Not My Romeo by Ilsa Madden-Mills

5 STARS!!

Release Date: August 18, 2020

SYNOPSIS: We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day. My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic. The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.
But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him? Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

REVIEW: This one was so good. Ilsa Madden-Mills has definitely become an auto buy author for me. Her romances always grip me from start to finish, and this one was one of the best. And boy, do I love a tortured hero. Jack’s childhood and relationship experiences are tragic and so very impactful. You see it play out in all of his actions. Something I really enjoy about this book, is how vulnerable Jack got on multiple levels. He may have money from being a professional football player, but he has lots of issues he’s dealing with. It just made him very human. Elena is just what Jack needs! She’s got her own issues she’s dealing with, but man does she have a heart of gold. She is sweet as pie and I loved that about her. I loved how she handled all of the situations that came at her. Plus, her family (plus Topher) are an awesome support system. I loved not only seeing Elena and Jack grow, but their relationships with other grow over the story too. I definitely loved this one!

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR and Ilsa Madden-Mills for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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About Ilsa Madden-Mills 

Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4. A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero. She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

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A Secret for a Secret by Helena Hunting

5 STARS

Release Date: May 12, 2020

Publisher: Montlake

SYNOPSIS: My name is Ryan Kingston, and I’m a rule follower. I’ve never been in a fistfight. I always obey the speed limit. I don’t get drunk, and I definitely don’t pick up random women at bars. Except the night I found out that my whole existence has been a lie. I got drunk. And picked up a stranger. Her name was Queenie, and she was everything I’m not: reckless, impulsive, and chaotic. We did shots and traded secrets. And ended up naked at my place. She left me a thank-you note in the morning and her panties as a parting gift. But no way to contact her. Six weeks later I’m sitting in the first official team meeting of the season, and there she is. I neglected to mention that I’m the goalie for Seattle’s NHL team. And Queenie? Turns out she’s the general manager’s daughter.

REVIEW

Seriously, I am loving this series. The little bit we see of King in A Favor for a Favor had me super interested in what his story would be like. The milk, the khakis, and all the manners. The is the ultimate opposites attract and it was great! Getting to know these characters was super fun. King, well he is definitely book boyfriend material, even though I don’t know how I could handle letting him drive (you’ll see). And Queenie? She is a hot mess, but for a lot of valid reasons. The story touches on the impact of keeping secrets out of embarrassment, which is just such a real topic. It’s something many of us has done, and the majority of the time it doesn’t make things better. The support and caring we see as events happen in this book is super heartwarming. I just loved it and I’m hoping we’re going to get more from the All in Series!

Add it on Goodreads here!

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check out the other books in the series

Check out my A Lie for a Lie review here!

Check out my A Favor for a Favor review here!

A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting

5 STARS!

Release Date: January 28, 2020

Publisher: Montlake

SYNOPSIS: When I joined Seattle’s NHL expansion team, I thought it was the start of something great. But nothing ever goes the way you expect. Take my introduction to my new neighbor. She came rolling in on the hot mess express at midnight, making a racket while she tried to get into my team captain’s apartment. Did I mention that he’s married to a woman who definitely was not her?

Imagine my surprise when I end up with an injury that has me out of the game for weeks, and she’s the one to offer to help me. I should probably add that she’s not the captain’s mistress. She’s his sexy, pastel-haired younger sister.

So we come up with an arrangement: she rehabs me so that I can get back on the ice sooner, and she can add a professional athlete that isn’t her brother to her client list. Seems simple enough. As long as I can keep my hands to myself and my hormones in check.

REVIEW: The start of the book is hilarious and horrible at the same time. Hilarious, because you know both sides of the story, horrible because Bishop is so, so wrong. I loved every moment of it. He is one surly, delicious, hockey player. The family element in this book was amazing. I love how the interactions between both of the main characters and their siblings play such a big role in how the story progresses. Helena Hunting does a wonderful job with hockey player stories by really fleshing out the individual men and usually pitting them against strong wonderful women. I would definitely recommend this book!

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Check out book 1 in this series:

The Broken One by Ruth Cardello

Release Date: October 1, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

SYNOPSIS

Single mom Heather Ellis would do anything for her adopted daughter, Ava. Even post an online reward for anyone who found the girl’s lost stuffed animal. Who’d have guessed it’d be returned by a drop-dead-sexy man with such sadness in his eyes that she had to reach out to him? To Ava, he’s a hero. To Heather, he’s a fantasy that puts at risk the happy life she’s made for herself.

It’s been five years since billionaire developer Sebastian Romano lost his wife and unborn child in a tragic accident. Now he’s all business. No room for emotion. Until he stumbles across that damn stuffed wolf and the beautiful single mother looking for it. Is he ready to give love a second chance?

But there’s more to Sebastian, his family, and his past than Heather knows. More than even Sebastian knows. Will the life they’re building together be challenged when the truth is finally revealed?

REVIEW

Something I LOVE about Ruth Cardello books is that there are always some serious feels. The characters have a depth, and are often flawed in a very human way. Add that to the fact that this is a single parent romance with a broody mc, and I was SOLD. I love the journey this book takes the reader on, and I love the classic Cardello crazy twist with Sebastian’s family. She is great at keeping you on your toes. I would definitely recommend this one!

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About The Author:

Ruth Cardello hit the New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers Lists for the first time back in 2012. Millions of sales are evidence that her books are akin to potato chips, addictive from the first one. She has created a multi-series billionaire world with a combination of escapism and realism that has gained her a faithful following of readers.

Ruth Cardello was born the youngest of 11 children in a small city in northern Rhode Island. She spent her young adult years moving as far away as she could from her large extended family. She lived in Boston, Paris, Orlando, New York–then came full circle and moved back to New England. She now happily lives one town over from the one she was born in. For her, family trumped the warmer weather and international scene. 

She was an educator for 20 years, the last 11 as a kindergarten teacher. When her school district began cutting jobs, Ruth turned a serious eye toward her second love- writing and has never been happier. When she’s not writing, you can find her chasing her children around her small farm or connecting with her readers online.

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Website: https://ruthcardello.com

The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson

5 STARS

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

SYNOPSIS

Disgraced college quarterback Logan Hunt was on his way to NFL stardom when he messed up big-time. Now the Texas star player with a bad temper has a new option: Seattle’s EOL College—as in End of the Line, to his fellow misfit recruits. It’s Logan’s last chance. If he can follow the rules. No parties, no fighting, no swearing, and oh, no dating the coach’s daughter, Jess. Simple. Yeah, right. For Logan, there has never been a rule he’s more tempted to break.

The deal is “just friends.” The pretty, confident, and fiercely smart math whiz is fine with pizza, tutoring, and keeping Logan in line. But the closer Jess gets, the more receptive she is to his warm heart and spirit—not to mention his irresistible off-field passes. With defenses down, they’re both heading into the danger zone.

It’s more than thrilling. It’s love. It’s also a game changer that could sideline Logan’s NFL goals—and more important, a future with Jess. But dreams are worth fighting for, right? 

REVIEW

NEW BOOK BOYFRIEND ALERT! Logan Hunt seriously made this story for me. The difficult upbringing, the perseverance, the loyalty. Coach’s rules are over the top, but Logan is determined to follow them. He is just a dream come true. The empathetic way he listens to Jess and supports her really adds to their connection. Both characters have been through a lot, and they deserve so much more. This friends to lovers story will pull on all your heartstrings, and I definitely recommend it!

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The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck

4 Stars!

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

SYNOPSIS

They couldn’t be more different…or more completely perfect for each other.

Claire McKenna knows about loss. The bullet wound that ended her promising professional tennis career drove her to make a quiet life for herself working with fabric samples, chatting with her book group, and spending time with her parents in her sleepy coastal Connecticut hometown. Then there was the boyfriend who dumped her to pursue her adventurous childhood friend. Now, Claire’s business has hit a financial snag, but she’s up to the challenge. After all, she can survive anything. At least she thinks so…until her teen crush, Logan, returns to town with his sister, Claire’s traitorous friend.

Photographer Logan Prescott is more playboy than homebody. But his sister’s illness teaches him that there’s more to life than chasing the next thrill. Bent on helping her win Claire’s forgiveness, he turns his charm on Claire and offers her big bucks to renovate his multimillion-dollar New York City condo.

After years of playing it safe, Claire must now take some risks. The payoff could be huge, but if it all falls apart, can her heart recover from another loss?

REVIEW

This story is about facing your fears, finding yourself, and the changing relationships in your life. This is a sweet romance story where the characters show a lot of growth. They’re really just trying to figure out who they are in the world. Claire is so strong, but also caged by her fears. She’s trying to navigate her friendship, or lack there of with Payton, and her attraction to Payton’s brother Logan. Logan is super caring and has the best intentions but you know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Logan seems way more put together, but he’s also trying to figure out himself throughout the story. It’s like both characters don’t even realize they need change to be happy. Overall, this was an easy and entertaining read!

Thanks to Montlake Romance and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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The (half) Truth by Leddy Harper

4 Stars!

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Release Date: February 19, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Synopsis:

Tatum Alexander is so close to realizing her dream of becoming a sous chef she can taste it, but working at her ex-fiancé’s restaurant with his new girlfriend was never in her career plan. To save face and prove she’s moved on, Tatum cooks up a lie that she’s in a relationship with her best friend’s super hot cousin. There’s just one problem: Jason only recently moved to town, and he has no idea they’re already “dating.”

Jason’s a recovering ladies’ man who shouldn’t be on the menu, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to Tatum’s quirky charm. Giving her lie a kernel of truth, they decide some no-strings-attached fun between the sheets can’t hurt. But as Tatum’s forced to keep making up stories to cover her original fib, she has a hard time separating what’s real and what’s fake—including her feelings for Jason.

With too many tales spun, Tatum can only watch in horror as her collection of yarns begins to unravel, leaving everyone she cares about feeling betrayed. After so many lies, will it be too late to set the record straight? And more importantly, will she be able to convince Jason there’s truth in their love?

Review:

As a person who hates lies, I thought I might have trouble with this premise, but Tatum’s lie has a hilarious impact. It seems so silly, but snowballs so easily. Which leads me to discuss Tatum. I LOVE HER! She is awkward, and silly, and TOTALLY AMAZING. She is one of my favorite realistic female characters I’ve read in a while. And her lies are just too entertaining because they get so outlandish. Jason was interesting, and likable, but Tatum really made the story for me.

This story also has one of my most favorite things, a great supporting cast of family members. I love that Tatum is already apart of Jason’s family get-togethers before he even enters the picture, and she lives with his cousin. I love that his mom is going through a phase of finding herself, and I love that he just can’t understand it. I just love the family dynamic so much!

Special thank you to Montlake and NetGalley for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Tumble by Adriana Locke

5 STARS!!

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Release Date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Synopsis:

After being burned by her dream job in New York City, sports journalist Neely Kimber suddenly finds herself jobless and paying a long-overdue visit to her hometown in Tennessee. Her plan? Relax, reset, and head back up the corporate ladder. There’s just one unexpected step. Neely’s back in Dogwood Lane for barely a day when she sees the man she ran from nine years ago: the bad boy next door who was her first kiss, her first love, and her first heartbreak.

Devoted single dad Dane Madden knows he hurt Neely in the worst way. He’s got a lot to make up for. And as passionate as their reconnection is, it’s a lot to hope for. Having her back in his arms feels so right. But falling in love all over again with a woman who wants to live a world away is bound to go so wrong.

What’s it going to take for Neely to give him—and Dogwood Lane—just one more chance?

Review:

Dane Madden. DANE MADDEN. That seriously could be my whole review, and not because I stayed up until 3:30am to finish this in one sitting.

Adriana Locke does it again, and by it, I mean wrote an amazing romance story that had me smiling like a fool by the end. First of all, I’m a sucker for a single dad romance. Second, there is a strong and independent female lead. Third, there is an amazing friend group that I’m dying to know more about.

Okay, let’s start with Dane. He is always trying to do the right thing, but tends to mess it up somehow–let’s just say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. His relationship with his daughter is the freakin’ cutest thing ever. Plus, he just has this whole hot-caring-man-ness about him throughout the book that I just love.

Then there is Neely, who has every right to be completely pissed and heartbroken about what happened so long ago. She is strong and chasing a dream despite the heartbreak, and I just admire her for that. Her journey throughout this story is just so relatable for women “doing it all.”

Lastly, while I’m loving all of the friends, Penn is the silly playboy with a heart of gold that I can’t wait to see fall hard. His book, I’m HERE FOR IT!

Long story short, READ THIS BOOK!

Special thank you to Montlake Romance and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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