ARC Review: Strong Enough by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

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Title: Strong Enough

Authors: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Heat Rating: 4 Stars

All the Feels: 5 Stars

Add to Goodreads

 

blurb

I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.

I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.

He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real between us.

But he does.

He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.

He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.

I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.

 

review

I’m a big fan of Melanie Harlow and so I was excited to see how her first MM book would turn out, especially co-writing it with David Romanov. I have to admit my expectations were a little high, given that I was familiar with Harlow’s work. Well, Strong Enough completely blew me away.  It was heartwarming, sexy, sweet, gut-wrenching- a total roller-coaster.

From the moment Maxim steps off the plane in America, things aren’t going his way. After a string of bad luck, he finds himself being taken in by Derek Wolfe. The two are complete opposites in almost every way- Maxim follows his gut, Derek follows his brain- yet there is this connection, chemistry even, between them that is undeniable. The more time they spend together, the more the spark grows. Maxim thinks whatever happening is simple and easy, while Derek knows it’s anything but. Torn between his heart and his mind, Derek is in a rough spot. For the first time ever he has these incredible feelings, but will he let himself feel them?

Maxim was one of my favorite parts about this book. He’s younger, only 24 years old, yet is wise beyond his years. There is a dept and maturity to his character that is hard to describe. But at the same time, he is carefree, loving, and thinks you should always follow your gut and never second guess things. He has a big heart, and isn’t afraid to love. He is Russian, and it was interesting getting to know more about the Russian culture. Gah, he was so adorable!

Derek was so different from Maxim. He was a bit older 36 years old, and everything was logically thought about with him. His ultimate goal in life was to have a wife and family. You know, a “normal” life. Yet, he is carrying a secret. Derek is attracted to women… but he is also attracted to men, especially Maxim. He has battles within himself over this throughout the book, more so when he starts to really care for Maxim. I have to admit, at times I got mad at Derek. Frustrated with him. Wanted to yell at him. But, at the same time, I appropriate how realistic his character was. Derek was raised a certain way to believe certain things, and his struggle to accept himself is one that many people go through.

The relationship between Maxim and Derek is everything. From strangers, to unlikely friends, to much more. They just click. The complete what the other is lacking, and bring out the very best in each other. The way Derek softens around Maxim is super sweet. And the chemistry? WOWZA! It’s off the charts! There are some serious steamy scenes.

The writing was incredible and I was very impressed with David Romanov’s debut. I look forward to reading more from him! And of course, it was another hit for Melanie Harlow.

You seriously don’t want to miss this touching tale.

 

Find it on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

 

 

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ARC Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

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Title: Stay

Authors: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Series: Wags #2 (Can be read as a stand alone)

Genre: Sports Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

Heat Rating: 4 Stars

All the Feels: 5++++++

Release Date: June 20th, 2017

 

blurb

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

 

 

review

Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy have written some damn great books together. I didn’t think it was possible for any to surpass my love for HIM, but wow, Stay is reallllly trying to do that.

Stay has the witty banter, humor, and oh so steamy scenes that comes along with books that Sarina and Elle write, but it also tugged at my heart strings a lot more than I was expecting. The writing is excellent and really makes the characters come to live. Their emotions feel raw and genuine, which I really appropriate.

I know some people might be weary to see the word “flirting online” in the blurb because E-mails and messages between characters can get boring. Let me tell you, this is SO not the case. The interactions between Hailey and Eriksson are golden. I lost count at how many times I laughed out loud.

I loved Hailey‘s character. She was the kind of character that most people could see bits of themselves in. She was shy, uncertain at times, but also hungry for success and sure of herself. There is more I’d like to say about her relationship with another character, but I don’t want to give away too much. I know that’s a tease. 😛

As for Eriksson… sigh. He is so swoony. He’s been hurt so he has a bit of a hard shell, but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the guy from the beginning. Seriously. His interactions with his daughters are too cute for words. It will hurt your ovaries. His inner thoughts about Hailey will make you swoon so hard, you will be a puddle on the floor. Total closet romantic. Oh, and did I mention he is one of the best dirty talkers? YEP! I’m still kinda blushing from it.

The chemistry between them is amazing. So hot, it was burning my fingers as I held my kindle. 😉 But more than that, they just have this connection that makes you sigh. It’s so real, so sweet. It’s not all easy, but you can’t help but smile at them. One of the cutest couples.

Of course, I have to mention Rufus, the dog that likes to steal the spotlight. He might not be able to talk, but man, you have to love him! Sometimes he helps makes things deliciously awkward, and other times he helps breaks the ice.

You also get to see Blake and Jess (From Goodbye) and Wes and Jamie (HIM/US). I love, love catching up with them. There are some new characters as well, but I don’t want to give too many details away.

All in all, you really don’t want to miss this. A perfect summer read!

 

Find Stay

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal: STRONG ENOUGH by Melanie Harlow and David Romanov

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Title: Strong Enough

Authors: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Release Date: June 19, 2017

Add to Goodreads!

 

blurb

I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.

I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.

He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real between us.

But he does.

He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.

He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.

I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.

 

excerpt

Figuring I’d had enough booze to blunt his effect on me, I rolled up the sleeves of my black button-down shirt and moved next to him. “I’ll help you.”

“Okay.”

I caught him trying to not to look at my wrists and forearms, and it made me smile. How does it feel to want someone and have to hide it? “You wash, I’ll dry?”

“Sounds good.”

We worked in silence, shoulder to shoulder, and I found myself increasingly—and disturbingly—pleased at the thought of him being attracted to me and being forced to conceal it. It was fucking horrible of me to take pleasure in his discomfort, but I liked being secretly wanted. Being illicitly desired. Being the object of his covert glances and maybe even his darkest, dirtiest thoughts. I let our arms touch more than necessary, as thrilled by the physical contact as I was by the thought of what it might be doing to him.

For there is no man who does not sin.

My dick started to get hard, clearly unbothered by the whiskey that was breaking down my inhibitions, pushing past all my defenses, and letting my imagination run wild.

What’s in that gorgeous head of yours, Maxim? What’s behind those cobalt eyes? What would you do to me, if I let you? What would you let me do to you?

“Carolyn is so nice,” he said, handing me the last serving dish left to be dried.

What? He was thinking about Carolyn right now? He wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Carolyn—I was, goddammit!

But I wasn’t. “Yeah.”

He turned off the water. Rested his wet hands on the edge of the sink. “I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.”

And I heard it in his voice—the slightest edge of jealousy, so faint I might never have noticed it had I not been so hyperaware of everything about him right now. I fucking loved it.

“She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Oh.” Now there was confusion. “I guess I misunderstood.”

“She wants to be my girlfriend.”

Silence.

Of course there was silence. Maxim would never ask what the problem was. But I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know. I wanted to share the impossible longing I felt with one person who might understand it.

“The problem is me.”

He was completely still. Before I could stop myself, I covered his right hand with my left. “Sometimes I don’t know what I want.”

He yanked his hand from beneath mine and we faced each other.

For the first time tonight, I looked him right in the eye. Nothing around us existed for me anymore. I heard only his breath. Smelled only his skin. Saw only his guarded expression.

I had to have him.

 

 

Pre-Order

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Cover Reveal: STRONG ENOUGH by Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

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Title: Strong Enough

Authors: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Release Date: June 19th, 2017

Add on Goodreads!

 

blurb

I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.

I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.

He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real between us.

But he does.

He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.

He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.

I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.

 

 

Pre-Order!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks

 

 

 

rah

ARC Review: THE FOXE AND THE HOUND by R.S. Grey

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Title: THE FOXE AND THE HOUND

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heat Rating: 4 stars

All The Feels Rating: 5+++ Stars

Release Date: June 1st, 2017

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

blurb

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

 

review

What do you get when you have one sexy, charming vet and one klutzy, determined woman with a side of a dog that is too big, too friendly, and doesn’t know the meaning of no? All the makings for a perfect read. THE FOXE AND THE HOUND by R.S. Grey is filled with witty banter, sizzling chemistry, and a dog that sounds cute, I’m mad I don’t get to pet him. Yeah, that’s right Grey, I have some beef with you about that! 😛

R.S. Grey is one of my favorite authors, and my go to for the best Rom Coms. So effortlessly. If you haven’t read any of her books, you need to change that ASAP. Seriously. THE FOXE AND THE HOUND is the definition of a true feel good read. Not only is it hilarious (I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud), but it also made me grin like a fool, swoon, and tugged on the heart strings a little bit.

Madeleine Thatcher is down on her luck. She’s single, not doing well as a realtor, and adopted a puppy, Mouse, that seems to gain 15lbs a night. But at least Mouse behaviors amazingly…. yeah, one could wish! Mouse acts like the puppy he is, while looking nothing like a puppy. What else could go wrong?

How about a muddy run in with the new vet, Adam Foxe? (Thanks Mouse, sigh). Adam is sexy, moody, and has a thought or two on how Madeleine is training Mouse. The two clash -cue some of the best banter. Then when Adam needs a favor he turns to Madeleine for help. So what if he needs her to pretend to be his girlfriend, it’s not like things about to get interesting…. right?

You first meet Madeleine Thatcher in Anything You Can Do as the little sister of the hero, and best friend of the heroine. I adored her character in that book so I was super excited when she was getting her own book. (THE FOX AND THE HOUND can be read as a standalone!) She didn’t disappoint staring in her own book. She’s not where she wants to be at 27, a feeling many of us can relate to, regardless of age. She’s sweet, caring, loyal and strong. I love that she’s spunky and trips over her own feet.

And Adam, sigh. He is so swoony! He starts off kind of tough, but I love seeing his softer side come through. And the two of them together? Wowza. Talk about chemistry. They bicker and push each other and have enough sexual tension that you can feel it in the pages. If you want a book that delivers all the feels, yep, this is it!

This book is also filled with great secondary characters. Some new, and some we’ve met before. 😉 Mouse really finds a way to your heart.

THE FOX AND THE HOUND is the perfect summer read: tho you may need to jump in the pool to cool off after! 😉 I can’t wait for what’s next from R.S. Grey!!!!

Order on Amazon!

Add on Goodreads!

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Excerpt Reveal: The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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Title: The Last Guy

Authors: Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

Release Date: June 12th, 2017

Genre: Sports Romance

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blurb

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…

Sex in the on-set kitchen…

Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge…ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.

When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.

 

excerpt

~ Rebecca ~

He kicks the door shut and without even turning on the light, he tosses me on my back on the bed. I prop up on my elbows. My dress is up around my waist, my bra is wet from Cade’s mouth, and my nipples are pointing right at him.

“Damn,” he rasps, and I watch, mesmerized as he reaches behind his neck to pull his shirt over his head, leaving his hair a sexy mess.

The light of the full moon blasting through my window covers him in a silvery glow. My stomach clenches when I see the lines of his muscles deepened by the shadowy light. My God, he’s gorgeous. He looks otherworldly.

“We really shouldn’t do this…” My voice is breathless.

“Agreed.”

He strides toward the bed, his eyes never leaving mine. He’s focused, determined, and I watch long fingers unfasten his belt, the top of his jeans, his zipper.

“This is a terrible idea.”

“Yes,” he murmurs as he cups my face. I sigh and lean into his palm, letting the sizzle between us electrify me. If I do this…if I go through with boning him…it’s going to be the best sex of my life, judging by the tiny raised hairs all over my body.

I scoot to the foot of the bed so I’m right in front of him and my head is level with his waist. Looking up, I slide my palms to his sides, pushing his jeans lower.

He’s standing in front of me in black boxer briefs. I slide my palms up and down against the hot planes of his pelvis, teasing him, tracing my fingers around the straining bulge of his erection. “We’re gonna regret this.”

A long shudder comes from him, and his eyes are heavy-lidded as he watches me. “I don’t think so, Stone. Not in a million fucking years.” He leans down and his lips capture mine, his tongue sweeping inside my mouth, exploring, owning me.

 

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