouse apartments up here. One on either side of the foyer.

He leans against the doorjamb, once again fighting to find the coordination to get his thumb to the sensor pad. I don’t ask if he needs my assistance this time since it’s quite clear he does. Once again I take his clammy hand in mine.

“Your hands are really soft,” he mumbles.

“Thanks.”


The pad ashes green, and I turn the handle. “Okay, here we go. Home sweet home.”

“This isn’t my home,” he slurs. “My cousin’s family owns this building. I’m crashing here until I can get the fuck out of New York.”

I scan the penthouse. It an eclectic combination of odd art and modern furniture, like two different tastes crashed together and this is the result. Aside from that, it’s clean to the point of looking almost like a show home.

The only sign that someone is staying here is the lone coffee cup on the table in the living room and the blanket lolling like a tongue over the edge of the couch. I’m still standing in the doorway while he sways unsteadily.

He tries to shove his hand in his pants pocket, but all he succeeds in doing is setting himself off-balance. He nearly stumbles into the wall.

“Thanks for your help,” he says.

He’s back in his penthouse, which means my job is technically done. However, I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself, or worse, asphyxiate on his own vomit in the middle of the night, and I’ll be the one catching heat if that happens. I’ll also feel bad if something happens to him. I blow out a breath, annoyed that this is how my night is ending.

I heave his arm over my shoulder and slip mine around his waist again, leading him through the living room toward what seems to be the kitchen. There’s a sheet of paper on the island, but otherwise it’s spotless.

“What’re you doing?” he asks.

We pause when we reach the threshold. “Which way is your bedroom?”

He looks slowly from right to left. “Not that way.” He points to the kitchen. It’s very state of the art.

I guide him in the opposite direction down the hall, until he stumbles through a doorway, into a large but simply furnished bedroom. Once we reach the edge of the bed, he drops his arm, spins around—it’s drunkenly graceful—and falls back on the bed, arms spread wide as if he’s planning on making snow angels. “The room is spinning.”

“Would you like me to get you a glass of water and possibly a painkiller for the headache you’ll likely have in the morning?” I’m already heading for the bathroom.

“Might be a good idea,” he mumbles.

I find a glass on the edge of bathroom vanity—which is clean, apart from a brand new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. I run the tap, wishing I had a plastic tumbler, because I’m not sure he’s in any state to deal with breakable objects. I check the medicine cabinet, find the pills I need, shake out two tablets, and return to the bedroom.

He’s right where I left him; sprawled out faceup on a massive king-size bed, legs hanging off the end, one shoe on the floor beside him. I cross over and set the water and the pills on the nightstand.

I make a quick trip back to the bathroom and grab the empty wastebasket from beside the toilet in case his night is a lot rougher than he expects.

I tap his knee, crossing my fingers he’ll be easy to rouse. “Hey, I have painkillers for you.”

He makes a noise, but doesn’t move otherwise.

I tap his knee again. “Lincoln, you need to wake up long enough to take these.” I cringe. I called him by name, and he didn’t offer it to me while we were down at the bar. Here’s hoping he’s too drunk to notice or remember. His name is Lincoln Moorehead, heir to the Moorehead Media fortune and all the crap that comes with it. And there’s a lot of it.

One eye becomes a slit. “Every time I open my eyes, the room starts spinning again.”

“If you drink this and take these, it might help.” I hold up the glass of water and the pills.

“’Kay.” It takes three tries for him to sit up. He tries to pick the pills up out of my palm, but keeps missing my hand.

“Just open your mouth.”

He lifts his head. “How do I know you’re not trying to roofie me?”

I hold up the tablet in front of his face. “They don’t say roofie, so you’re safe.”

He tries to focus on the pill and then my face. I have my doubts he’s successful at either.

His tongue peeks out to drag across his bottom lip. “The cameras in the hall will catch you if you steal my wallet.”

I laugh at that. “I’m not going to steal your wallet, I’m going to put you to bed.”

“Hmm.” He nods slowly and opens his mouth.

I drop the pills on his tongue and hand him the glass, which he drains in three long swallows. “Would you like me to refill that?”

“That’d be nice.” He holds out the glass, but when I try to pull away, he covers my hands with his. His shockingly blue eyes meet mine, and for a moment they’re clear and compelling. Despite how out of it he is, and how much he resembles a mountain man, or maybe because of it, I have a hard time looking away. “I really wish I wasn’t this messed up. You smell nice. I bet your hair is pretty when it’s not pulled up like that.” He flops a hand toward my bun. “Not that it’s not pretty like that, but I bet if you took it down, it would be wavy and soft. The kind of hair you want to bury your face in and run your fingers through.” He exhales a long breath. “I haven’t had sex in a really long time, but I feel like I would have zero finesse if I tried right now.”

I smile and turn away. In the time it takes for me to refill his glass, he’s managed to get one arm out of his suit jacket. He’s made it most of the way onto the bed, feet still hanging off the end, but he’s on his back, which is not ideal.

I set the glass on his nightstand, along with a second set of painkillers, which I’m assuming he’ll need in the morning, and give him another nudge. “Hey.”

This time I get nothing in the way of a response. I poke him twice more, but still nothing. He can’t sleep on his back with how drunk he is. He needs to be on his side or his stomach with a wastebasket close by.

I can’t in good conscience leave him like this. My options are limited. I shake my head as I kick off my shoes and climb up onto the bed with him. This is not at all what I expected to be doing when I brought him back up here.

I stare down at his sleeping form. His lips are parted, they’re nice lips, full and plump, even though they’re mostly obscured by his overgrown beard. His hair has started to unravel from its man bun, wisps hanging in his face. He has long lashes, really long actually, and they’re thick and dark, the kind women pay a lot of money for. His nose is straight and his cheekbones— what I can see of them—are high. With a haircut, a beard trim or complete shave, and a new suit that actually fits, I can imagine how refined he’ll look. More like a Moorehead than a mountain man lumberjack. I shake my head. “I need you to roll onto your side, please,” I say loudly.

Nothing. Not even a grunt.

I pull on his shoulder, but he’s dead weight. Leaning over him, I make a fist and give him a light jab approximately where his kidney is. “Lincoln, roll over.”

And roll he does, knocking me down and turning over so he’s right on top of me. We’re face-to-face. Good God, he’s heavy. His bones must be made of lead. He shifts, one leg coming over both of mine. I push at his knee, but his arm swings out and he wraps himself around me on a low groan, pinning my arm to my side. He’s like a giant human blanket.

“How did this become my life?” I say to the ceiling, because the man lying on top of me is apparently out cold.

I try to wriggle free, I even yell his name a bunch of time before I give up and wait for him to roll off me. And while I wait for that to happen, I replay the conversation with his mother, Gwendolyn Moorehead, that took place forty-eight hours ago and put me in this awkward position underneath her drunk son.

I’d been standing in Fredrick’s office, still digesting the fact that he was dead. It was shocking that a massive heart attack had taken him, since he was always so healthy and full of life.

Gwendolyn, his wife—now a widow—stood stoic behind his desk, papers stacked neatly in the center.

“I’m so very for your loss, Gwendolyn. If there’s anything I can do. Whatever you need.” The words poured out, typical condolences, but sincerely meant because I couldn’t imagine how my mother and I would feel if we lost my father.

Gwendolyn’s fingers danced at her throat as she cleared it. “Thank you,” she whispered brokenly and dabbed at her eyes. “I appreciate your kindness, Wren.”

“Let me know what you want me to handle, and I’ll take care of it.”

She took a deep breath, composing herself before she lifted her gaze to mine. “I need your help.”

“Of course, what can I do?”

“My oldest son, Lincoln, will be returning to New York for the funeral, and he’ll be staying to help run the company.”

A hot feeling crept up my spine. I’d heard very little about Lincoln. Everything from Armstrong’s mouth was scathing, Fredrick’s passing references had been with fondness, and my interactions with Gwendolyn had been minimal as it was Fredrick himself who hired me, so this was first I’ve heard of Lincoln through her. “I see. And how can I help with that?” I could only imagine how difficult Armstrong would be if he had to share the attention with someone else, particularly his brother.

“Transitioning Lincoln.” Gwendolyn rounded her desk. “You’ve managed to turn around Armstrong’s reputation in the media during the time you’ve been here. I know it hasn’t been easy, and Armstrong can be difficult to manage.”

Difficult to manage is the understatement of the entire century where Armstrong is concerned. He’s a cocksucker of epic proportions. He’s also a misogynistic, narcissistic bastard that I’ve had to deal with for the past eight months on a nearly daily basis—sometimes even on weekends.

My job as his “handler” has been to reshape his horrendous reputation after his involvement in several scandalous events became very public. It wasn’t a job I necessarily wanted, and I was prepared to politely reject the offer, but my mother asked me to take the position as a favor to her since she’s a friend of Gwendolyn.

Beyond that, my relationship with my mother has been strained for the past decade. When I was a teenager, I discovered information that changed our relationship forever. Taking the job at Moorehead was in part, my way of trying to help repair our fractured bond. The financial compensation, which was ridiculously high, also didn’t hurt. Besides, Gwendolyn is on nearly every single charitable foundation committee in the city, and since that’s where my interests lie, it seemed like a smart career move.

“Since you’re already working with Armstrong and things seem to be settled there for the most part, I felt it would make sense to keep you on here at Moorehead to work with Lincoln. He’s been away from civilized society for several years. He’s nothing like his brother, very altruistic and focused on his job, rather than recreational pursuits, so he should be easier to manage.”

I fought a scoff at the last bit, since “recreational pursuits” was a reference to the fact that Armstrong couldn’t seem to keep his pants zipped when it came to women.

Gwendolyn pushed a set of papers toward me. “It would only be for another six months. And of course, your salary would reflect the double work load, since you’ll still have to maintain Armstrong in some capacity while you assist Lincoln in transitioning into his role here.”

“I’m sorry, what—”

Gwendolyn pulled me into an awkward hug, holding onto my shoulders when she stepped back. Her eyes were glassy and red-rimmed. “You have no idea how much I appreciate your willingness to take this on. As soon as your contract is fulfilled, you have my word that I’ll give you a glowing recommendation to whichever organization you’d like. Your mother told me you’re interested in starting your own foundation. I’ll certainly help you in any way I’m able if you’ll stay on a little longer for me.” She dabbed at her corner of her eyes and sniffed, then tapped the papers on the desk. “I already have an agreement ready and an NDA, of course. Everything is tabbed for signing.”

I’m pulled back into the present when Lincoln shifts and one of his huge hands slides up my side and lands on my breast. At the same time, he pushes his nose against my neck, beard tickling my collarbone. He mutters something unintelligible against my skin.

I’m momentarily frozen in shock. Under any other circumstances, I would knee him in the balls. However, he’s not conscious or even semi-aware that he’s fondling me. Thankfully, now that he’s moved, I have some wiggle room.

I elbow him in the ribs, which probably hurts me more than it does him. At least it gets him to move away enough that I can slip out from under him. I roll off the bed and pop back up, smoothing out my now-wrinkled dress. My stupid nipples are perky, thanks to the attention the right one just got. Probably because it’s the most action I’ve seen since I started working for the Mooreheads eight months ago.

I hit the lights on the way out of the bedroom, pause in the kitchen to grab a glass of water and check out the sheet of paper on the counter. It’s a list of important details regarding the penthouse, including the entry code. I nab my purse, snap a pic, and head for the elevators.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long six months.

From Handle With Care. Copyright © 2019 by Helena Hunting and reprinted with

permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Review – Rogue Wave by J Bengtsson

We are so excited to be sharing the release of ROGUE WAVE, the next standalone in J. Bengtsson’s beloved Cake series. Be sure to grab your copy today or read it for free with Kindle Unlimited!

 

About ROGUE WAVE

A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path.

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine.

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.

Add ROGUE WAVE to your Goodreads TBR!

Get your copy of ROGUE WAVE on Amazon today!

 

 

BFF K’s Review of Rogue Wave

 

Finally! I finally have the answers to the mystery of Keith McAllister. Since Book 1 – Cake: A Love Story, I’ve been drawn to Keith. He seemed like such a wonderful and somewhat tortured soul. I have craved his backstory. The previous stories in this series briefly touched on his substance abuse, but it just felt like there was so much beneath the surface. And, the full story was everything I had hoped for and more!

It’s really hard to pick a favorite McAllister. They’re all so fantastic for their own reasons. But, Keith….Keith will hold a special place in my heart. He’s battered but keeps reviving himself in ways that are so genuine and heartening. He’s like a piece of Kintsugi pottery, the way his broken pieces are fused back together makes him even more beautiful than before. And, I think Sam is the gold that holds it all together. She’s lovely on her own, but combined with Keith they make a piece that is more perfect than either were alone. (Wow, super cheesy analogy, but it seems so perfect!)

J Bengtsson just continues to outdo herself. Each book in this series is more emotional and more perfect than the one before. I want the McAllister family to exist in real life and I want to be a part of it! I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be a slightly distant cousin or really close family friend….I just want to live in the middle of this crazy, funny, loving, supportive, wonderful family! At least each story gives me a spot in their world from beginning to end and book to book. You won’t need to read the rest of the series to fall in love with Keith and Sam, but why wouldn’t you want to?!?! Rogue Wave continues this fantastic series and the stories just keep getting better and better!

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 


Get your copy of ROGUE WAVE on Amazon today!

 

About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.

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Review – Motion Part 1 – Laws of Physics by Penny Reid

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Motion, the first in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

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One week.

Home alone.

Girl genius.

Unrepentant slacker.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and had everything figured out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at thirteen, finish college at seventeen, and start your PhD program at eighteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled.

Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

 

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Download your copy today!

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Review of Motion

 

I want more! Now! Mona and Abram are incredible and I am aching to know how their story ends.

Mona is determined to help her sister out and then return to her orderly life of science and physics jokes. Abram is confused about why he’s suddenly drawn to Lisa and didn’t know this version of her. He doesn’t know that this is Mona’s impersonation of Lisa.

As Mona pretends to be her sister and finds a version of herself she didn’t know existed. Abram is everything she didn’t know that she wanted or needed and he makes Mona feel everything.

But stories that start out this way can’t possibly end well, can they? That’s what we need Parts 2 & 3 to find out! I can’t wait for the next part of this incredible story!

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

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Pre-order the rest of the Laws of Physics series today!

Space

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Time

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Review – Pucked Love by Helena Hunting

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Pucked Love, the final sexy and emotional standalone in the NYT bestselling Pucked Series from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, is available NOW!

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As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I’ve let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.

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Download your copy today!

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Add to GoodReads

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BFF K’s Review of Pucked Love

There are few things I love more than seeing a clueless hero get knocked on his butt when he realizes he’s in love with the heroine. And does Darren take a tumble! I’ve read/listened to every book and novella in this series and I’m thrilled with this ending!

I’ll admit, I’ve been perplexed by Darren and Charlene the whole time. To be honest, their relationship just seemed weird. Were they a couple or weren’t they? It seemed like there were, but time and again they behaved in ways that made you question that. They seemed to like one another but were so secretive and closed off. His secrecy and her gosh darn pearls…what was the deal?

Darren and Charlene both had some significant baggage. And, they were really just hauling it around with them for years. It wasn’t until they were forced by both friends and enemies to confront their issues that they were able to come together and figure their s&%# out! It was so fun to take that journey with them. I think Darren and Charlene are one of my favorite couple’s in the series. I’m just so happy with the conclusion of their love story.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the Pucked series, you need to fix that immediately! They’re terrific books and fantastic audiobooks. I can’t recommend them highly enough! This series is fun, sweet, sexy – everything you want in a rom-com series and Pucked Love is the perfect conclusion!

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer listened to the the audiobook with the Audible Romance Package. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

Excerpt

You’re turning twenty-six. It’s your champagne birthday, so we need to do something fun.” Violet bounces, making her boobs shake and my mimosa slosh perilously. “It should be themed! We can all wear leather chaps!”

“Could you be any more cliché?” I roll my eyes. “Just to be clear, Darren doesn’t own chaps.”

“Just a ball gag and a mask with no eye holes, according to Alex.”

And we’re back to my sex life. I knew I was getting off so easy.

I wonder if Darren is catching this kind of heat today. I seriously doubt it’s worse than what I’m getting since I don’t think his friends are likely to push his buttons, but I’ll have to ask when I speak to him next. I’m not sure when that will be, either. The message I sent about Gertrude was pretty straightforward and doesn’t necessarily require a response. Maybe I should’ve worded it differently.

Sunny raises her hand, like we’re all still in middle school and she’s waiting her turn to speak. “Wouldn’t a mask with no eyeholes be dangerous? You wouldn’t be able to see where you’re going.” Her eyes widen, and she looks around the room. “And what’s a ball gag?”

I honestly love that Sunny has grown up in this highly overinformed society and still manages to be innocent.

“Yeah, Char, wouldn’t a mask with no eyeholes be dangerous?” Violet props her fist on her chin and smiles. “And please, do explain what a ball gag is.”

“I’m not sure you really want the answer to that, Sunny.” Poppy gives me a look I can’t quite decipher.

Sunny twirls her hair around her finger. “Why not?”

“Where’s the harm in a little bondage-sex education? It’s not like Miller’s ever going to go out and buy either item for her. First of all, Alex would murder him, and secondly, I don’t think that’s Miller’s thing.”

Sunny’s face lights up, and she does jazz hands. “Oh! I think I know what Miller’s thing is!”

Lily grins. “Eating your cookie?”

“He really likes to do that, a lot. When my belly gets too big I’ll have to watch from the mirror.” She gets a faraway look in her eyes. “But he has another thing! Kind of like how you and Randy are always getting it on in bathrooms, except I think it’s a bit more sanitary.”

“And it doesn’t cause thousands of dollars of damage,” Violet adds.

Lily throws her hands up in the air. “That sink was already falling off the wall. It’s not my fault it broke!”

“That was one expensive orgasm,” I say.

“And Randy says it was worth every penny.” Lily’s smile is devious as she bites her knuckle, then turns to Sunny. “Anyway, back to Miller’s thing.”

Sunny wiggles around excitedly in her chair. “So Miller paints my toenails for me.”

“Miller’s thing is painting your toenails?”

“Yes. Well, no. I think he likes my toes.” Her fingers go to her lips, and she looks around the room, her cheeks flushing.

“Say what now?” Violet asks.

”Sometimes he kisses them.” She covers her mouth with her palm and says something unintelligible.

Violet sits forward in her chair. “Hold on a second, does Buck have a foot fetish?”

“Um, I don’t know.” Sunny looks worried now. “Is that weird? Is it, like, mask with no eyeholes kind of weird?”

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

 

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Review – Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

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A standalone romance novel published by Montlake Romance

By: New York Times Bestselling Authors Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Release Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

 

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweet-er, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .

 

Hate Notes final paperback cover

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BFF K’s Review of Hate Notes

 

Charlotte Darling has all of the characteristics you would think of for a woman by that name. She is smart, sweet, kind, and caring. She works hard and expresses genuine concern for those around her. She has found herself in a rough spot through no fault of her own. Dumped before her wedding day by a cheating, undeserving, fiancé she is struggling to rebuild her life and find herself again.
Reed Eastwood is a workaholic. He is struggling to rewrite his own life after being left near the alter. He is drawn to Charlotte but keeps her at arms length protect himself. Reed has another secret that keeps him at a distance from Charlotte. The discovery of which, provides an unforeseen twist to an otherwise predictable storyline.
Charlotte and Reed are surrounded by a colorful cast of characters that add humor and depth to the story. Grandma Iris is particularly delightful. I am hoping that Reed’s brother Max gets his own story.
There is a definite push and pull to Charlotte and Reed’s relationship. They are attracted to one another and get along quite well, but Reed finds countless reasons why they can’t be together. They challenge one another and each bring out the best in the other person. Their journey to love is sweet and driven by Charlotte relentless optimism and sentimentality.
When you start the book, you will think it is a standard workplace romance/enemies to lovers storyline. But, there are some unanticipated twists and turns that round out the story and make it wholly enjoyable!
Hate Notes is a solid story, one of my favorite that I have read this year. The book has highs and lows and a whole lot of heart. Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward have done it again. They’ve delivered another solid story with lovable characters and a dreamy HEA.

 

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

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To read an excerpt of Hate Notes, click here.

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Add to Goodreads      Amazon ebook     Amazon Print     Amazon Audio     

Amazon print UK

Please Note: Because Hate Notes is published by Montlake Romance, a division of Amazon, the ebook and paperback will only be available on Amazon. If you are an Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited member, the Hate Notes ebook will be free for both Prime and KU members on release day!

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live! ➜ https://www.subscribepage.com/Vi&Penelope

Hate Notes Teaser

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

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Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA To-day Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in two dozen languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twen-ties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over 1.5 million books sold, she is a twenty-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels.

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Other Books From Vi & Penelope:

Co-written Novels

The Rush Series (2 Book Series)

Rebel Heir (Rush Series Duet #1)Rebel Heir

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JHynHe
iBooks: https://goo.gl/iG6fmD
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ubjd6b
Kobo: https://goo.gl/iU76VK

Rebel Heart (Rush Series Duet #2)Rebel Heart

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KuY8Me
iBooks: https://apple.co/2oleXyJ
B&N: http://smarturl.it/ew2ggj
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2H7FRCm

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British Bedmate

(Previously titled: Dear Bridget, I Want You)
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2I9CSxm
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/y4x3xi
B&N: http://smarturl.it/o780mb
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/kfgc6a

Cocky Bastard

Cocky Bastard

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JIy7HT
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J
B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY
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Stuck-Up SuitStuck-Up Suit

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KvRMfE
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57
B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV
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Playboy PilotPlayboy Pilot

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iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf
B&N: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1

Mister MoneybagsMister Moneybags

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFgHzm
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/3y1tuq
B&N: http://smarturl.it/kx7h8m
Kobo http://smarturl.it/qqf5ho
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]
By:Vi Keeland & Dylan Scott
Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HGMjVw

Vi’s Standalone Novels

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Vi’s Upcoming January 2019 Release

Bloggers, sign up here.

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The Naked Truth

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Sex not Love

Sex, Not Love

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KtKuZx
iBooks: http://smarturl.it/vlfabb
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Beautiful Mistake

Beautiful Mistake

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iBooks: http://smarturl.it/20x53a
B&N: http://smarturl.it/n8jey6
Kobo: http://smarturl.it/1btxsz
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Egomaniac

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iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC
B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv
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Bossman

Bossman

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fy4vuz
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
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The Baller

The Baller

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fy6PBQ
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller
B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller
Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller
Life on Stage series (2 Standalone Books)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Throb

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HFxAKy
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986
B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00072]

Beat

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jjG23h
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

MMA Fighter series (3 Standalone Books)

Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter #1)

Worth the Fight

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoSwmx
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252
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Worth The Chance (MMA figher #2)

Worth the Chance

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rdzGa3
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance
18742801

Worth Forgiving

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JJqtNG
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving
Worth it All (MMA Complete Series)

Worth It All (Com-plete Fighter Series)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fx1g6H

Serials

The Cole Series (2 Book Serial)
Belong to You (Cole #1)

Belong to You

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FzDjLN
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
B&N:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you
Made for You (Cole #2)

Made for You

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B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Penelope’s Standalone Novels

Love Online Ebook

Love Online

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2obQRa2
iTunes :https://apple.co/2LzO4om
B&N: http://bit.ly/2wfHUQO
Kobo:http://bit.ly/2MYBexz
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2ORdVWT
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2LyWzAb
Audible: https://adbl.co/2KAWnMq
Amazon Audio: https://amzn.to/2KF8tEl
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2LJjHso

Gentleman NineGentleman Nine

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoRJC5
iBooks: http://bit.ly/2D7K7Qi
Nook: http://bit.ly/2EPuDCn
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2nMeoP3
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2C9ESTm

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Drunk Dial

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rcBbVl
iBooks: http://apple.co/2tq7dRz
Nook: http://bit.ly/2xeEH2H
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ihXnMD
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LzQ2Fg

Mack DaddyMack Daddy

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2regybn
iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj
B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj
Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LhHZxB

RoomHateRoomHate

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rficJw
iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JMo306

Stepbrother Dearest

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FBxe1G
ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JJV90V

Neighbor Dearest

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JJQPz2
iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LFzZTn

Jaded and Tyed

Jaded and Tyed (A novel-ette)

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Sins of Sevin

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2I6i3T6
iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2LImsup
Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Jake Undone

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KoQnYd
iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2uU45v3
Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rbAlZQ
iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JHWUM0
My Skylar

My Skylar

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fwe78V
iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2mzqkmn
Gemini

Gemini

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2rggfwv
iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2zYoXXP

 

 

Review – Royally Yours by Emma Chase

 

Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.

It’s a big deal.

When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.

What she isn’t…is married.

It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.

Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.

Even Queens. Especially them.

**

Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.

And a sacred promise keeps him there.

To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure.

**

Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.

Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.

This is theirs.

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Google Play | Kobo

 

 

BFF K’s Review of Royally Yours

This is the book that I didn’t know I needed until I read the first chapter. I was sucked in from the very beginning and fell in love with Edward right alongside Lenora.

I am a HUGE fan of this Royally Series from Emma Chase. Every book in the series has been stellar and utterly swoon-worthy. I was excited to learn there would be another book in the series, but somewhat surprised when I learned the book would be Queen Lenora’s story. I didn’t really know if it would be a storyline that interested me. I couldn’t understand how the pieces would fit together or what a lover of this series would gain from understanding Queen Lenora’s backstory. But, wow, I was blown away by this story. I’ve never been so happy to read a story I wasn’t really looking for!

Queen Lenora and Prince Edward have a remarkable, heart warming, epic love story! They’re brought together in difficult circumstances and aren’t really sure they even like one another. But, attraction and mutual respect grow into the most amazing tale of love and devotion. Their story is beautifully written and compliments the other books so completely that now I can’t imagine the series without this missing piece. And, I’ve even gone back to the other books in the series searching for key words to put even more pieces of the Lenora and Edward puzzle together.

You do not need to read the rest of the Royally Series to love Royally Yours, but you absolutely should! This series is nothing short of magical and I know it’s a series I will be thinking about, reading and recommending long into the future! For lovers of a great Royal Romance, I can’t think of any better than these! Emma Chase’s Royally Series is a crown jewel!

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

About the Author

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

 

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Review – Blind Kiss by Renée Carlino

 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Blind Kiss

Several years ago I remember seeing an article online about people doing a blind kiss study and I was so intrigued. It was a fascinating experiment to judge raw chemistry. So when I saw the premise of Renee Carlino’s new book, I knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps I should have read the synopsis more objectively.

Let me be really honest. There is a reason I stick primarily to romantic comedies. I am an emotional reader. And the angst and sadness is just too overwhelming for me most of the time. Reading rom-com helps to keep my head and my mood in a much happier place. But, every once in a while a book that makes you feel and breaks your heart just a little bit is a reminder of the power of great stories.
Penny is a beautiful, talented and dedicated dancer when she meets Gavin in college during the Blind Kiss experiment. Their chemistry is instantaneous and explosive. Their youth and other issues keep them apart romantically but they determine to be best friends. That relationship proves distressing for many other people in their lives and themselves.
Penny is complicated. But, she is also passionate, creative, nurturing and fiercely loyal. Gavin is a lost soul and Penny is the center of his world that keeps him grounded. Their convoluted and intricate relationship is fascinating. Together they weather some of the most difficult of life’s circumstances, depend on and love one another in ways they love no one else.
Again, I am an emotional reader and it has been quite some time since I have read a heartbreaking book. I cried through more than half of this book. While it is a romance and the ending brought satisfaction and closure, it wasn’t enough. I needed more positive to heal the negative and I’m not sure the good was sufficient enough to make up for the bad.
If you are a fan of angst and heartache, this is a book for you! The storyline is unique and captivating and you will care deeply about the characters. The book is exceptionally well written. But be fully and completely prepared that this emotional story will take its toll on your heart and your tear ducts.
An advance copy of this book was received via Net Galley. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

It was really this bad….

 

Excerpt from Blind Kiss

WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.

“That’s different for you.”

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what

you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

“You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend

I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” “Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

About the Author

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

 

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Review – Tinfoil Heart by Daisy Prescott

Today we are sharing the release of TINFOIL HEART by Daisy Prescott. Tinfoil Heart is a Romantic Comedy, standalone title. Check out the buy links below and a chance to win a signed paperback and a Tinfoil Heart box of fun!

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Tinfoil Heart by Daisy Prescott
Now Available!

A new romantic comedy about love, letting go, and little green men from USA Today Bestselling author Daisy Prescott.

My father was abducted by aliens.

Or so I believed for the last eighteen years.

After my mother’s death, I moved to Roswell, capital of all things alien. I’m going to find out the truth and nothing will stop me . . . except Boone Santos.

Compared to the intergalactic tinfoil hat brigade, he’s a god amongst mere mortals. Too handsome for his own good (and mine), with a grumpy arrogance, and the most beautiful smile ever—he smashes my plan to pieces like a UFO crashing into the desert.

I need a tinfoil hat for my heart.

Do I believe in aliens? I’m not sure.

What do I believe? I’m not going to fall in love with Boone. Definitely not . . .

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BFF K’s Review for Tinfoil Heart

Tinfoil Heart is another out of this world story from Daisy Prescott! (See what I did there?!? 😉) I love this book so much, it’s just everything…..Unique, sweet, smart, interesting, fun, funny, quirky, perfection! It’s classic Daisy Prescott with a twist!

Daisy writes wonderful, sweet, emotional, feel-good romances. Tinfoil Heart is another shining example, but this time with an unconventional bent. The book has a unique setting – both geographic and plot driven. Roswell, New Mexico (both its’ people and its’ history) is practically a character in the book as it plays such an integral part in the story. Now, I have a travel bug that seems to be drawing me toward New Mexico for an upcoming vacation!

Lucy is a fantastic heroine. She’s complex and emotional. Her family history has left a mark and caused her to guard her heart. Boone is steady and consistent, loyal and strong. He is Lucy’s perfect match!

The whole book is fun and thoroughly entertaining. But, the ending is probably my favorite part! Or, I should say the endingS are my favorite part! That’s right, you get TWO different endings, one for skeptics and one for believers. I am firmly in the believer category, but I loved the skeptics ending just as much! This is just another example this extraordinary story!

Fresh, fun, and swoony; I loved Tinfoil Heart and I think you will too! When you finish, come back and let me know if you’re a skeptic or a believer.

BFF Book Blog uses a set of icon ratings. This book received additional ratings for: romance, hero, heroine, sweet, character development, world creation, butterflies and funny.

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

Giveaway

Enter Daisy’s New Release Giveaway!

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About the Author

 

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USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies about real love.

Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall. Daisy’s Love with Altitude latest small town, rom com series is set in Aspen, Colorado. Bewitched is a magical serial set in Salem, Massachusetts. Don’t miss her standalone, Tinfoil Heart, a rom com about love, letting go, and little green men.

 

 

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Review – Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren


Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Love and Other Words

What to say about another impeccably written, unique, emotional, heart-felt story from two romance masters? Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it! That pretty much sums it up!

Love and Other Words is a deeply moving story of innocent, bone-deep-love, heartbreaking loss and the wondrous gift of a second chance. The story is a rich and stirring account of first love broken up by misunderstandings, poor decisions, youth, and loss and mended together by devotion, time, and intention.

Macy and Elliot are meant to be and there is really nothing that can completely sever their bond and commitment to one another. Their story is told in chapters alternating between past and present. But, each is gripping and impactful.

I did a combo read and listen of Love and Other Words. Many of the most emotional bits were listened to in the car during my commute. I think that’s the only thing that saved me from body-wracking-sobs during parts of the book. Just thinking about it makes my heart both heavy and full of hope. I don’t think it’s possible to read this story and come away unscathed. It will mark your heart, leaving you stunned and pondering the characters, their love and their second chance for days and weeks to come.

Buy it! Read it! Listen to it! Love it!

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

About the Authors

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages.

You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Review – Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

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Marriage of Inconvenience, an all new romantic comedy standalone in the USA Today bestselling, Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

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There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity-and heart-all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent-or as trustworthy-as she thought?

 

Review of Marriage of Inconvenience

I’m not sure what to say about another immensely satisfying story, delivered by one of my favorite authors, centering around some of my most anticipated characters….How about: delightful, engaging, sweet, sentimental, heart-felt, smart, challenging, wicked funny, everything-I-hoped-for, and MORE!

I have been looking forward to Dan and Kat’s story since I read the very first Knitting in the City Series book. It’s been such a long and wonderful wait and it was worth every minute! Dan and Kat are perfect for one another, they’re hot for each other and they’re both delightfully awkward. After learning that a misunderstanding has kept them apart for years, and that Kat is desperate for a husband, the two find themselves in a marriage of convenience that is actually quite inconvenient. The story is just everything….(see the above list!)

There aren’t enough adjectives in my vocabulary to tell you how wonderful this book is, how much I adore these characters and how sad I am that this book-journey is coming to an end. I will always have a special place in my heart (and my library) for Janie, Sandra, Elizabeth, Ashley, Fiona, Marie and Kat and all of their incredible loves. While individually these books are about strong, smart, quirky heroines who find their own unique loves. Collectively this series is about a group of friends/soulmates who find love, strength, support and acceptance from one another.

I will continue to read every single book written by Penny Reid, but there will never be another group like the Knitters or a way to express my love and gratitude for these characters and this series.

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

Staring at his chin, because I couldn’t quite lift my eyes any higher, I cleared my throat. “Should we get ready for bed?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice a rumble. Dan’s eyes were on me, I felt the weight of them.

My hands came to the hem of my skirt and I hesitated, feeling winded for some reason. Sneaking a glance at him, I immediately wished I hadn’t. His gaze was watchful, but it was also unmistakably hot in a way that seemed at once both avaricious and accusatory. The vice tightened around my lungs.

Kiss him! Just freaking kiss him! You want numbered steps? Fine. You kiss him- check. He kisses you back- check. Then you make out- check. Check the boxes.

I licked my lips, balling my hands into fists at my sides again, preparing to follow my hasty list.

But then he said, “Undress me.”

My breath caught. On instinct, my eyes lifted and collided with his in much the same way our bodies had collided at the top of the stairs just moments ago. Jarring. Startling. Thrilling. This time I couldn’t look away because this time I was falling. He made no move to catch me.

“What? What did you say?”

His eyes narrowed, which served only to increase the intensity of his gaze from smolder to inferno. “Take my clothes off.”

I stared at him, licking my lips again, and shaking my head. That wasn’t one of my steps.

Lifting my chin, I moved to kiss him. He leaned to the side, evading me even as his eyes dropped to my mouth.

“Take off my shirt and I’ll give you a kiss.” He’d used his naughty-secret voice.

An explosion of heat erupted in my belly, and now I was hot all over. I couldn’t figure out if the heat was embarrassment or arousal or both.

He didn’t give me a chance to figure it out. His hands lifted and he undid his cuffs; then they moved to the top button of his shirt.

“You better take over,” he said darkly, “or else you’re not getting that kiss.”

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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