On the DL by Laramie Briscoe (The MVP Duet #1)

On the DL (The MVP Duet Book 1) by [Briscoe, Laramie]4 Stars

On the DL is the first book in Laramie Briscoe’s new duet, The MVP Duet. It releases today and ends on a cliffhanger, but fortunately the second book, MVP, releases in just two weeks. I haven’t seen a release done like this before, and I really like it. So often I read a book and then have to wait a year or longer to find out what happens next. When that happens I always forget some of the important details from the last book, and it takes a while before I get back in the rhythm of the book. I’m so grateful that I won’t have that problem with this one.

High school sweethearts? Second chance romance? Professional sports romance? This book checks off so many of my favorite plots in romances that I think it was almost impossible for me not to swoon while reading it. And Slater was just so gosh darn sweet. I can’t wait to see what happens next for Malone and Slater.

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

 

Title: On the DL
Series: The MVP Duet #1
Author: Laramie Briscoe
Genre: Sports/Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 20, 2018

 

Blurb
A
second-chance romance as scorching hot as a baseball diamond in August.
Slater “Savage” Harlow

Winning the MVP award for the Birmingham Bandits last year was the highlight of
my baseball career. It was the culmination of childhood dreams, calculated
adult decisions, sacrifice, and a hell of a lot of focus. Tearing my ACL in
spring training? Not what I expected at all.

Now I’m home, in small town Georgia, rehabbing in the comfort of my own home,
with people I know. I’m connecting with friends I haven’t had time to talk to
in years, spending days at home with my parents, and getting to watch my little
brother play minor league baseball.

What I don’t expect is to see Malone Fulcher walking into Del’s Diner one
morning while having my coffee and egg whites.

She’s old flame, the one who got away, and the woman I compare all others to.

Malone Fulcher

Spending the summer in my hometown wasn’t what I had planned, but it’s what I
need. Recovering from a hard year, both personally and professionally, I need
to reconnect with who I am. When my mom encouraged me to come home and do some
soul searching, I can’t say no.

Memories are all over this small town, from the Baptist Church to the east
field on my parents farm, to the diner. On my second day in town, I decide to
go in, memories be damned.

I lost my breath as soon as I saw “Savage” Harlow sitting alone at a
booth. Our eyes lock, my heart flutters, and my hands shake – all the same way
they did back in high school. But back then we couldn’t make it work. Going our
separate ways to differing colleges, we decided we weren’t meant to be.

A decade later, as soon as our eyes meet, I’m wondering if we were right,
because those green eyes of his do nothing but take me to a past that I can see
being my future.

Author’s Note: This does end in somewhat of a cliffhanger!

 

 

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Author Bio
Laramie Briscoe is the best-selling author of the Heaven Hill Series & the Rockin’ Country Series.Since self-publishing her first book in May of 2013, Laramie Briscoe has published over 10 books. She’s appeared on the Top 100 Bestselling E-books Lists on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. She’s been called “a very young Maya Banks” (Amazon reviewer) and her books have been accused of being “sexy, family-oriented, romances with heart”.

When she’s not writing alpha males who seriously love their women, she loves spending time with friends, reading, and marathoning shows on her DVR. Married to her high school sweetheart, Laramie lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband (the Travel Coordinator) and a sometimes crazy cat named Beau.

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Hothead by Stella Rhys (Irresistible #4)

Hothead (Irresistible Book 4) by [Rhys, Stella]4 Stars

It was hot. 

After having read 2 of Stelly Rhys’ books previously, I went into this one without even reading the blurb. It took me quite awhile to realize that this was #4 in the Irresistible series. Something I’ve noticed is that you definitely don’t have to read the other books in this series to be able to become thoroughly invested in it. There is no overlying arc that ties everything together. These are couples that are loosely connected so you can jump in anywhere and still have a great read.

Fake fiancé. YES! I absolutely love a marriage/relationship of convenience, and this one was fire! Even better that they had a bit of a love/hate thing going on at the beginning. I loved the banter, they were hot together and I was ecstatic that Evie was getting her romance after seeing how badly she was treated by her long-time boyfriend in the last book, Dirty Deeds.

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Title: Hothead

An Irresistible Series Standalone

Author: Stella Rhys
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Blurb
He’s the hottest
player in Major League Baseball, the most notorious playboy in all of
Manhattan…
And my fake fiancé
for the next three months.
I was drunk-dialing my ex the night I met him.
Six-three, sexy as sin and so incredibly rude I could smack the asshole
smirk right off his face. Long story short, we got off to a bad start. But when
the tabloids interpret our sparring as Drew Maddox “groveling
with a “mystery brunette,” his agent presents us both a
proposal:
Shacking up as a couple this summer.
It’s an alleged “win-win.” I need to prove to my ex that I’m fine. Drew
needs to prove to his team that he’s stable. Thanks to his on-field brawling
and never-ending lady drama, Drew Maddox has suddenly found himself on the
trade block – which means he needs a fast, easy way to show the team that he’s
settled down.
Hence this fiancé thing. 
Our fights are real, our kisses are fake, and thanks to the nonstop
heat between us, I’m starting to mix up all my signs. But whether it’s real or
fake, there’s one thing I do know:
I’m already addicted.
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Author Bio
Stella Rhys is an author of contemporary romance and can’t
help but write it hot, steamy and borderline filthy (just kidding, it’s just
flat-out filthy). Writing aside, she lives for coffee, the Knicks, the Yankees
and cooking recipes way out of her league. She was born and raised in New York
and now lives there with her husband and charmingly entitled fur babies.
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Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (Hoops #1)

Long Shot: A HOOPS Novel by [Ryan, Kennedy]5 Stars

If I had to pick a favorite romance from last year, my pick would undoubtedly be Grip. If fact, I loved it so much that it was one of my write-in votes for the Goodreads Choice Awards. That being said, while I wanted to read Long Shot, I wasn’t sure about it. I haven’t watched basketball since I was in elementary school (in the 90’s) so my knowledge of the sport is rusty at best.

I should have known better, the sport didn’t matter. This book grabbed me from the first chapter and I only stopped reading so I could get a few hours of sleep. I was unprepared for the breadth of emotions this book carried with it. I don’t have “triggers” when reading, but for those that do, this should carry a trigger warning on it. It deals with very serious domestic abuse including physical, emotional, and sexual aspects. I didn’t expect to feel the emotions of Iris so acutely. I felt desperation, panic, hopelessness. But then there was determination, hope, and butterflies… even healing.

The Grip series were the first books that I read from Kennedy Ryan, and I thought those were some of the most timely important books I’ve ever read from the romance genre. I didn’t realize what I was getting into when I started Long Shot, but as painful as it was, I deeply valued the experience. This book helped me realize that Kennedy Ryan isn’t just a general romance writer, but a writer with a social message. She writes words that matter and gives perspective on subjects that are often skirted around in public. She has a gift with words, and I am grateful she chooses to share them.

Get LONG SHOT Here – (Kindle) <— also FREE on Kindle Unlimited

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Third Base by Stella

3.5 Stars

This is a good friends-to-lovers romance. The blurb gives you a good idea what the book is about and the title is perfect.

I enjoyed Third Base and this was my first experience reading a book by the author duo that makes up Stella (Leddy Harper & Stephie Walls). I’ll definitely pick up more books from them in the future. My only problem with it is Ellie & Coby spent way too much time not together. It made the book seem slow, because you were constantly waiting for them to finally get together. I absolutely loved Gage (my favorite character). I hope that the next story we get out of Stella is the story of his romance with Missy.

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I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

Title: Third Base
Author: Stella
Genre: Sports Romance/Friends-to-lovers
Release Date: November 2, 2017
Blurb
First base: kissing.

Second base: above the waist.

Third base: below the waist.

Home run: no explanation needed.Every baseball player knows to keep their eye on the ball and swing for the
fences. Each base counts, but a home run is the goal. No one wants to strike
out. This is true both on and off the field.

Ellie Teller had been my best friend since we were born, and we had a plan—get
out of the tiny Alabama town we’d grown up in and go to college…together. But
even life’s best-laid plans could throw a powerful curveball. Rather than
attend classes, I was now the starting pitcher for a Major League team.

While my game-day stats were impressive, my record with women was less
desirable. I was the professional baseball player who hadn’t been able to make
it past third base since the one and only night I’d played hardball with my
best friend.

But when the bottom of the ninth came to a close on my career, I had to decide
if our friendship was worth more than a few extra innings.

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Stella
Best Selling Author Leddy Harper and Stephie Walls met on a
street corner in Savannah, Georgia in 2015, where they quickly formed a bond
over book boyfriends and cheap wine. 
After discovering the two best friends shared a brain, their
alter ego, Stella was born. After all, when you put two romance authors
together…you’re gonna get something Stella!

 

Leddy Harper
Leddy
Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl
in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that
imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.
She often
calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes
of her characters.
She is now
a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of
females.
The
decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to
go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most
importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.
Stephie Walls
Stephie
Walls is a literary whore – she loves words in all forms and will read anything
put in front of her. She has an affinity for British Literature and Romance
novels and an overall love of writing. She currently has six novels out, four
short stories, and two collections; all provocatively written to elicit your
imagination and spice up your world.

 

In Too Deep by Lexi Ryan (The Blackhawk Boys #5)

4 Stars

I have been in love with the story of Bailey and Mason since I read Spinning Out at the very beginning of the series. They have been my most anticipated couple and the two people I’ve rooted the hardest for. It should come as no surprise that I absolutely inhaled this book.

In Too Deep felt like it was going to be a bit lighter book at the beginning. It had all the makings of a romantic comedy and I was ready for it. I forgot, that the basis of this series seems to be that no matter how much of an open book someone seems…. everyone has secrets. Each of these books could be read as a standalone and In Too Deep is no exception BUT I also think that part of what makes Bailey and Mason’s story so enjoyable is the buildup that you feel watching the push & pull of this couple on the sidelines of every other book. It helped create a delicious anticipation that made reading their story all the more thrilling.

You can’t go wrong with any of the books in The Blackhawk Boys series. I know this is the last book in the series, but is it wrong of me to be hoping that there will be a spinoff with Owen? Every time he popped up in this book it seemed like he had a story to tell. I can’t wait to see what Lexi Ryan comes up with next!

Get IN TOO DEEP Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

 

 

Title: In Too Deep
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #5
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2017

 

Blurb

 

New York
Times bestselling author Lexi Ryan brings readers a sexy NFL player who’s
pulled out all the stops for one more chance with the love of his life.
***
I have four
months to make my wife fall in love with me or let her go forever.
I loved
Bailey Green long before she watched her loser ex take his last breaths. I held
her while they lowered his coffin into the ground, stilled her shaking hands
when the nightmares would tear her from sleep. I waited for her through her
grief. But while she was always willing to let me in her bed, she refused to
let me in the one place I longed to be—her heart.
Tired of
playing second string to a dead man, I let her go. I moved to Florida to begin
my NFL career and tried to pretend my perfect life didn’t leave me empty. I’d
almost given up. Until one drunken night in Vegas, we stumbled down the aisle
and said, “I do.
In exchange
for the divorce she wants so badly, she’s agreed to remain my wife until the
end of the year. She has no idea the favors I’ve called in or the lies I’ve
told to get her here, but if I succeed, none of that matters.
My secrets
always seemed justified, but Bailey has her own—secrets that explain why she
always pushed me away, secrets that make me wonder if I should have let her.
Now we’re in too deep and I might lose the only girl I’ve ever loved and the
best friend I’ve ever had.
In Too Deep is a sexy and emotional novel intended for
mature readers. It’s the fifth book in the world of the Blackhawk Boys, but can
be enjoyed as a standalone.

 

 

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Excerpt

 

© Lexi Ryan,
2017
“You know,
once you were my friend,” I say. “And maybe that’s what I miss most about us.
Maybe instead of judging me for my decisions, you could try being my friend again.”
He puts his
glass down on the table, his eyes locking on mine before he slowly stalks
toward me.
I lift my
chin, refusing to back down, because dammit,
I shouldn’t have to apologize for wanting Mason’s friendship. Is that so
terrible?
But my
defiant stance doesn’t faze him and he keeps coming, one step at a time, until
he’s finally up against that bubble he prefers to keep between us. He takes
another step and he’s inside it, but still not nearly as close as I want him.
He takes another, and if I had the courage, I could reach out and touch him.
Another step and he’s so close that he has to bend his head down to maintain
eye contact. So close that if I lift onto my toes, I could brush my lips
against his.
I almost
do, if only because fighting with him makes me feel as if there’s something
broken in me, and I want it to be over. I miss the soft stroke of his lips
against mine. I miss the sound of his sweet murmurs as he unbuttoned my pants
and slid my underwear off my hips. I miss the sex, but more than that, I miss
the way he’d hold me after. He held me in a way no one else had ever bothered
to. Not even Nic. Mason would pull me against him, my back to his chest, and
he’d snuggle against me until I could feel the warmth of his breath against my
bare shoulder.
I want all
of that again, and what breaks my heart the most is if I’d known when I took
that deal—if I could have seen into the future and gotten a glimpse of exactly
what I was giving up—I still would have done it. I did what I had to do.
Mason’s
eyes drop to my mouth. “I don’t want to be your friend, Bailey.”
“Yeah,” I
whisper. “You’re making that really clear. All or nothing, am I right?”
His jaw
hardens, and I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but he moves even closer. My
back’s against the sliding glass door, and his body presses into mine. He
shifts until his thigh is between my legs, and then he lifts a hand to my hair,
sliding his thumb up my neck until he’s cupping my jaw. I want to melt because
I’ve missed this so damn much. I’ve missed him
so damn much.
“I’ve never
wanted to be your friend,” he says, shaking his head. And it’s a blow to the
heart I’m not sure I’m strong enough to endure. When I told him we could be
lovers but nothing more, we were friends…best friends. Then he moved down here
and shut me out.
“I’m sorry
my friendship was such a burden.” Fuck, even my sarcasm sounds weak, but this
whole conversation has me vulnerable.
“It wasn’t
a burden. It was a daily reminder of
what I couldn’t have. I thought that if I quit fucking you it wouldn’t hurt so
much that you refused to be mine.” His thumb traces my bottom lip, and I
tremble. “I thought if I could get the memory of your taste out of my head that
maybe I’d be okay with being your buddy.
He sneers the word, his face twisting in disgust, but when the sneer falls
away, it leaves raw need in its wake. “But I was wrong. I don’t want to be your
friend, because that means you’re only giving me part of yourself, and I am the
spoiled bastard you say I am. What was your word? Privileged?”
He dips his
head down and turns his face to the side, sweeping the tip of his nose over the
tip of mine. “I don’t want your friendship unless it comes with your body. And
I don’t want your body unless it comes with your heart.” He dips a little
farther and brushes his lips so softly against mine that I almost wonder if I’m
imagining it. Maybe he isn’t touching me at all. Maybe the sensation is nothing
more than air passing between our mouths.
He’s
chipping at the walls I keep erected around my heart. And what happens when
they’re gone? What happens when he sees me for who I really am?
“You say
you want to be my friend,” he says, “but friends don’t lie to each other. They
don’t hide their pasts.” His hand falls from my hair. I brace myself for his
retreat, but he doesn’t back away. Instead, he finds the hem of my dress and
slides up my thigh, then between my legs until he reaches my cotton panties.
“Is this it, then? Is this all you want from me?”
His
knuckles skim across my center, and I should stop him. Fuck. I should stop him. I know what he’s trying to do, what he’s
trying to say, and how I’ll feel when this is over. But all I can think is how
I feel right now. How it finally feels to have him this close—his heat, his
touch.
All I can
think is that if the rest of my life is going to be some sucky, lonely series
of if-onlys and what-ifs, dragging from one day to the next, I just want this
moment for as long as it can last. Maybe I’ll wrap it up and hold on to it.
Keep it for later when I can untuck it and examine the heat of his breath
against my neck or the gentle graze of his fingertips along the lace edge of my
panties.
He nips at
my ear with his teeth, and I moan. His breath has gone shallow, and I can feel
the tension building in him—that push and pull of wanting and knowing you
shouldn’t want. It’s easy for me to recognize, because I’ve lived in that limbo
for almost four years.
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Author Bio
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles, Lexi enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and rare trips to the beach. Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and neurotic dog. You can find her at her website: http://www.lexiryan.com/

 

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Mess With Me by Nicole Helm (A Mile High Romance #2)

 4 Stars

Mess With Me by Nicole Helm is the second book in her Mile High Romance series. It’s the first book I’ve ever read by her and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I stumbled across this book in Buzz Books 2017: Romance which includes excerpts from tons of soon to be released books. The sample from this book hooked me and I couldn’t wait to get my hands it.

With this being the second book in the series I was a little worried that I would be missing something, but this was a great “standalone” within the series. I could see how people that read the first book would love the scenes starring the first books couple, and there was enough tension between the next books couple that I would definitely be interested in checking that out too.

This wasn’t a perfect book, but it was perfect for me right now. I loved the light and fluffy aspects to it, and it was only when it tried to get a bit “deeper” that I wasn’t as impressed with it. I’ll definitely be checking out more books from Nicole Helm.

Buy MESS WITH ME Here – (Kindle)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.

Trust by Kylie Scott

4 Stars

I read my first Kylie Scott at the end of April, and here I am in mid-July reading my 2nd. It wasn’t what I expected, but it also made me respect her writing that much more. Twist was more of a romantic comedy and I’m being honest when I say I didn’t read the blurb for Trust. I saw Kylie Scott’s name, got the warm-n-fuzzies and decided I needed to read this too. Judging by the first book I read, I thought I knew her type… light, funny and sexy.

Trust is definitely not in the light category but it is a hard-hitting teen romance that will captivate you. I had a hard time putting this one down, and that isn’t a problem I usually have with YA Romances. This book does have mature content though. “Course” language, underage drinking, teen sex, and PTSD are just a few of the subjects dealt with. I thought it depicted real teen life well, and the characters felt authentic and well developed. It explored the awful spiral of drug addiction, and what often happens when someone tries to turn over a new leaf, but the people around them aren’t ready to forget the past. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am excited to see what else Kylie Scott has to offer.

Buy TRUST Here – (Kindle)

Buy TRUST Here – (Paperback)

I received an advance reader copy of this book that I have chosen to review.