Review – Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

 

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

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BFF K’s Review of Royally Endowed

Emma Chase’s Royally Series is charming, sweet and funny. The series is full of terrific characters, witty dialogue and clever premises. Royally Endowed combines Royal Romance with a Forbidden Love – body guard and “protectee” love story! And it is fantastic!

Ellie Hammond certainly never imagined that she would be a part of a famous family. But, when her sister marries into the Royal Family for the country of Wessco, she is thrust into a sort of spotlight of her own. She matures into a smart, lovely, talented, caring and capable young woman. And, Logan St. James, bodyguard to Ellie, assigned by the Prince, has absolutely been paying attention.

Logan is one of the most capable and trusted men on the royal security team. He has created a significant and meaningful life that is a far cry from the meager beginnings of his youth. But, his attraction to Ellie threatens the career he loves and the life he has built. Logan is thoughtful, loyal, brave, fierce, strong and kind. He’s an almost-perfect hero!

Royally Endowed is a slow burn; but it is full of sweet, funny, butterfly-inducing moments and an absolutely wonderful book! The story is well-written and heart-felt. Royally Endowed and the entire Royally Series will be some of my most recommended books of 2017! I hope you’ll read and fall in love right alongside these wonderful royals!

 

 

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

 

 

 

Excerpt from Royally Endowed

Ellie

But then the mood shifts, as if the air becomes thicker, weighted, more . . . sultry.

Because slowly, Logan sinks down to one knee in front of me—looking in my eyes the whole time. In this position, I could touch his shoulders, comb my fingers through his thick, dark hair. He’s the perfect height for me to bend down and kiss his mouth—the perfect height for him to kiss me back . . . in a lot of places.

My breath hitches. And I wonder he feels it too.

There’s a sound of tearing Velcro, and Logan takes something off his ankle—a holster, with a small silver knife, about three inches long.

“Keep this on you all the time,” he says seriously. “Just in case. If you wear a skirt, the strap will fit around your thigh.”

And I almost laugh. Most girls get a ring from a guy on his knees. I get a murder weapon. But still, it makes me feel safe . . . watched over. Like I’m something precious that deserves to be protected.

I take the knife from him, testing the surprisingly solid, heavy weight of it in my hand. I press my index finger to the tip.

Logan grabs my wrist tightly. “Careful. It’s sharp.”

There’s a small, painless nick, a tiny bead of blood, so I put my finger in my mouth, sucking.

And Logan’s watching me again.

Watching my mouth.

His chest seems to rise just a little faster, and his throat ripples when he swallows. He bends his head, curves his strong back, and then I feel his hands on my ankle, securing the strap. His touch is warm and self-assured. It’s the way he always moves—confident and experienced. Logan knows his body and he knows how to use it, in every way possible.

I almost moan. The sound is in the back of my throat, but I keep it trapped. I never knew the ankle was an erogenous zone, but it sure as hell is now. A hot pulse of pleasure streaks from Logan’s fingers on my bare skin, up my thigh, between my legs.

And I throb there, growing swollen and heavy as he keeps his hands on me.

Can he tell? Does he know? He’s so aware of everything, always so attuned, I wonder if he can sense my arousal . . . feel it in the air that clings between us.

 

 

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 – Beneath The Truth by Meghan March

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.

I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross.
Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits.
Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Beneath The Truth

 

I’ve shed a few tears today. There were sad tears to mark the end of one of my most favorite series in the last few years. There were happy tears for the way each of the storylines was completed. There were also some really big smiles, because you can’t ask for more than that from one of your favorite authors.

The Beneath Series has followed a somewhat-mismatched group of New Orleans residents. Their lives crisscrossed and soon became intertwined with one another. They have helped each other, fought with each other, fought for each other and saved each other countless times throughout the seven book series. Beneath The Truth was the perfect conclusion to the series.

Each of the books in the Beneath Series builds on the other as the characters mix it up together. However, the books can be read out of order or as standalones and they will deliver equal enjoyment. One of my favorite things about this series is the incredible audio narration. The entire series is narrated by my all-time favorite duo of Andi Arndt and Sebastian York. They bring the characters and the settings to life and make these fantastic books even better!

Detective turned civilian, Rhett Hennessy FINALLY gets the answers to questions that have plagued him throughout the series. To top it off, he gets the girl! And the fans of this series are the real winners. The Beneath Series is on my most recommended list and you absolutely need to add it to your TBR/TBL lists today!

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 from Beneath The Truth

Wham. My heart slammed against my ribs as it sped up about twenty beats per minute.

The heat and delicious woodsy citrus scent radiating from his body did good things to me. Things that made me want to do very bad things to him. I wasn’t a seventeen-year-old virgin anymore. I knew my way around a man, but I had to admit, the hipsters in Cali had nothing on a homegrown Louisiana man like Rhett.

When he spoke, he leaned in so close that I could feel his breath on my ear. “You missed that shot on purpose.”

My gaze jumped from the sexy five o’clock shadow shading his jaw to his piercing green eyes.

“Wha-what are you talking about?” I smacked myself mentally when my old stammer kicked in. Of course he would cause it.

“That shot. You missed on purpose. I saw you adjust at the last minute. Why?”

I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth and decided to take the safest exit from this situation. Lying.

“Cue slipped.”

His eyes narrowed on me. “You’re lying and you’re terrible at it, just like you’ve always been.” He reached up and pressed his thumb to my left eyebrow. “You get a twitch right here.”

Oh my God. Rhett Hennessy is touching me. And what’s more . . . he knows my tell. He noticed me!

The fifteen-year-old inside me did a terrible cartwheel at the realization. Okay, more of a round-off. With a tumble in the grass to finish. Whatever.

But outwardly, I was trapped in that green gaze until he decided to let me go—or until I came to my senses.

I cleared my throat and sidestepped him. “Whatever you say, hotshot. I need another drink.”

Focusing on putting one four-inch heel in front of the other without biting it, I escaped to the table and reached for the whiskey glass I’d left behind, interrupting my brother and the waitress. They both stared at me as I chugged the contents.

I’d always wondered what it would feel like to have Rhett’s attention, and now I knew. In a word, it was . . . unnerving.

“How’s the game going?” my brother asked.

“Fine.” Keeping my answer short meant he couldn’t tell that I was lying. Heath wasn’t nearly as observant as Rhett.

“You winning?”

Thanking the Lord that Heath obviously hadn’t been watching, I shrugged. “I guess.”

He glanced toward Rhett and then back to me. “The sister I know and love doesn’t lose at pool. Ever. Even to Rhett Hennessy.”

I lowered the glass to the table and straightened my shoulders. “Like they say, things change.”

He nodded slowly. “That may be true about most things, Flounder. But you’re a pool shark and we both know it.”

Before I could respond, Heath’s attention jumped back to the waitress. I took another ten seconds to gather myself, also known as drinking offensively in my mind, before I crossed the floor to face off against my former obsession.

“You all right, Red?” Rhett asked.

“Don’t call me that. And I’ve never been better.”

His gaze dipped to my feet and dragged up my body. “I can agree with that statement.”

Whoa. Who is this guy with the innuendo? A glance at his empty whiskey glass told me he was drinking heavily as well. Was this the booze talking? Or was Rhett Hennessy not just noticing me, but noticing me?

Either way, I had to play it cool. Or at least pretend to play it cool, since it seemed I might fall short.

“Your turn, hotshot. Better not miss, because I’ll clear the table next time,” I said, but my cocky attitude backfired.

Rhett didn’t miss. He sank his balls and then the eight, ending the game almost as quickly as it started. He returned his cue to the rack and turned to face me, all traces of the earlier heat banked, his expression shuttered.

“Game over.”

What the hell just happened?

 

 

 

About the Author

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Review – Palm South University Season 3 by Kandi Steiner

SBPRBanner-PSU-RB

Palm South University: Season 3 by Kandi Steiner
Genre: New Adult

Season 3 Boxset-01

 

Drama. Lies. Sex.

Welcome to Palm South University.

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up in South Florida. At a school where fraternities and sororities don’t exactly play by the rules, relationships are bound to be tested. Parties and sex are definitely key ingredients in the Palm South recipe, but what happens when family issues, secret lives, and unrequited love get tossed in the mix?

Follow Cassie, Bear, Jess, Skyler, Erin, Ashlei, and Adam as they tackle college at a small, private beach town university. Written in television drama form, each episode of this serial will pull you deeper and deeper into the world of PSU.

Where the sun is hot and the clothes are scarce, anything can happen.

Read today!

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BFF K’s Review of Palm South University Season 3

Very few series make me have slightly insane urges to get the author really intoxicated and beg to know the final outcome for all of the characters but….I have crazy, mad, obsessive, insane love for the Palm South University Series. I absolutely adore every bit of it! I love the characters: their crazy escapades, their relationships with one another, their happiness and their pain, their successes and their struggles. I am way more invested in Palm South University than any person should be immersed in a fictional world. I care deeply about what happens to Erin, Jess, Ashlei, Skyler, Bear, Cassie and Adam.

The season and episode format is not only fresh, unique and enjoyable, but so illustrative of the series. I’m thrilled that Season 3 was released all at once. It’s like binge watching your favorite show and craving more as soon as you’ve finished the Season Finale. Kandi Steiner, I’m ready for more – NOW! I desperately want this series to come to life on my small screen (TV or computer.) Passionflix, do you hear me?!?! Until then, I’ll anxiously wait for more of the sweetness to arrive on my Kindle!

Palm South University Season 3 is my idea of a perfect summer read. It’s sexy, fun, emotional and an absolute page-turner. It’s characters that you love and care about and they’ll keep you coming back season after season. PSU is a must for New Adult romance lovers. And, if you lived and loved Greek life, parts of this book will transport you back to the days of formals and communal living. It is everything and I am already aching for more. I’ll spend the next few months wondering what the gang is up to and anxiously awaiting their next semester’s adventures!Bring on PSU Season 4!

 

 

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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Start the Series Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Palm South University: Season 1 Box Set

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Palm South University: Season 2 Box Set

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About the Author

Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

Kandi Steiner

Connect with Kandi:

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

Twitter: @KandiSteiner

Stay up to date with Kandi by signing up for her newsletter here: https://goo.gl/TLsut8

http://kandisteiner.com

 

 

Review – The Contract by Melanie Moreland

Today the BFF’s are sharing some teasers from The Contract Series by NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Melanie Moreland. You can grab The Contract now, and the recent novella in the series, The Baby Clause 2.0. Reviews, buy links, and teasers, for each title are below.

The Contract by Melanie Moreland

Available Now!

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract — fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?

Sparks.

That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

Will they survive the contract?

What do you do when the one person you hate the most becomes the one person you can’t live without?

 

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BFF K’s Review of The Contract

 

Have you read a book and had a really good idea where the story was headed, but turned the pages even faster because you couldn’t wait to get there? That was the experience I had while reading The Contract. Richard was a Dick (pun intended) when this book started. I didn’t like him at all, but I couldn’t wait to see Katy hand him his a$#; and oh did it happen!

Richard is such a jerk. When you first meet him, you’ll wonder how anyone could like him. He’s just not a nice person and the way he treats Katy is disgraceful. But, he’s soon desperate. Desperate enough to ask Katy to help him change his ways, or at least change the ways people look at him. He needs to go from playboy to smitten-kitten overnight. And, he has to do it with just the right person. He enlists Katy to help him revamp his image.

Katy is sweet and broke. She desperately needs the money and not for herself. Richard is a horrible person, but this may just be the way out of her precarious financial situation. What you soon realize is that Katy is so good, so sweet, so kind and so wonderful that all of her goodness can’t help but rub off on Richard. Reading his transformation brings on the butterflies and wraps your heart in joy. And it’s equally delightful as an audio book!

The Contract contains elements of Beauty and the Beast, mainly the redemption of one character through another. While the story is familiar, it is well written and immensely enjoyable. If you’re looking for a solid, satisfying, character-driven story that shows true emotional growth and redemption; sign a copy of this Contract right now!

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.

 

 

 

 

Buy the Novella The Baby Clause

Purchase Now

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  GooglePlay

 

BFF K’s Review of The Baby Clause 2.0

There’s a clause in every contract to deal with the unexpected and this is no different. But, this clause is the sweet follow-up story to The Contract. And it is everything you hope will follow a beloved tale. It’s the continuation of a happily ever after. The Baby Clause 2.0 reveals little that is unexpected, but lots to love. You’ll see a new side of Richard and he’s navigating his new life with Katy. It’s everything you hope it will be!

If you’ve read and LOVED The Contract, you need to put The Baby Clause on your TBR immediately! If you haven’t read The Contract, pick them both up today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Review – Porter by Georgia Cates

 

 

Title: Porter
A Men of Lovibond Series Standalone
Author: Georgia Cates
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 4, 2017

 

My employee’s daughter. The tomboy. The kid who once did odd jobs around the brewery. That’s all she was… until three years passed and she walked into my office for an interview.

Frankee Dawson is no longer that girl I once called Kiddo. She’s grown into a beautiful, sexy, desirable woman. Very desirable. And that’s a problem. She’s my employee’s daughter. Lovibond family. And too young for me. Too innocent.

I want to feel her respond to my kiss.

I want her body to tremble as she anticipates my touch.

I want to learn all the places that bring her pleasure.

But mostly I want her to know that she’s never truly been loved by a man until me.

Frankee is my intern and under me for the summer. Literally. It’s a difficult secret to maintain when you can’t keep your hands off each other.

This was supposed to be a hot summer fling. Sex and fun without commitment—that’s what we called it. But we were wrong. This is more. I’ve never felt this way about a woman. Never cared more about someone else’s happiness more than my own.

I love her and I’m happy. So damn happy… until a terrible mistake from my past springs forward and threatens to rip us apart.

There are a million reasons for her to leave me. And trust me, she should. But all I really need is one good reason for her to stay.

 

 

 

Purchase Links
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BFF K’s Review of Porter

 

When you fall in love with the characters of a series, you always hope that the conclusion does justice to the characters and their storylines. I have been enamored with the Lovibond Brewing boys since I met Tap in book one of the series. And, I was excited to read Porter’s story and know that all is well for these characters I adore.

 

I was anxious to learn about Porter and the woman who would rock his world and I wasn’t disappointed. Frankee is everything he doesn’t realize he needs. She slips seamlessly back into his life, but in all new ways. He’s no longer her father’s unattainable boss and she’s definitely not the kiddo that used to follow him around with puppy dog eyes. But, is a relationship worth the risks to their work and their relationships with family, friends and co-workers? And, if the partnership is worth the risk, is it strong enough to stand up when it’s challenged?

 

Frankee and Porter are well-developed, relate-able characters. The story has elements of forbidden romance and second chance romance, though they did not have a romantic relationship when they first knew each other.  There is also a particularly evil character who threatens their relationship in a few mind blowing ways! Through it all, the story flows quickly and comes to very satisfying conclusions for both the book and the series.

 

If you haven’t met the men of Lovibond Brewing, you need to do that ASAP! Porter can be read as a standalone and would be perfectly enjoyable. However, you definitely don’t want to miss out on Tap, he’s one of my most favorite heroes. I strongly recommend grabbing a cold brew and curling up with this great series! I will miss the Lovibond Boys and their lady loves, but I can’t wait to see what Georgia Cates brings us next!

 

 

 

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

 

 

Excerpt

Unedited and subject to change.

Frankee and I stayed up until three in the morning. I couldn’t keep my hands off of her. Not when she was wearing that sexy-as-fuck lingerie.

I’ve never seen anyone wear anything like that. Sure, I’ve watched porn and seen it on those women, but never on a real-life woman. And never one in my bed.

Frankee is like my very own porno princess.

 I gave her six orgasms last night—one an hour. I’ve never done that before. Not that I don’t have the ability. I’ve just never been inclined to.

“Frankee.”

She doesn’t stir. Not even a little. I shake her shoulder this time. “Frankee. Wake up, baby. I have to go.”

She rolls to her back and slowly opens her eyes. “Someone fucked me into next week. You’ll have to check back with me when it comes around to see if I can wake up.”

“You don’t have to get up, but I do have to go.”

“No. Don’t go. Staaaay.” She has no idea how badly I want to.

At some point during the night, Frankee washed off her makeup, and I’m seeing her for the first time without cosmetics. It’s confirmed. She’s a natural beauty and doesn’t need that garbage on her face.

“I wish I could stay in this bed with you all day, but I promised Stout I’d help him move his stuff to his new house today. I was supposed to be there already, but I couldn’t bear to leave when you looked so beautiful in my bed.”

I already know he’s going to give me shit for being late.

“Wait a minute… before you go.”

Frankee dashes to the bathroom, still wearing her porno princess attire from last night. That is one convenient getup. I hope she has more of those.

She returns from the bathroom with her hair twisted into a topknot. I don’t know what it is that makes that so damn sexy.

She wraps her arms around my shoulders and lowers herself to straddle me on the bed. “Kiss me before you go.”

Her mouth is minty. And hungry, based on the way she devours my mouth and neck. “Is this your plan for tempting me to stay?”

Her hands are working to undo the button and zipper on my jeans. “No. This is.”

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$3.99 for a limited time!
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About the Author

Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

 

 

 

 

Review – The Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward

 

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale to her Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch—and a shocking arrest.

At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

Praise for J. R. Ward’s Bourbon Kings series

“A most sinful indulgence . . . The gorgeous Kentucky backdrop will sweep you away.”—Susan Wiggs

“Breathless fun!”—Lisa Gardner

Buy The Devil’s Cut TODAY on Amazon

 

BFF K’s Review of The Devil’s Cut

 

The Bourbon Kings is one of my all-time favorite series. The three book set will go down as one of my most beloved, most re-read and most recommended series. Every book is filled with incredible characters, fantastic settings, mind twisting surprises, heart stopping revelations, and plenty of romance!

The Bourbon Kings series follows the dramatic lives and loves of the Bradford family, owners of the Bradford Bourbon Company. There is murder, espionage, love, betrayal, secrets and so much more! The entire series is reminiscent of old school, evening soap operas like Dallas and Dynasty. It is full of all the wonderful things that make a series addictive and enthralling.

I don’t want to spoil any of the fantastic storylines or plot twists. But, I will say that this is one of my FAVORITE reads in 2017 and this series sits high in my list of all-time favorites. It is absolutely not to be missed. All of the books in this series have a higher price-point than I usually recommend, but the stories are worth every penny.

In The Devil’s Cut, many mysteries are solved, all of the relationships are tested and love wins in the end…..at least for now. I would be heartbroken about the end of this series, except, I have high hopes that the Bradford’s will be coming to my TV screen VERY soon! In the meantime, I will have to satisfy my cravings with a stiff drink and yet another re-read (or re-listen) of this fantastic series! I hope you’ll join me!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Read Our Reviews for the Bourbon Kings Series

The Bourbon Kings

The Angel’s Share

 

Buy The Devil’s Cut TODAY on Amazon

 

About the Author

J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.

Review – Mister Hockey by Lia Riley

 

MISTER HOCKEY
Hellion’s Angels #1
Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse

 

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?

Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.

So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

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BFF K’s Review of Mister Hockey

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I loved this book! Mister Hockey by Lia Riley is a fun and flirty, super sweet rom-com! It reads like a Hallmark movie and I loved every second of it. This is a really quick read. I skated through the pages and adored every silly and sassy minute!

Jed West, God’s gift to hockey, walks out of Breezy Angel’s dreams and right into her library. Soon, he’s in her house and in her bed. They are crashing family picnics and revealing all their secrets. The connection they share is powerful, fast, and quickly burning up the sheets.

I told a friend tonight that Mister Hockey is a perfect palate cleanser. If you need a quick, light-hearted enjoyable story to reset your reading mojo, give Mister Hockey a tryout. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the release of Head Coach, the next book in this Hellions Angels Series!

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

 

Excerpt

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

 

Giveaway

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About the Author

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

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Review – Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston

Today the BFF’s have the release day blitz for Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston! Check out the release day festivities and be sure to grab your copy today!

 

Title: Martinis & Moonlight

Author: Andrea Johnston

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Minnesota “Minnie” Walker has worked hard for the life she has – a close knit family, successful career, and long-term relationship. When a tragedy strikes, Minnie sacrifices everything to be there for her family. Never expecting a move to the small town of Lexington would change the course of her future, Minnie finds herself wondering if what she always thought was perfect is really what’s best for her … and her heart.

Owen Butler has lived in the town of Lexington his entire life. After years of feeling second best and wasting his time vying for the attention of his father, Owen has settled into an uncomplicated life. Not one to believe in happily ever after, he never expected the new woman in town to have him questioning everything he thought he wanted in life.

Together, under the rays of the moonlight, Owen and Minnie find themselves wondering what the future holds and if facing it together is worth the risk.

 

 

Martinis & Moonlight:

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BFF K’s Review of Martinis & Moonlight

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I must begin by confessing that I am a Beta reader for Andrea Johnston. I had a chance to read Minnie and Owen way before the rest of you get that pleasure! Believe me, this is not a book that romance lovers want to miss out on.
Minnie has stepped up to the plate! She has stepped in to fill a critical role in her family at her own personal expense. She is temporarily taking care of her two nieces. When she takes a job working for Jamison and his construction company she’s immediately welcomed into the Country Road gang and gets to know the whole crew. She and Owen are particularly drawn to each other and begin to spend time getting to know each other. They each like the other more than they should and the tension begins to pull them apart and push them together. You’ll soon come to love Minnie. She is kind and loyal, dedicated to her family, selfless, sweet, and incredibly endearing.
Owen is kind of an ass. He’s focused on his job and trying to build a satisfying and fulfilling life even though he’s carrying enough family baggage to hold anyone down. But, when he comes into Minnie’s orbit, he wants to shed the baggage and be the kind of man she needs and wants.
Their love story is fun and flirtatious, sweet and steamy and everything you want in a heart-felt, character-driven, small town romance. I can’t recommend Martinis and Moonlight enough and I firmly believe this is Andrea Johnston’s best work yet! You should definitely one-click this book today!

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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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Check out the rest of the series!

Whiskey & Honey (A Country Road Novel Book 1)

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Tequila & Tailgates (A Country Road Novel Book 2)

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Excerpt

This week has been particularly quiet in the office, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d even take an encounter with Owen at this point. Yep, be careful what you wish for.

The door to the office opens and I sense him before I hear him. Maybe it’s that I smell him. Not smell in a gross way, but a way that is like some weird mating call. I’m sure there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it because there he is, walking toward me in a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt that, thanks to the sweat on his body, is clinging to his torso and chiseled chest, and a pair of sunglasses sitting atop his head. That smile I mentioned taking over his face as he gets closer to my desk has me quickly looking away in embarrassment. I know he can tell that he affects me. I know my tell-tale giveaway to embarrassment has completely taken over my arms, neck, and cheeks in a glorious shade of strawberry.

“Well, Miss Walker, fancy meeting you here.”

“Oh, hey.” I don’t take my eyes from my screen and very diligently read the same line over and over. Why does he make me nervous? I don’t get nervous.

“Here are some invoices for you and I signed off on the time cards for my crew.”

I finally lift my eyes from my screen to see Owen sitting in the chair in front of my desk, leaning back so he is rocking on the back two legs of the chair, with his arms crossed, and a smirk on his face. The same smirk he usually offers me before not so subtlety suggesting something flirtatious.

“Thanks. Checks will be ready Monday as usual. Was there anything else?”

“What’re your plans this weekend? Date with your boyfriend? Painting your nails with the squirt?”

Clicking the save icon on the spreadsheet I’m working on, I sit back in my seat, crossing my feet at the ankle while folding my arms, and contemplating how to answer this. He’s trying to get to know me and I promised myself I’d be open to new friendships. Owen Butler is a lot of things, and while I’m not sure he’s completely harmless, I doubt he’s much more than talk.

“No boyfriend,” I casually respond before whispering under my breath, “anymore.”

“What? Some schmuck let you go? What a loser.”

I snort out a laugh; I guess my whisper was louder than I thought. The more I’ve thought about my relationship with Kent, the more appropriate a word like “schmuck” is a perfect way to describe him. Boring, self-absorbed, career driven, and missionary style are also other ways.

“Well anyway, I’m actually going to just hang out this weekend. The girls are going with my parents and it’ll be the first time in weeks I’ve had time to myself. How about you? Got a date?”

Owen chokes on what I think was supposed to be a laugh, startling me a little while simultaneously sending a little shiver down my spine to my lady bits. His voice is deep and gravelly, as is his attempt to laugh, almost like he doesn’t do it very often and his vocal cords don’t know how to respond.

“Yeah, I don’t date. Hook up maybe, but dating indicates I’m interested in a relationship and that’s not the case.”

“I hear ya. A relationship is the last thing on my mind these days.”

We sit in silence for a few ticks before Owen clears his throat and rests his chair on all four feet. I follow suit by sitting up more in my chair and grabbing my mouse. A few clicks and Owen stands and then taps the top of my monitor.

“You should call the girls.”

I look up at him, slightly confused, but not before acknowledging the sweat has dried from his torso while his shirt still clings to his skin. He must notice my gaze has lingered a little longer than necessary because he offers me that smirk again.

“Sorry, the girls – Piper and Ashton. Me and the guys are heading to the lake for a little fishing so I’m sure they’re around.”

“Oh.” The realization of how much my life has changed in the last few months struck me; when he said “the girls,” I thought of my nieces. “Yeah, uh, maybe.”

“Well, all right then. Have a good weekend, Minnesota. See ya next week.”

I don’t bother asking Owen to not call me by my full name. I know he knows it’s not my preference. And honestly, for whatever reason, it doesn’t bother me when he says it. I would never tell him that, but it’s true.

 

Andrea’s Giveaway

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About the Author

Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told.  A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.

Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs.  When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.

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Review – Small Town Scandal by Daisy Prescott

Today the BFF’s are sharing the release for SMALL TOWN SCANDAL by Daisy Prescott. This book is a standalone, romantic comedy, and it is the 5th book in the Wingmen series. Check out the buy links for the book below and for the previous books in the series!

 

 SMALL TOWN SCANDAL by Daisy Prescott
(Wingmen, #5)

PURCHASE NOW

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Another wingmen meets his match and this time it’s scandalous.

Carter Kelso is a man with a plan. And goats. 

Ashley Kingston is a woman with a reputation.

Can he earn back her love before their past catches up with them and destroys everything?

On the island, my last name is synonymous with scandal. With a notorious father and a famous brother, I’ve been on the sidelines of our small town’s gossip circle for years. Nothing to see here. Just a man and his goats, happily going through life. Not a care in the world. Too bad it’s all lies.

I’m tired of trying not to be in love with Ashley Kingston, our very own island jezebel. Some people think she’s a slut. They think they know her. They’re wrong. Screw them.

Reputations can be deceiving. I should know.

Small Town Scandal is a second chance romance standalone novel and the fifth book in the Wingmen series. You do not have to read the other novels first.

 

ADD SMALL TOWN SCANDAL TO GOODREADS

 

 

BFF K’s Review of Small Town Scandal

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Small Town Scandal is the very best of second chance romances! It not only rekindles the love, but redeems the characters as well. The entire story is heartwarming, uplifting, sweet, swoony and character-driven. It’s the best of what Daisy Prescott already does so well! Every time I read her newest book, I have an instant new favorite. I wasn’t sure anything would top the reform of the Tom Cat, but Ashley and Carter are my new favorite couple in the Wingmen series. Though it’s a series, each book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone if you haven’t read any of the others yet.

Carter has been pining. For years. He has some serious regret about his breakup with his childhood sweetheart. For the last several years, he’s been carrying a torch and waiting for his opportunity to prove that he’s a new man who is ready for the love of one woman. Ashley is no longer the innocent girl that Carter first fell in love with. She’s unapologetic about whom she has shared her bed with in the last few years and there are a few. But, Ashley is more than the notches on her bedpost and Carter can see through her tough exterior. He knows her heart and he wants it!

It’s a sweet journey to watch Carter and Ashley find their way back to one another. They have so much in their pasts to overcome, but it makes their futures so much sweeter. The characters in Small Town Scandal are all about rising above the scandals in their lives to find happiness, love and happily ever after. You should absolutely NOT miss out on this wonderful story!

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

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Excerpt

“Worried about history repeating itself?” Ashley meets my eyes.

“With you?” Yes, please.

She gives a slight nod in response.

“Never. I’m not some dumb eighteen-year-old kid with his head up his ass. I’m not my father. You’re not your parents. We’re adults now.”

She gazes out over the water for a moment. “I don’t see any, do you?”

“Any what?” I scan the sky.

“Flying pigs.” Her smile is shy and more vulnerable than I’ve seen in years.

I bump her shoulder again with mine. “Stranger things have happened.”

“Says you.” She returns the pressure with her arm against mine with a brief nudge.

“You mentioned dinner? Were you serious?” I circle back to her comment before my random business idea.

“We both gotta eat. Plus, the baristas can close up for me. It’s good responsibility for them to have.”

“You trust them?”

“I do. If they mess up, then it’s a learning lesson for all of us.”

“When did you get to be so wise?” I almost say smart, but she’s always been smart. Definitely has the brains along with the body and the looks. She’s the trifecta. With a cherry on top.

I pick up the stem and then toss it over to the other bench.

“Hey! I thought that was my present,” she protests.

“You want a cherry stem that I’ve tongued into a knot?”

“Your tongue’s been in my mouth, so it’s kind of the same thing.”

We both stare at the stem laying on the concrete in who knows what combination of fluids and dirt.

“I’ll make you another one.”

“I have a better use for your tongue.” She surprises me with a small hop to peck my lips.

We’re going to need some rules of engagement. A SWOT of our own.

First, we need to stick to well lit, public places.

Second, we shouldn’t be alone.

Ten minutes of sitting on a bench together and certain parts of my body are coiled and ready to spring into action, not caring it’s daylight and a few hundred bored people are sitting in their cars with nothing better to do than watch us.

Nah, they’re all on their phones. She could probably straddle me on this bench and no one would pay any attention.

Damn, if I’m not tempted to test this theory.

“Are you coming?” She’s halfway back to the coffee hut.

“I wish,” I mumble, dipping my head and mentally cursing myself for setting limits.

Ashley’s smile says she probably heard me and agrees.

 

PURCHASE SMALL TOWN SCANDAL NOW

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PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES

READY TO FALL (Wingmen #1)

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CONFESSIONS OF A REFORMED TOM CAT (Wingmen, #2)

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

ABL 6x9

ANYTHING BUT LOVE (Wingmen, #3)

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

BETTER LOVE (Wingmen, #4)

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

 About the Author

 

new daisy prescott full size

USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies with heart.

 

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. Look for her new Rom Com series, Love with Altitude, in 2017.

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband, their rescue dog, and an indeterminate number of imaginary house goats. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

To learn more about Daisy and her writing, sign up for her mailing list here. Send her an email at: daisyauthor AT gmail DOT com Or chat with her on Twitter (@daisy_prescott) and Facebook: /daisyprescottauthorpage, and follow her on Instagram: /daisyprescott

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Review – Salvaged by Jay Crownover

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss this amazing new novel and grab your copy today!

 

 

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

 

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ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

BFF K’s Review of Salvaged

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Sometimes you come upon a series that you just want to live inside. You fall in love with the characters and the setting and their stories. You dream about their lives and their families and you desperately hope that they all find happily ever afters. Jay Crownover has delivered that experience and more with the Marked Men and Saints of Denver Series. And Salvaged is the PERFECT end to this ride!

Poppy has been damaged and abused at the hands of the people in her life who are supposed to love her. She lives her life skirting the edges. She hides away from most of the world, both the good and the bad. But, at her core, Poppy is a nurturer and a fighter. Wheeler sees it all. He sees her scars and her fears but he also sees her bravery and her hopes. Wheeler is book boyfriend perfection. He’s a strong, independent, nurturing, patient, loving, caring man that fights for the woman he loves and deserves to be her partner.

I’m kind of heartbroken that this is the final chapter in this series and I will miss all of the characters so much, but none more so than Poppy and Wheeler. They’re the couple that feels so familiar you will think about them in weeks and months to come and wonder how they are before you remember that they’re not real and it breaks your heart all over again. You would not need to read the rest of the series to enjoy Salvaged, but you absolutely should.

I think everyone needs to read Salvaged and welcome Poppy and Wheeler onto your bookshelf and into your heart. Their love and their HEA are perfection. You’ll want a Wheeler of your own before the book is done. Make sure to one-click Salvaged today. In a few weeks when you’re still thinking about Poppy, Wheeler, and the gang, you can message me and we’ll commiserate together!

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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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Excerpt

I didn’t want her to be scared of anything ever again.

Things at home had been rocky, rougher than class-five rapids in winter, but I was paddling for my life and prepared to ride it out. I couldn’t let go. I wouldn’t let go. I saw Poppy the day she walked through my shop and I started to feel how sore my hands and my heart were from holding on.

Her head was down, focused on the tips of her shoes. Her shoulders were hunched over and her long hair hid her face. She was skinny, so skinny, nothing but skin and bones. She was nothing that I should have noticed, not because she was clearly doing everything in her power to be invisible, but because I was supposed to have my eyes locked on my future and doing whatever I could do to salvage it. But I did notice her and I couldn’t look away once I did.

She was obviously terrified, clearly out of her element and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t her unease that called to me…it was her loneliness. I could feel it filling up the space that separated us. Stretching, growing, expanding until it was all I was breathing in and exhaling back out. It was bitter on my tongue and heavy across my skin because I knew the feeling well. I lived with it pressing me down and pushing me forward every minute of every day. The reason I was so set on the way things had to be, the reason I was singlemindedly set on settling down and building a life with the girl that was slipping through my fingers was because I never again wanted to be as alone as this girl was. I didn’t want to be left and forgotten. I’d barely survived it the first time.

I did my best to sell her a car that was as beautiful as she was…a classic with clean lines and a flawless finish. She picked something practical and boring but that was ultimately safe and reliable. I understood her choice but it grated and annoyed me long after she left the shop. When she wasn’t standing in front of me, she should have been easy to forget; after all, everything in front of me, everything I had been working for and toward, was falling down in front of my eyes. My world was collapsing in on itself and everything I thought I was so goddamn sure about turned out to be nothing more than lies and illusions. In the middle of all of it, I couldn’t forget her sad eyes and shivering, shaking form. Her loneliness clung to me, unshakable and unforgettable. I didn’t think I would see her again and against my better judgment I often found myself wondering how she was doing and if she had gotten a handle on all the things that seemed to be crushing her under their inescapable weight.

I was wrong about seeing her again, just like I was wrong about thinking that doing everything in my life differently from how my mother had lived hers would ensure my happiness and a future built on an unshakeable foundation. I was wrong about hard work and sacrifice being enough. I was wrong about holding on when what I was holding on to desperately wanted me to let go. All I was left with was bleeding palms, rope burns around my heart and scars on my soul.

The next time I saw Poppy Cruz it was my loneliness that was filling up the space, suffocating me, choking me, making me forget to handle her with care. I was nothing more than a vast, open wound. One that was raw, aching, throbbing, and leaking my heart and shattered emotions out everywhere. I felt like I’d lost everything, like my entire life had been nothing but a waste of time, nothing more than building blocks knocked over with the swipe of a careless hand. The girl I loved didn’t love me back, my future was ultimately nothing more than a fuzzy, fractured blur. I couldn’t see anything clearly other than waste and ruin.

But I saw her. And I saw that I scared her.

It was the last thing I wanted to do but my loneliness was just as big and just as consuming as hers was. It spread out, hungry and angry, looking to consume anyone that might try and challenge its reign.

I tried to pull myself together, apologized because I knew our paths would cross again now that she lived next door to my best friend. I didn’t want to be another man that she was terrified of. I locked the loneliness down, wrestled it into submission, and tried to quiet down the wild inside of me that was howling, screaming at the loss of its mate. I wanted to be nothing more than gnashing teeth and tearing claws but I swallowed those instincts and allowed myself to be like a kicked puppy that just wanted to whimper and cry.

Poppy had been through more than I could imagine. She was the one I couldn’t look away from, but even then, she managed to slip past me and disappear. She looked like honey but she moved like a ghost. I memorized everything about her even though she hardly let me see her face.

I wasn’t supposed to be looking at anything other than how to salvage the mess my life was in, but she was all I could see.

 

 

 

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 About the Author

 

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her dogs.

 

 

 

 

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