Guest Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 28, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Also in this series: Rookie Move
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast....

When Georgia Worthington was almost done with high school she was raped.  She’d been dating Leo Trevi since she was a sophomore and they were deeply in love.  Unfortunately George the rape changed the relationship between her and Leo so when graduation came along she broke up with him.  Now it’s six years later and Georgia is shocked when she finds out that Leo is now going to be the new Rookie on the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team – the team that she works for in the publicity department.

Leo is guy who has spent the last six years trying to get over his one true love – and not succeeding.  He’s dated a bunch of brainless bimbos because they were nothing like Georgia and therefore he wouldn’t get emotionally involved.  He is so excited to be the new rookie so that he can finally play in the NHL but also so he can be around Georgia again.  Unfortunately for him the new coach is Georgia’s father and while they used to be close Coach Worthington now hates Leo because…well, Leo has no idea why he hates him.

Things don’t start off well for Leo as he almost immediately becomes a media sensation (not for the right reasons) and then coach is making his life hell.  He does make a huge effort with Georgia and he’s determined to get her back.

I loved this story.  I loved Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series and knew Leo Trevi from that series.  He was still a great guy and a fabulous hero in this book.  He was a stand-up man and one I was sure that Georgia would be happy to call hers.  She had lived through some pretty serious shit in high school and while she had dealt with it there were still things to move through emotionally for both Georgia and Leo.  I loved how Bowen brought them back together.  She has a wonderful way with characters and makes me love all of her heroes and heroines.

I also loved getting to know the other guys on the Bruisers team.  They all seemed like good guys and I am really looking forward to reading their stories.

Overall a great book that I highly recommend.  The first book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series was a hit with me and I definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Release Day Launch: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Posted September 27, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 4 Comments

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From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a captivating story of love, second chances and new beginnings…

THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, the second standalone novel in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, is out today! Check out the excerpt below and grab your copy of this fantastic new novel today!

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Releases on September 27, 2016 by Avon

If she has her way …

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her …

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him …

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice …

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work …

Excerpt

Willa sighed and headed to the door.

Again Keane held the pink bedazzled cat carrier, which should have made him look ridiculous. Instead it somehow upped his testosterone levels. His sharp eyes were on her but they turned warm in a way that melted her right through her center as she moved toward him. She stopped with the glass door between them, hands on hips, hoping she looked irritated even if that wasn’t quite what she was feeling.

His gaze lowered from her face to run over her body, which gave her another unwelcome rush of heat. Dammit. Now she was irritated and aroused—not a good combo.

His mouth quirked at the saying on her apron that read Dear Santa, I Can Explain.

Drawing a deep breath, she opened the door. “You’ve got Petunia again. I hope that means your great-aunt Sally isn’t still sick.”

He looked surprised that she’d remembered his aunt’s name, or that she’d care. “I don’t know,” he said a little gruffly. “She left me a message saying that I was in charge for the rest of the week but for two days now Pita’s been happily destroying my jobsite. I’m throwing myself on your mercy here. Can you help?”

Wow. He must be really desperate since he was actually asking and not assuming. But since Petunia was a sweetheart, she knew she’d do it.

“I’ll even tell you where I went to high school,” he said, adding a smile that was shockingly charming.

Wow. He hadn’t lost his touch when it came to turning it on. “Not necessary,” she said, painfully aware of their audience.

Keane’s attention was suddenly directed upward, just above her head. She followed his line of sight and found a sprig of mistletoe hanging from the overhead display of small portable doggy pools. Mistletoe? What the hell? She glanced behind her and what do you know, suddenly Rory and Cara were a flurry of movement racing around looking very, very busy. “When did the mistletoe go up?” she asked them. “And why?”

“FOMO,” Cara said from behind the counter.

“Fear of missing out,” Rory translated. “She was hoping a hot guy would come in and the mistletoe would give her an excuse.”

Willa narrowed her eyes and her two soon-to-be-dead employees scattered again.

“Interesting,” Keane said, looking amused.

“I’m not kissing you.”

His mouth curved. “If you take Pita for the day, I’ll kiss you.”

“Not necessary,” she said, gratified no one could see her heart during the two-step in her ears. “I’ll take Petunia for the day. No kiss required or wanted.”

Liar, liar

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Teasers

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Heartbreaker Bay

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About the Author

JillShalviscropped

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TUMBLR

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Posted September 27, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Rowena
The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies
Published by Avon
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

If she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .
He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .

The Trouble with Mistletoe is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis. This series is reminiscent of The Lucky Harbor series and while it’s formulaic as heck, it’s still an enjoyable book.

Willa Davis owns her own business in town and she takes care of all of your pets needs. Pet Weddings? Bedazzled collars? A pet babysitter? Willa can take care of all of that for you. She’s a one stop pet shop. There isn’t a person or a pet that Willa will not take care of. If you are lucky enough to earn a spot in her life, she will welcome you with open arms and do anything in her power to make you happy and have your back.

Keane Winters is a contractor who flips houses for a living and when his long lost Aunt comes into his life and dumps her cat in his lap, Keane can do nothing but suck it up and take care of the cat. When he finds out that the cat is a little hellion, he takes her to a pet babysitter to get her out of his hair while he’s at work. He wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to the owner of the South Bark Mutt Shop but the more he takes Pita (his nickname for his Aunt’s cat, Petunia) in to board her for the day, the more attracted he becomes. There’s something going on here that he doesn’t know because the owner, Willa acts like they know each other but she won’t tell him how.

There are a few things going on during the book that kept my interest going. There are the internal issues that Willa is going through. The whole foster care life, her fear of Santa and then learning to trust Keane again after the disaster that was her last relationship. There is also Keane’s internal issues with his childhood upbringing, his strained relationship with his family (mostly his parents) then there’s Rory’s issues, the shop issues and really, the issues just keep going and going and going.

I spent some time reading this book frustrated with both Willa and Keane. The push and pull thing that Willa had going on made me want to pull her hair or punch her in the tits. I could have sworn that Pru had the same push and pull thing going on with Finn in the last book. Willa was part of the “Give your heart a break and give Finn a chance” gang so I wish she had taken her own advice and did the same with Keane. I’m going to be sorely disappointed if Elle has the same shit going on in her and Archer’s book (not that it’s going to stop me from reading the book). Keane’s issues made me want to punch a wall. I get his issues with his parents but what I didn’t get was the insecurities he had. The whole putting houses on the market and not settling down, because he wasn’t the settling down type? But he wanted to settle down with Willa? Color me confused.

Overall, the romance was good and I enjoyed seeing Keane and Willa get to know each other. They were great together and I enjoyed seeing their banter. I was glad that Willa got over the grudge she was holding over Keane quickly and that it wasn’t dragged out. There was some disappointment over the way that Willa and Keane both handled certain things but in the end, it was still an enjoyable romance that I’m sure fans of Shalvis will like.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Posted September 26, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth PhillipsReviewer: Holly
This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars, #5) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Series: Chicago Stars #5
Also in this series: It Had to Be You, Dream a Little Dream
Published by Avon
Publication Date: February 5th 2002
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

This Heart of Mine..
Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it's Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children's books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional animals who live in Nightingale Woods. She even loves her sister, Phoebe.
True, it was a little tough growing up in her shadow. Phoebe is beautiful, blissfully married, and the owner of the most successful professional football team in America. But who other than your sister knows you're about to do something drastic every time you change your hair? Yes, Molly's happy about almost everything ... except her long-term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars, that awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember her name!
One night Molly's penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she's certain things can't get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life. But Kevin's hidden depths and iron will propel Molly out of her comfortable existence into an unforgettable summer at a place called Wind Lake. Surrounded by paintbox cottages and a charming old bed-and-breakfast, she and Kevin battle their attraction while trying to cope with an aging sexpot actress, a cranky world-famous artist, and a pair of teenage newlyweds.
Their careers and lives are in crisis ... yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Before the summer is over, will they be able to learn one of life's most important lessons? Sometimes falling in love hurts, sometimes it makes you mad as hell, and sometimes if you're very lucky it can heal in the most special and unexpected way.

I really wish SEP didn’t humiliate her heroines quite so much. No matter how many times I re-read This Heart of Mine it never gets easier watching Molly hurt herself.

Molly’s actions in the beginning of the book were really hard to take. If the roles were reversed and a man acted as she did, we know what it would be called. Unlike other books where the heroine purposely takes advantage of the hero (generally to steal his sperm so she can have the baby she always wanted), I softened to Molly as the story went on. Probably because she suffered quite a bit for her actions. I’m not excusing what she did, nor condoning it, but I felt like she was truly remorseful and her suffering as the novel went on served to soften her actions just enough to allow me to forgive her.

Where SEP excels, in my opinion, is writing nuanced characters. There are no two-dimensional flops for SEP. Kevin, Molly and all the rest are fully three-dimensional, with struggles and emotions not readily apparent at first glance.

SEP has always pulled me into her stories and this is no exception. I lived at camp with Molly and Kevin, suffered along with them during their trials and tribulations and got to know their friends and family through them. I can’t say I love every aspect of this novel, but I can say I was fully engaged while reading it. Even though I’ve read it many times before.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from  . You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars

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Excerpt: Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas

Posted September 26, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Sunrise Crossing by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #4
Released on August 30, 2016 by HQN Books

Return to peaceful Crossroads, Texas, where community comes first and love thrives in the unlikeliest places…

Yancy Grey is slowly putting his life back together after serving time for petty theft. As he rebuilds an old house, he finally has a sense of stability, but he can’t stop thinking of himself as just an ex-con. Until one night, he finds a mysterious dark-haired beauty hiding in his loft. But who is she, and what secret is she protecting?

The art gallery Parker Lacey manages is her life—she has no time for friends, and certainly not lovers. But when her star artist begs Parker for help, she finds herself in a pickup truck, headed for the sleepy town of Crossroads. A truck driven by a strong, silent cowboy…

Gabe Snow has been a drifter since he left Crossroads at seventeen after a violent incident. When he accepts a job in his hometown, he’ll have to decide whether he can put the worst night of his life behind him and build a future in the community that raised him.

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Flight

January 2012
LAX

VICTORIA VILANIE CURLED into a ball, trying to make herself small, trying to disappear. Her black hair spread around her like a cape but couldn’t protect her.

All the sounds in the airport were like drums playing in a jungle full of predators. Carts with clicking wheels rolling on pitted tiles. People shuffling and shouting and complaining. Electronic voices rattling off numbers and destinations. Babies crying. Phones ringing. Winter’s late storm pounding on walls of glass.

Victoria, Tori to her few friends, might not be making a sound, but she was screaming inside.

Tears dripped off her face, and she didn’t bother to wipe them away. The noise closed in around her, making her feel so lonely in the crowd of strangers.

She was twenty-four, and everyone said she was a gifted artist. Money poured in so fast it had become almost meaningless, only a number that brought no joy. But tonight all she wanted was silence, peace, a world where she could hide out.

She scrubbed her eyes on her sleeve and felt a hand touch her shoulder like it were a bird, feather-light, landing there.

Tori turned and recognized a woman she’d seen once before. The tall blonde in her midthirties owned one of the best galleries in Dallas. Who could forget Parker Lacey’s green eyes? She was a woman who had it all and knew how to handle her life. A born general who must manage her life as easily as she managed her business.

“Are you all right, Tori?” Parker asked.

Tori could say nothing but the truth. “I’m living the wrong life.”

Then, the strangest thing happened. The lady with green eyes hugged her and Tori knew, for the first time in years, that someone had heard her, really heard her.

About the Author

Jodi Thomas

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

A fifth generation Texan, Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state.

With a degree in Family Studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer In Residence.

“My door is usually open to students all morning,” explains Thomas, who talks to the classes at the University and on other campuses during her many speaking engagements when not writing in her spacious office in WTAMU’s Cornette Library. “They come by to visit and ask questions about being a writer. When I was a child, being a writer wasn’t an option. All the people I knew had regular jobs. I’m hoping that students will see that being a writer is a possibility. This is particularly important in these days when programs in the arts are being cut in the public schools.”

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, “When I was teaching classes full time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher, or nurse, or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I’m still making the world a better place.”

While the author toured the country speaking to Desk and Derrick clubs about her 2003 novel, THE WIDOWS OF WICHITA COUNTY, the members of various chapters formed a Jodi Thomas Fan Club. The group enthusiastically promotes her novels and public appearances and even volunteers to provide drivers for her out-of-town engagements.

When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and “checking up” on their two grown sons.

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