ARC Review: The Dare by Elle Kennedy

The Dare 2019 - Ebook

Title: The Dare

Author: Elle Kennedy

Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: June 16th, 2020

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College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

 

 

review

Elle Kennedy never disappoints with her New Adult books.

Taylor and Conor meet because of, well, a dare. When Taylor is dared to hook up with Conor, she begs him to help her. And he does. Instead of hooking up, they spend their time talking. They are complete opposites, yet strangely connect very well, and form an unlikely friendship. But of course things are never that simple. One thing leads to another, and Conor is her fake boyfriend. Her fake boyfriend, with some very real feelings and desires.

First I have to say, I just loved Taylor. So much. She was like a breath of fresh air, and is one of my favorite Elle Kennedy heroines. Taylor is intelligent, witty and independent. She is also a curvy girl, and filled with insecurities. I thought she was so incredibly relatable.

And then there is Conor Edwards, sigh. The gorgeous boy with the troubled past who has a heart of gold. He was just perfect for Taylor. He never got impatient or frustrated when she was lacking confidence, and he kept trying to show her how beautiful she was. She was his soft spot from the very beginning, and it was so sweet to watch them grow and change because of each other.

Their relationship was everything. Yes, it was filled with the slow aching sexual tension, and sizzling hot chemistry. But it also had such tender, romantic moments. It showed that two people who look like they shouldn’t be together, are absolutely perfect together. Swoon.

Also has some amazing secondary characters and appearances by other characters from Briar U. Can be read as a standalone though!

Excerpt: The Dare by Elle Kennedy

The Dare 2019 - Ebook

Title: The Dare

Author: Elle Kennedy

Genre: Sports Romance, New Adult

Series: Briar U #4 (can be read as a standalone!)

 

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College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

 

excerpt

“Thank you,” she breathes the moment we’re alone.

“No problem. Mind if I make myself comfortable?”

“Um, yeah. I mean, no. I don’t mind. Sit if you want. Or—wow, okay, you’re lying down.”

I grin at her visible nervousness. It’s cute. While I stretch out my six-foot-two frame amid the stuffed animals and decorative pillows on the bed, she remains the startled rabbit plastered against the door and breathing heavily.

“Gotta be honest,” I tell her, entwining my hands behind my head, “I’ve never seen a girl so unhappy to be locked in a bedroom with me.”

This has the desired effect of loosening her shoulders and even eliciting a shy smile. “I have no doubt.”

“I’m Conor, by the way.”

She rolls her eyes. “Yeah, I know.”

“What’s the eyeroll for?” I ask, playing wounded.

“No, sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it. Just, I know who you are. You’re, like, campus famous.”

The more I watch her, hands braced at her sides against the door, one knee bent, dirty-blonde hair a little messy and draped over one shoulder, I can’t help picturing myself holding her arms above her head while I explore her body with my mouth. She’s got very kissable skin.

“Taylor Marsh,” she blurts out, and I realize I don’t know how long we were silent until then.

I scoot to the far side of the bed and put a pillow beside me as a divider. “Come on. If we’re going to be in here awhile, let’s at least make friends.”

Taylor laughs out a breath and with it she releases a bit more tension. She’s got a nice smile. Bright, warm. It takes a bit more coaxing, however, to get her on the bed.

“This isn’t like a move,” she tells me, lining up stuffed animal guards to patrol the pillow wall between us. “I’m not some sort of weirdo who tricks men into getting in bed with her and then mauls them.”

“Sure.” I nod with mock seriousness. “But a little mauling would be okay.”

Sure Shot by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Sure Shot

Author: Sarina Bowen

Genre: Sports Romance

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Release Date: May 12th, 2020

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On the eve of her thirtieth birthday, successful sports agent Bess Beringer is ready to make some changes. Armed with a five-year plan—indexed and color coded—she’ll tackle a few goals in her personal life.

A big, tall, ripped hunk of hockey player who’s just been traded to the Brooklyn Bruisers is not a part of that five year plan. Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz has a lot of baggage. He’s a ride-or-die loner. He’s on the rebound. He’s also the sexiest thing on two legs, and for some crazy reason it’s Bess that he wants.

She knows better. But then she falls stupid in love with him anyway. And for a while it seems like maybe he’ll do the same.

Until she asks him for the one thing he can never give her…

 

excerpt

Tank: Did you SEE that beautiful goal???

Bess: Yes baby. That’s why I sent you a text last night that said NICE GOAL BABY in shouty caps. Didn’t it come through?

Tank: It came through. But I just wanted to talk about it some more. Because did you SEE that beautiful goal? When Castro accidentally passed to nowhere but I got my stick on it anyway? And before you could say TANK IS A STUD, I put it in?

Bess: Gorgeous goal, hot stuff! I may have spilled my beer I was so excited.

Tank: Where did you spill it?

Bess: All over my naked breasts.

Tank: Really?

Bess: No. But the purpose of this conversation is stroking your ego, right? So I thought I’d just roll with it.

Tank: LOL! I’ll take it.

Bess: 🙂

Tank: You were right, by the way. After the game, Castro told me I had to get the Brooklyn Bridge tattooed across my ass.

Bess: Well that’s a good sign. If they’re pranking you it means they like you now.

Tank: I got a goal. They like that at least.

Bess: What did you tell Castro about the tattoo?

Tank: I said, sure, buddy!

Tank: And, get this, I told him that if we connect on ten goals this season—in either direction—not only will I put the bridge on one ass cheek, I’ll put his face on the other.

Bess: OMG. What did he say to that?

Tank: “Let’s not get carried away.” Honestly he looked terrified, which was the point. I told him I was just crazy enough to do it. And then I wondered aloud what the blogs would write about that.

Bess: You are an evil man.

Tank: Never bullshit a bullshitter. But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Specifically, I need to know if you’re naked right now. Please say yes.

Bess: I’m sitting in my office waiting for a conference call. So that would be no.

Tank: Lie to me, baby! I miss you.

Bess: There’s no need to lie. The next time we’re in the same zip code again, you can make your dreams come true.

Tank: Now there’s a plan I can get behind. Literally.

Bess: Indeed. Got to go now! Call starts in two minutes.

Tank: One more thing, hot stuff. Have you seen Henry again? I keep leaving voicemails, asking when I can visit. He texts me back, but I can’t get a phone call. I just want to talk to the old codger.

Bess: Same. I sent him a present but when I asked to visit he shot me down. Now go beat Florida.

Tank: Maybe you should send me a few motivational photographs to improve my game.

Bess: A good workout followed by a protein drink and then a nap would improve it more.

Tank: Says you.

Bess: I am a professional. I know things. Get some rest! I’ll be watching tonight.

 

review

Bess Berringer isn’t where she thought she’d be in life when she turns 30. Sure her career is really taking off, but Bess wants more. She wants love. She wants a family.

Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz isn’t where he thought he’d be in life either. To top it off, he was just traded to a rival hockey team, has to move across the country, oh and his wife wants a divorce.

When Bess and Tank run into each other at a party, they are both shocked to see each other again. Yes, again.

9 years earlier, Bess and Tank how a sizzly hot friends with benefits situation going on. It fizzled out sooner than either of them wanted it to, but Bess was just starting off as a sports agent, and Tank was a hockey player. Those two things don’t mix well in a relationship.

Soon, Tank and Bess slip into old habits. The sparks between them are just as explosive and just as dangerous. Because Bess now has her own sports agency, and Tank is still, well, a hockey player. But more importantly, Bess wants the happily ever after, and Tank wants the happily no strings attached. Or does he?

Ah, I just loved everything about Bess and Tank! I loved their banter, the chemistry, the friendship. I felt for Bess as she struggled between listening to her heart and her head. As she starts to accept she might not get the things she wants most in life. Tank completely surprised me with all his layers. There is so much more to him than meets the eye, and his story tugged on my heart strings a few times.

Sarina Bowen has such a gift for creating these incredible worlds filled with love and pain and in credible friendship. Failure and triumph. Growth and forgiveness. Romance and swoons. Strong, intelligent, vulnerable women. Men who love and respect and encourage these women. And of course, some hockey 😉

Side Note: Sure Shot is the 4th book in the Brooklyn series. While the books in this series are companion novels, they can still be read as a standalone. You also see characters from her Brooklyn Bruisers series and True North series. Again, you do not have to have read these series before hand, but I highly recommend them.

 

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Cover Reveal- Lies and Lullabies by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Lies and Lullabies

Author: Sarina Bowen

Series: Hush Notes (three stand-alones in the series by three incredible authors! Sarina Bowen, Devney Perry, and Rebecca Yarros)

Release Date: September 22nd

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Summer nights and star-crossed lovers! From USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

 

Once upon a time, he gave me a summer of friendship, followed by one perfect night. We shared a lot during our short time together. But he skipped a few crucial details.

I didn’t know he was a rock star.

I didn’t know his real name.

Neither of us knew I’d get pregnant.

And I sure never expected to see him again.

Five years later, his tour bus pulls up in Nest Lake, Maine. My little world is about to be shattered by loud music and the pounding of my own foolish heart.

 

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Heartland By Sarina Bowen

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Title: Heartland

Author: Sarina Bowen

Genre: New Adult Romance

Series: True North #7 (Can be read as standalone)

Release Date: January 28th, 2020

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An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

 

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.

But I know better than to confess.

Now that I’ve joined him at college, I’m seeing a new side of him. This Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me.

Until the moment I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

One crazy night sets our friendship on fire. But now my heart lies in ashes, and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

Heartland is a standalone college romance set in the True North world. Expect: a young, broody farmer, a giant crush, tasty caramels, cute goats and late night confessions.

 

excerpt

“So why were you having a bad day, anyway?” Ellie asks. “Man trouble?”

“Not exactly. It’s more like a lack of man trouble. I kissed my hot algebra tutor. And I wasn’t supposed to.”

Her big eyes widen. “Which hot algebra tutor? You never said.”

“He doesn’t work at the lab,” I say hastily. “He’s a friend. And he wants to stay that way.”

“Oh.” She looks deflated. “That is a bummer.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

“No.” She makes a face. “It would be nice, though. This year is kind of lonely. My roommate is a total bitch.”

“Oh, I have one of those, too.”

“Yeah?” Ellie’s eyes brighten. “Does yours steal your clothes and then lie about it?”

“Um, no. She wouldn’t want any of my things. We have singles, anyway. Just a common bathroom.”

“Lucky! She must be easier to stand, then.”

“You’d think.” I take a gulp of mint tea.

“My roommate took my brand-new scarf. With the tags still on! And when I called her out on it, she tried to gaslight me.”

“Gaslight?” I feel my cheeks flush like they sometimes do when I don’t understand the idioms that people use.

“You don’t know Gaslight? It’s a movie from the forties.”

“Ingrid Bergman,” says Dylan’s voice. “We haven’t got around to the classics yet.”

I startle, sloshing my tea over my hand. And when I look up, Dylan is right there. Clear brown eyes. Tousled hair. Tight, muscular body that’s clothed in a nice sweater and ripped jeans. A handsome face that I finally kissed.

Pain slices through me. Because I’m never going to get over him. There will never be a day when I look at Dylan and don’t wish for more.

“Can I talk to you for a quick second?” he asks, taking the mug and grabbing a napkin off the table. He wipes the tea off my hand.

“Now is not a good time,” I say quickly. Because I don’t want to cry in the coffee shop in front of my only new friend.

Dylan actually rolls his eyes. “Fifteen seconds, Chass. Give a man a break.”

I’d talk to you.” Ellie raises her hand like a school girl. “Pick me.”

And that’s just what I need—another girl in my life who’s swooning for Dylan. Because that always turns out well.

“Fine. Fifteen seconds.” I jump to my feet. Let’s get this over with.

Dylan takes my arm and tows me gently over toward the bulletin board, where nobody is currently reading the flyers for meditation circles and ski equipment sales.

“Look, I’m sorry,” is his opener. “You’re avoiding me. Not that I blame you. I’m sorry things got so out of control.”

“Which things?” I ask warily. Because I don’t want an apology for fooling around with me.

“Pick one!” Dylan raises his hands. “All the things. I shouldn’t have been so inappropriate.”

“But…” I know Dylan was in a serious state of drunken depression when he kissed me. It’s not like I was expecting to hear those kisses made him as happy as they made me. But would it kill him to be a little less patronizing? “Dylan, I’m not twelve years old. It was just a kiss or two. I don’t think I’ll need a full course of therapy to recover.”

He blinks. “Okay. Good?”

“So did you really need to drag me over here to apologize a third time? Did you apologize to all the girls you kissed during Spin the Bottle in seventh grade?”

I heard about Spin the Bottle and Seven Minutes in Heaven only last year, by eavesdropping on Debbie and her buddies at another bonfire. I’d been transfixed by their tales of who’d kissed whom over the years and how often.

At thirteen, Spin the Bottle would have sounded like heaven to me. Seven minutes in a closet with a boy? I would have lobbied for eight. I was always the most inappropriate girl in the bunch.

Yet somehow Dylan sees me as some kind of innocent child.

“No. Good point.” He crosses his delicious arms and smiles at me. “You are in a feisty mood today.”

“Is that so wrong?”

“No.” He shakes his handsome head. “Not at all. Are we going to hug it out?” He opens his big arms wide.

Oh boy. I can’t resist stepping into them. And when he pulls me in, I experience the familiar hormone rush that always happens when I’m close to him. Rapid heartbeat? Check. Goosebumps? Check. My nose lands against his flannel shirt.

My mouth is mere inches from his, of course. But this time he has no interest in kissing me. It takes all my willpower to give him a squeeze and then step back.

“Be well, Chass. I’ll leave you to your tutoring session, even if you’re basically cheating on me right now. But we’re still making caramels this weekend, right? I told Griffin we could use six gallons of goat’s milk. Don’t make a liar out of me.”

“I won’t,” I say quickly. I might be slightly irritated at him, but it will blow over. My capacity to forgive him for not loving me back is basically infinite. “We’ll leave right after Friday classes?”

“You got it. And this is for you. Share it with your friend.” He pulls something out of his pocket. “More market research.”

He puts a little box in my hand and then walks away.

As always, it takes me a second to get over my hormone rush. I stand there blinking for a long moment until I realize Ellie is grinning at me from the sofa. So I go back over to her and sit down.

“Wow…” she says, stealing a glance at Dylan’s retreating backside. “Is that hot hunk of Vermont male your algebra tutor?”

“Yes.” My voice is gravel.

“And your future ex-boyfriend?”

“Nope. I’ll never get that chance. He’s my best friend, but…” There’s no tidy explanation.

“But you want more. I would if it were me.”

I nod, miserable.

 

 

review

I just adore all the books in Sarina Bowen’s True North series and Heartland is no different. There’s a swoony hero, a leading lady you’ll want to be best friends with, descriptions of amazing food that will have your stomach growling, and a love story for the ages.

Dylan, the youngest of the 4 Shipley siblings, is away at college. He is loving his new fond independence, but is still under the stress of responsibility from his family’s farm. And feeling the weight of guilt that might not even be his to carry. So what if Dylan likes to make himself feel better by partying it up with beautiful women?

Chastity hasn’t had the easiest- or most normal- life. She grew up in a religious cult. After finally escaping a few years earlier, Chastity was taken in by Isaac and Leah, and is just starting to live her life. She’s struggling in school, but is fortunate enough to have the support of her best friend, Dylan. Unfortunately, Chastity has been in love with Dylan since she first laid eyes on him. So while she’s loving being closer to him while they are away at college, she also has to watch Dylan drink and smoke and be intimate with girls that are not her.

Because there is no way that Dylan feels the same way. Right?

First and foremost, I LOVE the friendship the two of them have. Dylan is very overprotective about Chastity, and puts her in front of everyone else. They just have this effortless connection. They simply get each other like no one else does. And when they finally cross that line from friends to more- get ready for fireworks. Serious fireworks. It’s a delicious slow burn that is steamy, romantic, angsty and may cause your kindle to melt just a little bit.

And of course, it was great to see everyone else from previous books. Going back to the Shipley farm kind of feels like going home. I particularly love the evolving relationship that Dylan has with his brother, Griffin.

All in all Dylan and Chastity’s book was everything that I hoped it would be, and more!

Note: Every book in this series can be read completely as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading them all!

Cover Reveal: Heartland by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Heartland

Author: Sarina Bowen

Genre: New Adult Romance

Series: True North #7 (Can be read as a total standalone)

Release Date: January 28th, 2020

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An emotional friends to lovers romance full of risky secrets and late-night lessons in seduction.

Dylan is my best friend, and the only person in my life who understands me. He doesn’t mind my social awkwardness or my weird history. The only glitch? He doesn’t know that I’ve been hopelessly, desperately in love with him since the first day we picked apples together in his family’s orchard.

But I know better than to confess.

Now that we’re both in college together, I’m seeing a new side of him. College Dylan drinks and has a lot of sex. None of it with me. Until the night I foolishly ask him to tutor me in more than algebra…and he actually says yes.

But the cool morning light shows me how badly I’ve endangered our friendship. And I don’t know if anything will be the same again.

Cover Reveal: Credence By Penelope Douglas

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Title: Credence

Author: Penelope Douglas

Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: January 14th, 2020

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Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

And she also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he…

He’s going to keep her.

ARC Review: Someday Someday by Emma Scott

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Title: Someday Someday

Author: Emma Scott

Genre: MM, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

Release Date: 11/14/2019

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How long would you wait for love?

Max Kaufman was kicked out of his home as a teen and his life has been an uphill battle ever since. From addiction and living on the streets, to recovery and putting himself through nursing school, he’s spent the last ten years rebuilding his shattered sense of self. Now he’s taken a job as a private caretaker to Edward Marsh III, the president and CEO of one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Max soon learns Marsh’s multi-billion-dollar empire is a gold and diamond-encrusted web of secrets and lies.

The longer Max works and lives with the Marsh family, the tighter the secrets tangle around him. And his heart—that he’s worked so hard to protect—falls straight into the hands of the distant, cold, and beautiful son of a dynasty…

Silas Marsh is set to inherit the family fortune, but his father is determined his heir be the “perfect” son. Before Silas can take over the company and end its shady business practices, he must prove himself worthy…and deny his true nature.

Silas must choose: stand up to his father by being true to himself and his undeniable feelings for Max. Or pretend to be someone he is not in order to inherit everything. Even if it means sacrificing a chance at happiness and real love.

 

review

This book has wrecked me!!!

I’m pretty speechless, yet at the same time, I want to ramble on and on about it. Emma Scott simply wrote pure perfection with this one. It’s a complete emotional roller coaster; it made me angry, laugh, swoon, and even cry a bit. You will be rethinking everything you knew about forgiveness, second chances and letting go.

Max Kaufmann is a good guy, with a rough past. Kicked out of his home as a teen after being caught with a guy, Max found himself homeless and hitting rock bottom. Which might have been a blessing, because rock bottom brought him to recovery and then nursing school. Struggling with the emotions of being an ER nurse, Max gets a job being a private nurse to Edward Marsh, CEO of Marsh Pharmaceuticals. Only he doesn’t have to deal with only Edward, but his son as well.

Silas Marsh also has had a rough past, but no one really knows what he had to go through. He is incredibly closed off, from friends, family and from himself even. His main goal is proving to his father he is the perfect son, so his dad will make him CEO of company.

Silas and Max don’t get along at first, but there is just something between them. A connection. Chemistry. Max is there for Silas as he begins to open up, and Silas provides support for Max as well. Their friendship isn’t always easy, but it’s real and deep. There is just the small problems of some very big feelings brewing. The last thing Silas can do is be with another man.

Ugh, I just LOVED both Silas and Max. Their emotions are raw and the struggles they went through were hard to read at times. But despite that, they both had so much light to them, so much life. I wish I could give them both a big, tight hug! Their growth through out the book is incredible. They sure do have a beautiful love story.

I also adored Silas’ brother Eddie. It’s impossible not to.

The writing is amazing. I felt their pain, hopes, dreams, and joy. I found myself holding my breath at times, almost not able to handle the anticipation.

Simply wonderful, do yourself a favor and read this book!

Cover Reveal: BACHELOR BASTARD SOCIETY by Sara Ney

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Author: Sara Ney

Title: Bastard Bachelor Society

Series: Bastard Club #1

Release Date: January 28th, 2020

 

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What is the Bastard Bachelor Society?

 

It’s a gentleman’s club—like the dignified men of the past used to have.

 

Except, we’re not gentleman, and we’re not dignified.

 

We’re ineligible bachelors; bored, jaded and not looking for relationships. Quite the opposite actually

 

We’re so committed to being single, we’ve created a high stakes bet to see who can remain single the longest. Rules are involved. Prizes.

 

Laugh it up, but I’m no loser.

 

Enemy number one to my single status? My irresistible neighbor, Abbott Margolis. She with her evil cat Desdemona, and Sexy AF pencil skirts. She’s kind and beautiful and hilarious. We can’t get involved, no matter how much her meddling grandmother pushes us together. But if I was going to loose this bet for anyone? It would for Abbott.

 

Let’s face facts: I’m a bastard, unwilling to settle down.

 

Especially when there’s a bet to win.

Cover Reveal: HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS by R.S. Grey

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Title: HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: November 14th, 2019

 

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I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

 

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

 

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

 

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

 

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

 

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

 

He’s just biding his time.

Making me sweat.

 

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.

And he wants me.