ARC Review: Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen

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Title: Pretty Reckless

Author: L.J. Shen

Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: April 21st, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

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We were supposed to be best friends

But turned out to be worst enemies…

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart is completely iced.

I took her first kiss.

She took the only thing I loved.

I was poor.

She was rich.

The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.

Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.

Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.

Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.

There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.

Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good-old, unapologetic punk.

But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.

The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.

In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.

Four years ago, he asked me to save all of my firsts for him.

Now he lives across the hall, and there’s nothing I want more than to be his last everything.

His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.

Now? Now he is making me pay.

 

excerpt

“I don’t want you transferring into my school,” I hiss out. Melody would gladly file a transfer request, and Principal Prichard would salivate over the chance to snatch him up for our football team.

“That won’t be a problem. You guys suck so much ass, you have shit-breath.”

“Still smells better than poverty. You’re poor, right? Your sister was just bullshitting about being rich.”

When someone hits me with a stick, I run over them with a tank. I’m so mean to him I want to throw up. I hate this part of being me. The striking harder at all costs part.

“Just to make things clear.” I put the brush down, batting my lashes. “You’re not my step-sibling, foster brother, or a part of the family. You’re a stray dog. Last of the litter, most unlikely to be adopted, and a charity case.”

Penn takes a step toward me, and my heart is fighting its way out of my ribcage. The closer he gets, the more I realize that my heart might succeed. Penn’s eyes remind me of a snake’s. Mesmerizing, but inhuman altogether. They weren’t like that before.

His scent messes with my head. I want to reach out and caress his face. Kiss his wounds better. Beg for forgiveness. Curse him. Push him away. Cry on his shoulder for what we’ve done. For how it ended. For what we became afterwards, because I’m full of crap and he is totally empty.

We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss.

Penn looks down at me. Time stops. It feels like the world is losing gravity, falling into a bottomless depth in space when he clasps my chin with his thumb and finger, lifting my head up. I can’t breathe. I’m not sure I want to, either. My towel drops to the floor with a thud, even though I secured it over my chest. I realize that he tugged at it intentionally. I’m naked. My body, my soul, my heart. All my walls are down. Somewhere in my head, a red alarm blasts and my inhibitions are getting armed, ready to fight back. I’m trying to decode his expression. He is amused, irritated, and…playful? The mixture of emotions doesn’t make any sense.

“Mess with me, Followhill, and I will ruin you.”

“Not if I ruin you first.”

 

review

This was my very first L.J. Shen book, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers, especially in the College/High school age group, so from the second I started seeing teasers about this one, I needed it in my life.

Pretty Reckless was filled with angst, heartbreak, second chances, forgiveness and some very swoon worthy moments. There is sizzling chemistry between Penn and Daria. They are the kind of characters that have you absorbed in their relationship from the very beginning. No matter if they were fighting, flirting or finally giving in to that sexual tension- I could never get enough.

I don’t want to go into much detail about the plot, but if you enjoy characters that bicker like crazy (while secreting wanting to rip eachother’s clothes off), then you will love this.

Holding grudges and forgiveness is a huge part of this book. It’s so easy to take that pain that someone put upon us, accidentally or not, and let it fester inside. It was interesting to see that build up in the characters, and how each different personality deals with it.

This book is a spin off from a previous series, the next generation, but as someone who didn’t read any of the previous books, I had no trouble at all. L.J. Shen introduced all the characters and gave background information on the important things you might miss out on if you haven’t read any of the other books. However, after this one, I am going to be adding them to my TBR list.

The only negative thing I have to say is that a few things were a little over the top for me. I also had a hate/love, but mostly annoyance with Daria’s mom, Melody, for most of the book. However, reading from Daria’s point of view, I am seeing and hearing things from how Daria interpreted them.

All in all this was a great book, that tugged on my heart strings a lot more than I expected it too.

 

rah

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Cover Reveal: Undeniable by Melanie Harlow

Undeniable AMAZON

 

Title: Undeniable

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 20th, 2019

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When we were eleven, Oliver Ford Pemberton dared me to jump off a barn roof. He said you couldn’t break a leg from a 12-foot-jump.

 

He lied.

 

(You can also break a collarbone, which served him right as far as I was concerned.)

 

I wish I could say it was the last dare I ever took from him, the last bet I ever made with him, the last time I ever trusted Oliver Ford Pemberton.

 

But it wasn’t.

 

Because he had the nerve to grow up gorgeous, charming, and sexy. And as we got older, the dares only got dirtier—and the betting stakes higher—until finally, he left me in pieces. I swore I’d never talk to him again.

 

But twenty years after I took that flying leap, he’s back in my life, daring me to risk everything for him: my job, my self-worth, and my heart.

 

How many chances does true love deserve?

 

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Cover Reveal: THE LYING HOURS by Sara Ney

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Title: The Lying Hours

Author: Sara Ney

Series: How to Date a Douchebag #5 (standalones)

Release Date: May 9th, 2019

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ABRAHAM DAVIS—Honest Abe to his friends—IS IN OVER HIS HEAD…

He’s a fixer and a do good-er. The all-knowing, resident “grandfather” on the wrestling team who everyone relies on to fix their problems. His teammates go to him for everything; advice, homework, or when they need a sober driver at three in the morning–whether he likes it or not.

Abe’s current mission is easy: mend his roommates broken heart by helping him find a girlfriend on the LoveU app–without getting caught in the lie…

SKYLAR GABRIEL. IS. OVER. IT.

Over her bad grades. Over her meddling older brother and his two best friends. And over dating douchebags. What she wants to know is: where have all the nice guys gone?

She longs for a handsome, sweet, and honest guy who can make her laugh. In one last ditch effort to prove that he exists—Skylar turns to LoveU.

On her worst day, Skylar has no filter (it’s a miracle she hasn’t been ditched mid-date).

On her best, she’s as wholesome, and sweet, as pie.

On Thursday? She matches with Abraham Davis’s roommate.

Skylar Gabriel is falling for the wrong guy—she just doesn’t realize it yet.

Why?

BECAUSE ABE DAVIS IS A LIAR.

 

 

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ARC Review: Make Me Bad by R.S.Grey

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Author: R.S. Grey

Title: Make Me Bad

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: March 7th, 2019

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I was issued a warning: stay away from Ben Rosenberg.

As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.

The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.

An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself.

Oof.

Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion.

No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave.

Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me.
They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.

Well, Ben…go ahead.
Tempt me. Taunt me.
Make me bad.

 

review

 

R.S. Grey- The RomCom Queen- has done it again with Make Me Bad. In fact, it might very well be my favorite R.S. Grey book to date; and I’ve read them all.

Ben and Madison compliment each other so well. The chemistry between the two of them in insane. It is a bit of a slow burn- a delicious, torturous slow burn that will drive you crazy in the best possible way. Besides the crazy sexual tension, there is a genuine, sweet friendship that builds between them as well. It tugs on all the heart strings and it will make you swoon. Hard.

I also love that even though Madison is trying to break out of her shell and change herself a bit, she stays true to herself, while becoming the best version of her. There were a few parts where she felt younger than her age (25) to me, but I think that is part of her character; kind of sheltered and while independent, family issues get in the way at times.

If you are looking for a book that is fun, witty, filled with the best banter, sizzling chemistry and characters that will make you fall in love, you have found the book for you!

 

rah

Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Overnight Sensation

Author: Sarina Bowen

Genre: Sports Romance

Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #5 (All can be read as standalones)

Rating: 4 Stars

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Release Date: January 22nd, 2019

 

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Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it’s so good to be bad.


There’s this girl…
Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don’t do girlfriends, and I certainly can’t get involved with the league commissioner’s daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.
Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido.

There’s this guy…
Jason wants me, but he won’t admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice–and I love it.
But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can’t even avoid him–as the team intern, I’m in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile.
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

 

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ARC Review: Jock Rule By Sara Ney

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Title: Jock Rule

Author: Sara Ney

Genre: Sports Romance

Series: Jock Hard #2 (Standalone)

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: December 6th, 2018

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Kip Carmichael is no pretty boy.

He’s a rough. Dirty. Giant. Hair so unruly, and a beard so thick, his friends on the team call him Sasquatch.

The first time Sasquatch lays eyes on Theodora “Teddy” Johnson across the keg at a party one night on Jock Row, she’d been relegated to the sidelines by her jock hungry “friends.”

Week-after-week, he watches beautiful but bashful Teddy getting overshadowed, and overlooked. Sasquatch finally broad shoulders his way through the crowd, offering to to be her hairy godmother. But the minute their eyes meet? He’s a goner.

Teaching her the RULES for winning a jock will be the easy part. Not falling in love with her is going to be a losing game.

 

review

Okay, I have a little issue with Sara Ney. You see, I have to admit something: I am not a fan of men with beards. *ducks* I know, I know. A little stubble is fine, or a short, very trimmed beard on some men are fine. But a big beard?

No. Not happening.

Until Sara Ney brought Kip Carmichael into my life. And poof.

Beard obsessed.

Kip is one of those truely great heroes: He’s moody, honest, and doesn’t beat around the bush. Oh, and he plays rugby. Sigh. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t look like he can sweep you off your feet, but needless to say, he does.

The relationship between Kip and Teddy is everything. They annoy each other and bicker, yet find themselves becoming great friends. Kip after all, is her “hairy god mother”. While there is sexual chemistry between them, they have an actual friendship. That solid base just helps the fire burn deeper between them when that line is crossed.

If you like a slow burns that sizzles, witty banter, dialogue that brings a smile to your face, and hot- but don’t think they are hot- rugby players, this is the book for you. It delivers all the feels and a serious case of the swoons.

 

rah

ARC Review: Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey

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Title: Hotshot Doc

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: December 12th, 2018

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Dr. Russell has a bad reputation around our hospital. The scrub techs say he’s cold-blooded, the nurses say he’s too cocky for his own good, and the residents say he’s the best surgeon in the world—really, just a swell guy!—on the off chance he’s within earshot.

I try to avoid him and his temper at all costs. It’s just as easy to admire his sexy, grip-it-while-he’s ravishing-you hair and chiseled jaw from a healthy distance, preferably from the other end of the hallway half-hidden behind a plant.

Unfortunately, my plan crumbles when my trusty ol’ boss decides to swap his white coat for a Hawaiian shirt. His retirement leaves me with two terrible options: switch specialties and spend months retraining, or take an open position as Dr. Russell’s surgical assistant.

That means I have to stand near him in the OR for hours on end and anticipate his every need without letting his biting words and bad attitude intimidate me. Oh, and as if that’s not difficult enough, my silly crush on him—the one I’ve tried to stomp on until it disappears—might just be reciprocated.

It’s fine.
I’m fine.

I take my job seriously. There will be no smoldering bedroom eyes across the operating table, no angry almost-kisses in the storage closet. (Well, no more of those.)

What’s the phrase? An apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Maybe I should go for a whole damn bushel.

 

review

I know you might be wondering if Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey is right for you. Well, let’s go over a few things so you can decide.

Enemies to lovers? CHECK. Fun banter and witty dialogue? CHECK. A doctor who is utterly swoony once his walls are down? CHECK.

When Bailey starts working for Dr. Russell- the hospitals hottest and meanest doctor- she is less than thrilled. But she has to do what she has to do, especially since she is caring for her younger sister. But the more time she spends with Dr. Russell, er, Matt as he prefers, the more obvious it is there is something happening between them. Wither they are both hoping it will go away or not.

Matt is one of those heroes that truly transform. In the beginning he is moody and distant and sometimes downright mean. But the more the book goes along, and the closer he gets with Bailey- wowza. Swoon city.

The majority of this book is a slowburn, filled with bickering, rising tension and chemistry that can’t be denied. In addition to the romance aspect, I also found the scenes between Bailey and her little sister, Josie, were so sweet.

This was a longer book, but I read it in one setting. It made me smile, laugh, and at times, frustrated me. A cute, romantic stories about two co-workers who love to hate each other. 😉

My only complaint is that it kinda goes from slowburn to instalove very quickly. I just wish there was some more middle ground.

 

rah

 

 

 

 

Release Blitz: Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey

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Title: Not So Nice Guy

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Release Date: August 9th, 2018

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“Oh my god. Who that?”
I get asked this question a lot.
“Oh him?” I reply. “That’s just Ian.”

Just Ian is the biggest understatement of the century.
Just the Mona Lisa. Just the Taj Mahal. Just Ian, with his boring ol’ washboard abs and dime-a-dozen dimpled smile.

Just Ian is… just my best friend.

We’re extremely close, stuck so deep inside a Jim-and-Pam-style friendzone everyone at works assumes we’re a couple – that is until one day, word spreads through the teacher’s lounge that he’s single. Fair game. Suddenly, it’s open season on Ian.

He should be reveling in all the newfound attention, but to our mutual surprise, the only attention he seems to want is mine.

He’s turning our formerly innocent nightly chats into x-rated phone calls. Our playful banter sports a new, dangerous edge.

I want to assume he’s playing a prank on me, just pushing my buttons like always – but when Ian lifts me onto the desk in my classroom and slides his hands up my skirt, he doesn’t leave a lot of room for confusion.

I’m a little scared of things going south, of losing my best friend because I can’t keep my hands to myself. So, I’m just going to back away and not return this earth-shattering kiss – oh who am I kidding?!

Goodbye Ian, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal!

Helloooo mister not so nice guy.

 

rah

Release Blitz: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time by Kylie Scott

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Title: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Author: Kylie Scott

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 7th, 2018

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Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete had been left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years on, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back all those old feelings.

Sometimes first loves are the truest.

 

excerpt

It was meant to be a soft kiss. A chaste one, even.

The minute my lips touched his, however, everything changed. Callused hands grabbed the sides of my face and my mouth opened on a gasp. His tongue swept inside, taking me over. Holy hell. Shoes and purse hit the floor, forgotten. Nothing about this kiss was slow or easy. The man devoured me. Every ounce of emotion poured into that kiss, all of the anger and frustration between us. His tongue was teasing and tasting, driving me wild. Then he drew back to suck and nip at my bottom lip. One hand slid around the back of my neck, the other over my hip to grab at my ass. His hold was firm, a little rough even. He treated my body like it belonged to him and I wasn’t gentle either.

Apparently experience mattered. Because all I could do was try and keep up.

I held on tight to his open shirt, straining against him, trying to get closer. I’d have crawled inside the man if I could. Turned out that under certain circumstances, the taste of scotch worked for me in a big way. Against my hip, his cock hardened, digging into me. And oh my God, I’d done that to him. Me. How amazing! Meanwhile, my body felt liquid, core aching and empty. I needed him inside of me and it seemed like I’d already been waiting forever.

“Pete. Please.”

“Fuck,” he muttered, breath hot against my ear.

I fumbled at the remaining buttons on his shirt. My damn fingers didn’t seem to be working. Easier to just push the whole thing upward. Luckily, the man decided to help, tearing the shirt off over his head. More skin was good. And he was so hot and smooth, a thrill to the touch. The solid flesh of his pecs and the flat plane of his stomach.

He tore at the zipper on the back of my dress, dragging fabric down over my shoulders. A growl came from the back of his throat, a noise of frustration, impatience. I’m reasonably certain I heard the silk rip. I didn’t care. His hands and mouth seemed to cover every bit of skin revealed, touching and tasting me everywhere. The dress got stuck on my hips. Out of the way enough for now.

He didn’t even bother undoing my bra, simply peeling down one of the lace cups to free my flesh. My breast filled his hot palm as it took the weight. Fingers plumped me, his thumb flicking over my hard nipple. The sting of pain followed by the heat of his kiss made my head spin and my body ache. There was no room for thought as he fed me deep, wet kisses. Slowly, he took us to the floor. No time for anything else. Just the urgent need to have him inside me.

The hardness of the polished wood was cool against my back. My legs were spread, his body between them. And with his broad chest above me, his weight taken on one arm, he was all I could see. I swear even the insides of my thighs were wet, I was so ready. It would have been embarrassing with anybody else. But this man, he had to know, he had to understand. It had always been him.

“Pete, I need—”

“I know,” he said, voice harsh and low.

 

rah

ARC review: The Downside of Love by Meghan Quinn

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Title: The Downside of Love

Author: Meghan Quinn

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Blue Line #2 (must read The Upside of Falling first!)

Release Date: July 1st, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

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This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.
This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.
This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.

No, this is my story.

A story about sacrifice.
A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.
A story I wish I never had to tell.

This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.

 

review

*Spoiler Free Review* So, this will be short and sweet cause I can’t say too much. 😉

After reading The Upside of Love, I couldn’t wait to read this one. How was Meghan Quinn going to make everything right? Could she?

Well, she could and she did.

Not only did the ending of TUOL take me for a spin, but so did the events in The Downside of Love. This book, this series, is heartbreaking, romantic, raw, gritty, sexy and swoony. It’s nothing like you expect, yet ends up being just right.This isn’t an easy love story. I know people say that about books often, but in this case it’s for serious. It’s filled with ups and downs, twists and turns. It will emotionally drain you, in the best way.

Rory grew on me a bit more in this book, but she still isn’t my favorite character. There was just something about her that prevented me from connecting with her fully. Though don’t ask me what it was, cause I can’t quite put my finger on it.

However, Colby and Stryder took up enough of my heart that it didn’t matter. They were very similar characters in that they are respectful, thoughtful and kind. The type of men that can easily steal a heart. However, their personalities and voices were vastly different.

If you are looking for a love story that is unlike anything else you read, read this book, this series. If you want to be angry and confused and full of angst, this book is for you. If you want your heart to skip a beat, yep, this is for you!

 

rah