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)

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

Balance by Lucia Franco (Off Balance #1)

 5 Stars!

Balance by Lucia Franco is the first book in the Off Balance trilogy. I picked it up on Kindle Unlimited after seeing someone rave about it on Instagram. She was completely right about it. This book is intense, sexy, and TABOO. The next book, Execution, doesn’t even have a release date yet but I am in line for it.

There are some definite warnings that need to go with this book. You have to be able to deal with:

  • Forbidden Romance – Adrianna is a 15 year old gymnast, and Kova is her 32 year old coach.
  • An Affair – Kova is cheating on his girlfriend of 5 years with Adrianna.
  • Kova is a dick — ok, so that one isn’t really a TABOO thing, but he IS a dick.

Balance is currently on sale for $.99 or FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

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Falling Hard by Lexi Ryan (The Blackhawk Boys #4)


4.5 Stars

Once I’m invested in a series, I no longer read the blurbs. I prefer to go in blind and just trust the author. What a shock for me when I started this one, and EMMA IS NOT OLIVIA! Part of me was relieved because Olivia grinds my nerves like no other, but I was also disappointed because I knew Keegan wanted his family together.

There was no need to be disappointed, Emma is a doll and I loved her with Keegan. Keegan has matured so much since becoming a father and it shows. They had a brief but intense relationship when they were younger. They both have heartbreaking secrets from “before” that affected their relationship both then and now.

All the previous couples make a quick appearance in this one, but it is completely standalone. Lexi Ryan wrote this well, and you won’t feel like you are missing anything if you haven’t read the other books yet. That teaser for the next book though?!?!?!?!? I NEED IT NOW.

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

 

Title: Falling Hard
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #4
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017

 

Blurb

 

An NFL player with a secret past, and the one woman with the power to turn his world inside out…
Former actress Emma Rothschild is partying in Vegas in disguise. But I’m not fooled. Five years ago, I knew that body better than my own, and I haven’t forgotten a single detail—not the curve of her hip beneath my hand or the hitch in her breath when I kiss her neck.
When Emma’s unexpectedly left alone in Sin City, I agree to spend the weekend with her. As friends. Why not? If I can knock down the toughest guys in the NFL, I’m strong enough to keep my hands to myself, even if she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met.
Emma is part of my past—years so shrouded in secrets that not even my best friends know the truth about who I am. I’m a single dad now and not interested in revisiting my old ways or trying to win back the only woman I ever let close enough to break my heart.
But this is Vegas, where all bets are off, and with Emma, nothing ever goes as planned…

 

***

 

“A sexy, sweet, oh-so-emotional second chance romance that will make you believe in the power of fate and forgiveness.” – USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente

 

***

 

FALLING HARD is a sexy and emotional novel intended for mature readers. It’s the fourth book in the world of the Blackhawk Boys, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.
Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?
Book 1 – SPINNING OUT (Arrow’s story)
Book 2 – RUSHING IN (Christopher’s story)
Book 3 – GOING UNDER (Sebastian’s story)
Book 4 – FALLING HARD (Keegan’s story)
Book 5 – IN TOO DEEP (Mason’s story, coming fall 2017)

 

 

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Excerpt

 

“You’re too beautiful,” I tell her. I run my thumb along her jaw. “Too fucking beautiful.”“I’ve missed you. You’re the best man I’ve ever met.”

My stomach clenches and I shake my head. “Don’t think that. It’s a lie. It’s what I wanted you to believe. Don’t bring that lie into tonight.”

“How was it a lie?” She grins up at me, and I know a full confession would erase all the happiness from her face.

“When we were together before, I wasn’t the man you thought I was. I wasn’t good.” It’s the closest to the truth I’ve ever given anyone about my past.

“So you don’t want me believing you’re good?”

I pull her hips tightly against me as I exhale in frustration. She still thinks this is some kind of joke. “I’m different now, but then…”

She lifts onto her toes and flicks her tongue against my ear. “Don’t be so different. I like you a little bad.”

I groan and stop dancing. I don’t know how much longer I can do this without diving over the line. “Is that permission to stop being your friend?” I’m obsessed with knowing if she tastes as sweet as I remember. And if I swipe my tongue over the sensitive spot beneath her ear, will she gasp like she always did?

She shrugs and grins, and the dance floor tilts off balance. It’s crowded, and we’re surrounded by writhing bodies, cocooned in the crowd. I turn her in my arms so her back is to my front and settle my hand against the soft skin of her midriff. She arches her back and rubs against me.

I sweep her hair to the side, and when I press my lips to the long, smooth column of her neck, she trembles against me.

“Are you okay?” I ask against her ear. “Is this okay?”

“I—I’m not sure…”

“Tell me what you want. Not five years ago. Not tomorrow. What do you want right now?”

She reaches back and threads her fingers through my hair to guide my mouth back to her neck.

I don’t hesitate. I kiss and suck on that tender skin while we move to the beat.

The rest of the room fades and one song blurs into the next. A waitress comes by selling shots, and I buy two, one for each of us, and we lock eyes as we throw them back. At some point, I’m vaguely aware of Bailey checking on me, but my focus is one hundred percent on Emma, on this night that takes me back to when I was eighteen and so fucking in love it hurt. Tonight, Emma isn’t the woman who once broke my heart. She isn’t the girl who wrote me off with a simple goodbye note and apologies I didn’t want. Tonight, she’s a dream, my fantasy in the flesh, my reward for surviving the hardest year of my whole life.

When her face begins to blur, I realize I’m way more drunk than I ever intended. I need to sober up or I’m not going to remember a minute of this night. “Want to get out of here?”

She nods, takes my hand, and leads me out of the bar and down the hall to the elevators. My watch reads a quarter past two.

“Let’s get some food,” I suggest, but at the same moment, an elevator dings and the doors slide open.

Emma grabs my hand and drags me inside. “I don’t want food,” she says, punching a button.

I spin her around and press her against the wall. “What do you want, Em?” I drop my hand to her side to skim my knuckles over her skirt, and she widens her stance to part her thighs. “Fuck,” I whisper. I shouldn’t do this. Not here, not when any moment someone could join us on the elevator, not when we’re both so damn drunk it’s a wonder we can stand upright. But shouldn’t is so much weaker than want, and I want to touch her more than I want anything right now.

I’m faintly aware of the soft beeping of the passing floors as I slide my hand up her skirt and cup her between her legs. She gasps, and I rub my fingers over the damp lace of her panties, teasing her swollen flesh.

When the elevator stops and the doors slide open, she grabs my wrist and holds me still. “Please,” she whispers in my ear. “Please. Don’t stop.” Then she tilts her hips and rocks against my hand. I couldn’t refuse her if every person in the hotel was watching us.

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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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Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

 4.5 Stars

Girl out of Water is an unexpectedly good debut by Laura Silverman. The blurb sounded really interesting to me, but I don’t read YA Contemporary very often so once I received it I had “reviewers remorse” and didn’t pick it up for several months. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This book is really good.

Laura Silverman did an amazing job of capturing what it feels like to surf and skateboard. Or at least what I, as an extremely uncoordinated non-athlete, imagine that it feels like to participate in those sports. Her descriptions made me want to try my hand at both activities. The characters were perfect. They were diverse and seemed well fleshed out. Lincoln is her “disabled” black love interest (he seems anything but disabled)…. and he’s smart & hot! She has a Samoan best friend and counts a lesbian couple that has been together forever as part of her core group of friends.

I will mention for those that care, Anise has a “sailor’s mouth” and extensive curse word vocabulary. There is underage drinking and talk of sex though I believe kissing is the furthest anyone goes. It is a true depiction of teenage life and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The love triangle-ish situation made me uncomfortable because both guys are really great. They both have reasons why they are perfect for her and it’s sad when you realize that someone will inevitably get hurt. The ending is HFN, which I’m not usually a fan of, but fits this couple and their life plans.

Buy GIRL OUT OF WATER Here – (Kindle)

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

 

Living With Doubt by Riann C. Miller (The Regret Series #2)

4 Stars!

I have been waiting for this book for over a year. Living With Regret was the first book I requested off of NetGalley that I absolutely loved. It was my first experience with Riann’s writing, and the first time that I desperately wanted a side couple to get their own book. Living With Doubt is that book.

I REALLY liked the parts of Lacey we saw in Living With Regret. I found her less likable here, but only because it took her so long to get on board with Jake. These two are hot together, and Jake is pretty perfect. I got frustrated with how long it too for them to really be together but in the end it was worth it. The epilogue was everything I wanted, and gave me hope that there will be another book in the series.

If you haven’t read Living With Regret, no worries, this book is perfectly readable (and enjoyable) without having read the 1st book. This isn’t a series where you feel like you are missing something if you skip a book. But I did love that book, so I would still recommend it.

Buy LIVING WITH DOUBT Here – (Kindle)

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If you want to start at the beginning with Living With Regret, you can find my original review here.

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Title: Living With Doubt
Series: Regret Series #2
Authors: Riann C. Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: April 24, 2017
Blurb
She’s hiding from everyone… I don’t need a happily ever after filled with fake promises, animosity and eventually a divorce to be content. I’m living the dream…my dream, regardless of what anyone thinks of me. My meager life was perfect until a cocky football player wormed his way into my existence.

Once upon a time, I played an unconscious role in my own life, a mistake I have no plans of repeating. I pride myself with my outspoken and frequently excessive nature. It’s the consistent reminder of the person I refuse to become ever again. 

He’s the ultimate playboy… 

Life is perfect. I’ve lived and breathed football since I was a kid, and now I’m making millions playing in the NFL. I keep women around for one reason, but never the same one. The only attachments I need are family and friends but life has a bizarre way of proving a person wrong. When a concussion leaves my best-friend’s life spinning out of control, the last thing I expected was to meet an outrageous woman who leaves me begging for more.

She lives in New York.

I live in Arizona.She promised me one night, but I discovered that’s not enough. Now, I need to figure out if I’m a pro off the field because I’m about to play the biggest game of my life. 

Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. Each book in The Regret Series can be read as a standalone.

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Excerpt
“You want to tell me why you’re here?” She tilts her head
back, gracing me with the view of those beautiful blue eyes.
My lips quirk up into a smile. “I told you already. My dick
misses you. I tried to tell him you aren’t interested in a repeat, but he
wasn’t convinced.”
“You’re seriously talking about your dick as though it’s a
person? I thought only horny teenagers did shit like that?” She raises an
eyebrow before pushing herself off my lap.
“What can I say, around you that’s exactly how I feel.” I
might be smirking, but I’m not joking. All I have to do is think about her and
I’m rock hard. “I’ve already agreed to be your dirty little secret, so what’s
the big deal? I’m going to be in town for…a few more days. A week or so tops,
so I don’t really see what the problem is.”
Her eyes dart around the room before finally stopping on me.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Why not?” I counter. “We’ve already been together, and it’s
not like I’m asking you to skip work or even fucking date me.” I attempt to
keep the frustration out of my voice, but this woman is starting to drive me
crazy.
“Look, it’s not you, it’s me—” She stops talking when I fall
back onto her bed in laughter. I end up laughing so hard I have to wipe my
eyes.
“Do you have any idea how many times I’ve had to say that?
Shit, the irony here is classic.”
“I’m serious, Girard.”
“So am I, Davis.” I hate it when she calls me Girard. I want
to be more than just a football player in her eyes.
“You’re just not my type,” she adds in a lame attempt to
prove some point about us not being together.

“I’m not asking to marry you, Davis. I just want to fuck
your brains out for a few days before I fly back to my side of the country.”

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Author Bio
Riann C. Miller lives in southeast Kansas and writes steamy contemporary romance stories. When she’s not reading or writing, she spends time with her friends and family or you might catch her watching a baseball game with a beer in her hand.Riann who pronounces her name (Ry-an) also preoccupies a lot of her time on social media connecting with readers.

 

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