Playing with Trouble by Amy Andrews

4 Stars

Release Date: November 30, 2020

SYNOPSIS: From pro rugby player to…Manny? Australian rugby pro Cole Hauser has had enough of speculations about his future post-injury. So when a football buddy puts his house in America at Cole’s disposal, he jumps at the chance for some peace and anonymity. The plan is perfect–until he discovers he’s roomies with a woman who knows how to wield a nail gun and her kid. Awesome. Not. Single mom Jane Spencer is supposed to be spending four weeks alone in the wilds of Colorado rehabbing a house that’ll put her business on the map. Instead, her time is overrun by her four-year-old and a grumpy, too-sexy rugby dude whose only goals are to watch ESPN and brood.

Awesome. Not.

When, surprisingly, McHottie offers to get his ass off the couch and help Jane out with Finn, she’s hesitant. But before she knows it, Cole is knee-deep in kid activities during the day and they’re both fighting their simmering attraction at night. Anything between them can only be temporary – their time together is short and Cole lives on the other side of the planet. It should be easy to say goodbye, right? Wrong. It doesn’t take long for them to realize they’ve borrowed a whole lot of trouble. But trouble never felt this good. 


REVIEW: I knew I was going to really like this one! The way Cole interacts with Finn, despite his brooding is just so heart warming. I also love the small town side characters in this one–Arlo specifically, and how he includes Cole. I appreciate Jane as a strong, female character who has to work to prove herself in a mostly male driven career. It adds some spunk to her that has her overreacting, but it makes for some good banter. And when Cole meet each of her challenges, I just liked him even more. I would definitely recommend this one!

Thank you to Grey’s Promotions and Amy Andrews for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!


Meet the Author

Amy Andrews is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has published 70 plus contemporary romances. She loves to make her readers laugh, tingle and sigh and believes in snort laughing, snot crying, multiple orgasms, mighty wangs and HEA’s.  She also loves frequent travel, good books and great booze although she’ll drink mediocre booze if there’s nothing else.
She lives by the sea with her husband of thirty years where she consumes pina coladas from her deck every afternoon whilst staring at the ocean.

Connect with Amy
Website | www.amyandrews.com.au
Goodreads | https://bit.ly/3kqgOhB
Facebook | https://bit.ly/3oOtOjU
Facebook Group | https://bit.ly/35MDpis
Instagram | https://bit.ly/2TEPOz2
Twitter | https://bit.ly/37StNoX
Newsletter | https://bit.ly/2HMMgrQ

Lucky Catch by Lea Coll

4.5 Stars!

Release Date: September 14, 2020

Synopsis: Lexie – I don’t date football players. As an unproven sideline reporter, I need to show I’m more than a pretty face. And I have the perfect opportunity when my boss asks me to dig into the rookie wide receiver, Gavin Keller. Coming from a family of football stars, he’s my chance to write a huge story about the newest Keller to go pro.  I need to get to know the man under the pads. Is he an arrogant entitled player or is there a side to him no one knows about? The more I watch Gavin at practice and when he mentors young athletes, the more I realize he’s nothing like I thought. He’s a leader, someone the fans can rally behind.  The more I see, the more I like him—not the player. And the looks he gives me say he feels the same. As we get closer, I’m tempted to break my no-player rule. But if anyone finds out, it’s my job on the line. Giving in would mean losing everything.

Gavin – I’ve always had more to prove than any of my teammates. I know what everyone says about me. Since the first time I touched a ball, I’ve been living in the shadow of my family’s football legacy. My life is focused on my game and giving back and nothing else. I’m not giving anyone another reason to talk. That’s until the new reporter, Lexie Austin appears on the sidelines in her skin-tight tailored suits and sky-high heels. They say she’s only here because of her looks, just like they say I’m only here because of my name. So what if everyone is as wrong about her as me? She’s more than a pretty face and I’m playing better than ever with her watching. It’s starting to feel like she’s my personal good luck charm. She doesn’t care about my last name, my signing bonus, or my star potential. She wants to know me. I want her in my bed, by my side, and in my life. Now I just have to convince her that if she falls, it’ll be the luckiest catch I ever make.

Lucky Catch is part of Kristen Proby’s With Me in Seattle Universe.

Review: I’m loving this idea of different authors writing characters that are in the same fictional world–this one being Kristen Proby’s Seattle Universe. I was also curious, since these are novellas, how Lea Coll’s would go. I find her writing to have quite a bit of depth, so I was curious how would she do what she normally does in only 105 pages. I was pleasantly surprised to find this one was just as good as her longer books! Both characters were super admirable, so it made me so excited to see their HEA. It’s such a sweet story of two people getting to know each other and seeing past the assumptions people usually make about them. Gavin will definitely make you swoon and is such a good match for the amazing Lexie. I’d definitely recommend reading this one!

ADD IT ON GOODREADS 

PURCHASE LINKS 

US: https://amzn.to/30VJGab
UK: https://amzn.to/2E4Z7DW
CA: https://amzn.to/3apY6m4
AU: https://amzn.to/3kRCdkH 


SNEAK PEEK!

The expectations were heavy for any rookie, but I’d lived under the shadow of my father’s legendary success and my brother’s rise to stardom. I’d seen the recent headlines: Gavin Keller was drafted because of his last name—any other player with similar stats wouldn’t be playing professional ball. The implication was clear—I’d never live up to my father or my brother’s success. There was no way three football stars could come from the same family. There were many examples of three brothers in the sport or two brothers and a father, but one usually didn’t live up to the hype.  

“That was impressive,” a female voice said.

I turned away from the other rookies running sprints to find a tall woman leaning on the fence, with a press lanyard hanging around her neck. She was gorgeous. Her smile was open and friendly. 

“Thanks.” My voice was terse. I didn’t want to encourage the press to speak to me. I didn’t want anyone twisting my words to suit the headlines already written in their head.

Her smile faltered for a second before she recovered. “I’m Alexandra Austin. But everyone calls me Lexie.” 

“Gavin Keller.” I didn’t move toward her. No matter how beautiful this woman was, I couldn’t afford any distractions. She was the worst kind of distraction—all long legs, dark hair, and striking blue eyes. The suit she wore molded to her body but still left a lot to my imagination. 

“I know.” She smiled wider. 

It was on the tip of my tongue to say she didn’t. No one knew anything beyond my name and stats. 

“I’m hoping to get to know you this year.” She said it matter-of-factly with no overtures or flirtations.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to that. Her tone was sweet and inviting. I flicked a glance at her Seattle lanyard. She wasn’t the enemy, but she wasn’t exactly a friend either. 


AUTHOR BIO
Lea Coll worked as a trial attorney for over ten years. Now she stays home with her three children, plotting stories while fetching snacks and running them back and forth to activities. She enjoys the freedom of writing romance after years of legal writing. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her family. 


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://www.leacoll.com 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lea-coll 

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leacollauthor 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18533240.Lea_Coll 

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/v5z3m1 


Thank you to Lea Coll and Give Me Books PR
for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Restraint by Adriana Locke

4 STARS!

Release Date: August 3, 2020

SYNOPSIS: Blaire Gibson knows better than to have one-night stands. She prides herself on her decision-making skills. It’s the one asset that has never let her down. But even the best thinkers have weaknesses. Hers is a delicious business mogul with a quick tongue. Unfortunately for her, that tongue is good for more than just talking.

Holt Mason doesn’t need to justify anything to anyone. He wants Blaire. He pursues Blaire. And he gets Blaire because that’s how his life works. Until it doesn’t. What begins as a single night in a hotel room spirals into an unusual agreement. As late nights provide the space to trade secrets and walls come tumbling down, more is shared than just pillow talk.

They both should’ve known better. They should’ve shown restraint. Because when guards are dropped, hearts get hurt.


REVIEW: I just love Adriana Locke’s romances and this one was no different! Blaire Gibson is the sister of the Gibson brothers in The Gibson Boys series, so it’s fun to start off with that little connection and get to see glimpses of previous characters. Blaire and Holt’s chemistry is sooooo good and I was living for their banter. Holt is a total alpha and it was interesting to see how Blaire reacted to and handled him. I love that they are similar when it comes to work, work and more work, but their families are still very important to them. Meddlesome siblings are so fun! Anyway, I enjoyed this one and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Thank you to Candi Kane PR for the aARC in exchange for an honest review!

Order here!

Add to Goodreads here!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

Connect with Adriana

Website:  https://adrianalocke.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoradrianalocke
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/booksbyadrianalocke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoralocke
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoradrianalocke
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8379774.Adriana_Locke
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ivy7xd
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adriana-locke
Newsletter Signup: http://bit.ly/NewsletterAddy


MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT ALL OF ADRIANA’S GIVEAWAYS!

$10 Amazon Gift Cards Giveaway (5 winners):

https://geni.us/l75lzm

Signed Paperback Giveaway (3 winners):

https://geni.us/itlBB6

Join Adriana’s Facebook group for a week of fun:

https://geni.us/BBAL

Tomboy by Avery Flynn

5 STARS!!

Release Date: February 18, 2019

Publisher: Entangled

SYNOPSIS

How exactly has one good deed landed me in the penalty box?

Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF—his PR manager—begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.

But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.

At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood—or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.

Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic—but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.

But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.

REVIEW

Fallon is one of my favorite female leads in a while. I love that she just is who she is, and that’s all there is to it. She’s fierce and fights for the people she cares about. She’s human and makes mistakes. She’s just a woman I’d love to be friends with. There is this scene when all the shit hits the fan, and she has eye liner on one eye, and I just related to this so much, I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

And that brings me to Zach Blackburn. The muffins, oh the muffins, it’s too ridiculous and hilarious. Also, I love his dark and messy back story, but with his attitude he is definitely lucky he’s hot. And I do really like when his cinnamon roll center peeks through that bad personality he’s adopted. Which brings me to the Ice Knights–which now have their own series, starting with Parental Guidance that came out on June 17th and was my favorite book this year (read my review here)!! Okay, so Blackburn is a dick to everyone, even his teammates, but do they give up on him? NO. They are a freakin’ team and they show up for their members. I love that, and I am so excited to get all of their stories in the new Ice Knights series.

Thank you so much to Avery Flynn for sending me a copy of this amazing book!

Add it on Goodreads here!

Order it here!

Kickin’ It by Rachel Van Dyken

5 STARS!!

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Skyscape

SYNOPSIS

Successful, high-profile sports agent Matt Kingston thinks he can handle anything. Then soccer player Parker Speedman shows up at his door. She is young and gorgeous, has natural talent, and is looking for a team. She’s also a hothead with a punchy past who floored her last coach on live TV. Despite his misgivings, Matt agrees to be both her agent and her coach. Professional common sense says she’s off-limits. But what can he say about the raw attraction between them?

Parker plays soccer with her heart and soul. But after the events of the last year, she’s shaken. She’s already seen what a powerful man can do to a female athlete’s career. And her beloved dream is in the hands of a sexy, gorgeous man with the uncanny ability to slip past her defenses…and into her heart.

Now Matt and Parker are about to learn that when it comes to love, the only way to win is by breaking every rule they know. And by playing nice. Real nice.

REVIEW

THIS FREAKIN’ SERIES! I am here for it! Seriously, I love the explosive attraction between characters. Rachel Van Dyken does a wonderful job of creating characters with such realistic depth. They’ve been through experiences that make them relatable, and just add to their connections. When Matt was introduced in the first book, Risky Play, I fell in love with the dynamic between him, Slade, and Jagger. They are his clients, but also his friends, and they all mess around with each other is the best way. I was pretty excited to get his story in this book. I wasn’t expecting his love interest to be so amazing. Parker is determined, smart, and coping in the aftermath of trauma.

I couldn’t put this book down. They both have their reasons to hold back, which makes the journey to each other that much better. It’s almost like an enemies to lovers story with how hard they go at each other in the beginning. But I think my favorite part is witnessing Matt’s fall through all of his actions along the way. I sincerely recommend this series!!!

Book 1: Risky Play review here!

Add it on Goodreads here!

Order it here!

This book will be on:

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

5 STARS!

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Avon

SYNOPSIS

After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.

Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”

Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries… 

REVIEW

Are you wondering if a book can be absolutely adorable and absolutely filthy at the the same time? Well the answer is YES, yes it can. This book was a wonderful surprise from the very first scene–which includes flying food and is my favorite by the way. You’ll see.

Georgie is a sassy, smart, little spitfire! Honestly, I just fell absolutely in love with her in this book. Her strength as she pursues her dreams and supports her friends is so inspiring. Which leads me to the female friendships that are developing in this story. These ladies are supporting each other, listening to each other, and rooting for each other. It’s beautiful really, and adds so much to the story. I can’t wait for book two–Love Her or Lose Her–where we get the story of the next strong lady in the group!

Travis Ford is one damaged man, and I’m here for the growth. You don’t get to choose your biological family, and you sure as hell can’t stop bad things from happening, but you can’t give up. We get to watch Travis figure this out and it’s so heart warming. Plus, his sexy side, I mean this book is STEAMY. I hope you’re ready for his filthy mouth!

Order it here!

Add it on Goodreads here!

Slammed by Victoria Denault

5 STARS!!!

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Publisher: Forever

SYNOPSIS

Not every goalie plays it safe… As a publicist for the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, Dixie Braddock is too busy rescuing the players from trouble to get into any of her own. Except, of course, when it comes to the super hot new goalie. Because when a guy’s kiss curls your toes and sets your heart on fire, how the hell do you just walk away? But if anyone ever catches them together, she’ll lose her job faster than any slapshot.
Eli Casco is on the brink of having everything he ever wanted. He’s finally been called up from the minor leagues to play on a championship team. And he just had the most mind-blowing night with the woman of his dreams. But now that he’s an official Thunder player, Dixie is determined to keep her distance. None of the fame and fortune means anything to him without her to share it. If he truly wants Dixie in his life, it’s time to throw down his gloves and put everything on the line.

REVIEW

I am here for the sassy banter! I mean, HOLY CRAP! These two characters are the most fun. Dixie is smart, driven, and hilarious. Eli’s lines will make you literally laugh out loud. But the best part is that both of these characters are dealing with some very real and very deep shit. It’s just so realistic. Bad things happen, life throws us some real curveballs, but we have to keep going. The humor makes it all the more bearable.

I read this series out of order, which was totally okay, but man I wish I had read this one sooner. I just love the strength of the characters so much. And I sincerely love the Braddock’s! I’m a real sucker for family romance series. I’d highly recommend this book, and whole series!!

Order it here!

Add it on Goodreads here!

The Risk by Elle Kennedy

5 STARS!!!

Release Date: February 18, 2019

Synopsis: Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

Review: How does Elle Kennedy keep it up?! The comedy, the lust, and all the feels. I mean seriously, this was so much freakin’ fun to read. We get a glimpse of the chemistry between Brenna and Jake in The Chase (so read it if you haven’t), and I was really excited to see how it would play out. Brenna is a total badass. She’s a strong, beautiful woman that goes after what she wants. Jake Connelly is more than what he seems, which always makes for a good male lead. This is the epitome of New Adult, where the characters are trying to figure out their next steps in life, while simultaneously trying to figure out their love lives, plus all the other day-to-day necessities. Easy right?! WRONG. Which is why it’s one hell of a ride. If you want to laugh, lust, and feel that longing for amazing characters to just figure it out, well you should go read The Risk. RIGHT NOW!

Okay, so here’s what you’re going to do:

(1) Read all the Off Campus Series. 

You’ve already done that? WELP, then you know what’s up. Moving on. 

(2) Read The Chase, and be happy you’re finding yourself back in the Off-Campus world.

You’ve already done that too? I knew I liked you.

(3) Read The Risk! It’s out today, February 18th.

You’re reading it as we speak?! Great news, once you finish, you can move onto number four…

(4) Agonize over the fact that we have to wait until OCTOBER 7TH for the next book, The Play. Which entails rereading all of the above books, possibly more than once, and scouring instagram, twitter, and facebook for fellow readers, in order to discuss your obsession with these books, and how you don’t know if you can survive until getting the next one. I mean seriously only 241 DAYS to go!

Thanks to Elle Kennedy for the eARC, which means I actually started my count down from 252 days to go until The Play. Luckily it just gives me more time to reread!

Add it on Goodreads

Order it now!

Rock Rebel by Tara Leigh

5 STARS!!!

39088972.jpg

Release Date: December 11, 2018

Publisher: Forever Yours

Synopsis:

He’s a rock star with a secret; she’s a pop princess with a painful past, can their forbidden romance survive, or will their lies destroy them both?

I’ve earned my bad reputation.

A few years ago, I was New York City’s hottest classical music prodigy. But I wanted something else, something more. So I chased my real dream, and now… I’m rock royalty. Dax Hughes, lead guitarist of Nothing but Trouble. But to my family and former Juilliard classmates, I’m an outcast. A misfit. A rebel.

They’re not entirely wrong. I don’t give a damn what other people think, and I’m all for breaking the rules… except when it comes to our new opening act, Verity Moore.

Rock gods don’t tour with pop princesses.

It’s not personal. Actually, under that fallen diva reputation, Verity’s incredibly talented. And her fiery redheaded personality is… intriguing. But I’m convinced the skeletons in Verity’s closet are as scandalous as my own, and when we’re not sparring, she has a way of drawing out all those secrets I’m determined to keep hidden.

Yeah. Verity Moore is definitely off-limits . . .
But since when do I give a damn about the rules?

Review:

I’m just really loving the Nothing but Trouble series! Hot and flawed rock stars, strong and messy women, and just a lot of awesome friendships. Verity was such a powerful character, and I just loved her strength and growth. It can be really hard to accept your past, and move onto a better future, and her character did exactly that. I also appreciate Tara Leigh addressing the #metoo movements impact, and how grey the incidents can be. It’s confusing and troubling, but women are resilient and so very strong. Verity is a wonderful representation of that strength with her own unique situation full of highs and lows. The characters were just so human, and I LOVED that. I’d definitely recommend this series, and I can’t wait for Jett’s story next!

 

Add it on Goodreads.

Preorder it.

***Thank you so much to Forever Yours and NetGalley for the chance to read this early by giving me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!***

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (ARC Review)

4.5 Stars!!!!

Cover Reveal

37569318.jpg

Synopsis:

In a palace of illusions, nothing is what it seems.

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren’t hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: HMH Teen

Goodreads

Preorder

My Thoughts:

I loved this book.

First, the world building is beautiful, especially the four seasonal rooms. The Japanese elements were new to me, and made the story that much more fascinating. The magic is alluring, yet can be deadly. The female competitors are just so strong and fierce when they enter these magical rooms. Every single female in this book is just trying to survive, and I love each and every one of them, even when they do despicable things.

Mari, the main character, is fighting societal norms, trying to do what is right, and kicking butt. She has insecurities, but she knows her strengths and uses them, which makes her that much more relatable. The other two perspectives are Taro and Akira. Prince Taro gives me so many mixed feelings, but I still kind of love him. As for Akira, talk about tugging on your heart strings. I just wanted so much more for Akira. Truly, I was invested in all of the characters, and the on-going fight between the humans and the yōkai. The underlying themes of social justice and feminism were woven in wonderfully.

The only reason this wasn’t a five-star read for me was that the ending seemed kind of abrupt, and I wanted so much more from this story (it definitely could have been a wonderful duology or trilogy). Also, there is a classic literature inspired part that I’ve never been a fan of, but I’ll let you read and figure out what it is, because maybe you’ll like it.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good fantasy, strong female leads, and the fight for equality and social justice!