Publisher: Loveswept

Guest Review: Blocked by LP Dover

Posted November 9, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Blocked by LP DoverReviewer: Tracy
Blocked by L.P. Dover
Series: Breakaway Series #2
Also in this series: Hard Stick
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Goodreads
four-stars

He’s got every reason to be cocky . . . until a female cuts him down to size.

I’m Dallas Easton, the best goaltender in the league. I make a damn good living playing hockey, and with women falling at my feet wherever I go, why not enjoy it? I get whatever I want, whenever I want—that is, until I come across the one player who gets the best of me on the ice.

When I try to pummel the dude, all hell breaks loose. Imagine my surprise when the helmet comes off to reveal a woman underneath. And not just any woman, but the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen. Callie Davis is the complete opposite of the puck bunnies I usually go for, a good girl with sick moves and a selfless streak a mile wide. I need to make amends, but she dodges me at every turn. It doesn’t help that Callie’s brother hates my guts, or that my agent thinks she’s bad for my career.

But I could care less what they think. I can’t let our little run-in on the ice be the end of our story. Because when I set my sights on something, I won’t rest until I score.

Dallas Easton is a complete player.  He’s the goaltender for the Carolina Strikers and he thinks quite highly of himself.  When the book opens he’s at an after-the-game-win party at a fellow player’s house.  He picks the first hot chick he sees, dances with her for a minute and a half, maybe and next thing you know he’s in a bedroom with her RTF.

Dallas gets hurt at that party and Callie, an ER and surgical nurse takes care of him.  Later when he’s well enough to get back in the game he’s practicing on the ice and actually almost punches Callie (I won’t tell how).  He wants nothing more than to tell Callie how sorry he is but she won’t give him the time of day. She knows he’s a womanizer and really wants nothing to do with him.  He’s never had to chase a woman in his life so he gets creative with trying to see her and apologize for his actions. He soon gets close enough to tell her how he feels and soon Callie is giving him a chance

The pair start falling for each other but they have plenty of roadblocks standing in their way.  Will their love be enough to get them through everyone who hates them together and stands in their way?

I have to admit that when I got this ARC from NetGalley I was excited to read it.  I’d liked the first book in the series and was looking forward to book two.  I read the first chapter and quite frankly?  I hated Dallas. He was such a huge douchebag that I had no desire to read any more about him.  I put the book down and let it sit there for almost 3 months before I picked it back up.  I know, bad Tracy.  When I finally decided to give it another chance and read past chapter one I was quite surprised.  I still thought that Dallas was an ass for about half the book but he truly redeemed himself in my eyes.  He fell in love with Callie and couldn’t see any other woman besides her.  It went a long way toward making me like the man.

Callie was a strong woman and I liked that about her.  She stood up to Dallas, and her brothers as well when they got too protective.  She had a good head on her shoulders and was happy to see that she didn’t give in to Dallas right away.  She really made him grovel and I loved it.  Their relationship ended up being pretty great. Yes, there were the typical trying to tear them apart moments but overall it was good.

This has been a good series (yes, only two books so far, but still) and I was happy to see that this book had a lot more hockey involved in it.  The last book had a hockey player in it but not so much hockey.  This had a ton more and I loved it.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next with these hockey players.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Posted November 7, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) by Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #5
Also in this series: Good Girl, Walk of Shame
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 218
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

“Lauren Layne writes characters I want to tackle and keep as my best friends, woven into smart, sexy, utterly romantic tales of love.”—Violet Duke

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Every time that Lauren Layne releases a book, I’m going to read it. She’s been my go-to author for fabulous contemporary romances for the past couple of years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. An Ex for Christmas is the fifth book in the non-series, Love Unexpectedly and it’s another sweet romance that I ate right up.

Kelly believes in fate and in all things psychic so when she’s trying to make her way home for the holidays and a psychic stops her to tell her that she’s already met her one true love, Kelly is shook. She’s so shook that she gets home and ropes her best friend Mark into helping her make a list of her ex-boyfriends because one of them is her one true love and she’s going to find him. So she goes on this mission to track down her exes, put them through a date to see if there are any sparks left and well…you know how that goes.

Mark just got out of a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and he’s making plans for his future when his best friend Kelly comes home with the crazy plan to track down her exes and marry one of them. He’s grumpy about it because what man wants to be caught up in that tangle of junk?

Mark and Kelly were adorable together. I love how comfortable they were with each other and how loyal they were to each other. When Kelly thinks that Mark’s girlfriend is cheating on him, she gets super mad on his behalf and I thought that was fantastic. Mark couldn’t have cared less because he was getting ready to put his plans into action and when he’s sidelined by Kelly’s crazy plans to nab an ex, I loved seeing him battle his emotions with that.

Lauren Layne does a great job of telling this story while only giving us Kelly’s POV. I would have liked to get inside Mark’s head from time to time but I caught onto his deal pretty early on so I didn’t think the book suffered much from not having it. Mark was the perfect kind of grumpy that I adore to pieces so I was all aboard the Mark train.

Kelly took her sweet ass time figuring out who her perfect mate was but I had a good time seeing her fail at every date she went on so I wasn’t annoyed at all. She was great fun to get to know and I liked seeing her come into her own. She had a sweet relationship with her parents and with her friends from high school so all in all, this was a good read.

This was the perfect read to read heading into the holidays…it was fun, flirty and had a smoking hot hero that was grumpily perfect for the sweetheart of a heroine. Lauren Layne continues to shine in my eyes and I’m already thirsty for more. She seriously can’t write fast enough to suit me. I’m so greedy when it comes to her books. She’s just so good. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Bound to a Spy by Sharon Cullen

Posted October 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Bound to a Spy by Sharon CullenReviewer: Tracy
Bound to a Spy by Sharon Cullen
Series: All the Queen's Spies #2
Also in this series: Wed to a Spy
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rose Turner’s mother sent her to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, to give her a better life. Raised with rowdy brothers in a notorious border clan, Rose has plenty of experience fighting and thieving—and practically none when it comes to matters of decorum and discretion. Without a single ally, she has little hope of making a good marriage to salvage her family’s reputation. But after overhearing several influential lords plotting to murder the King of Scotland, Rose meets a man after all: a handsome spy trying to shield her from danger.

As one of the Queen Elizabeth’s top agents, Will Sheffield has come up north to keep a close eye on the goings-on at Mary’s court. A consummate professional, Will notices Rose’s presence at the secret meeting . . . and he’s not the only one. The wild, naïve beauty has made a fearsome enemy—and only Will can keep her safe. But after an attempt on Rose’s life pulls them tantalizingly close, Will faces an agonizing choice between professional loyalty or powerful passion.

Rose Turner is the daughter of a border clan lord who is known for his thieving.  She was sent to court to try and find a husband.  It’s truly the last place she wants to be as she’d rather be at home taking care of animals, wearing breeches and having a good time with her five brothers.  She tries to spend as much time outside of the palace as possible but as it’s horribly cold out those times grown shorter and shorter.  During one of her outdoor times she tries to get out of the weather and uses a hidden door she knows about.  Unfortunately she happens to hear men behind a closed door plotting to kill the king.  She gets away before they see her but drops her shawl.

Will Sheffield is the son of a Viscount but he’s also one of Queen Elizabeth’s spies.  He’s been sent to Queen Mary’s court to gather information and is hidden in the shadows listening to the plot to kill the king when Rose arrives.  He knows that he has to protect her from the plotting men, but his fellow spies tell him to leave it be.  There are casualties in all their missions and she will be another.  Will doesn’t exactly feel that way and sets out to meet the beautiful Rose.

Rose and Will spend more time together and Rose starts to care for him – just as Will starts to care for her.  She is approached however, by Lord Lysle who starts to pay attention to her.  She is fine with it until Will tells her that he is one of the plotters. She has to play her cards right so that Lysle doesn’t have a clue that she is aware of his deeds. Rose is also torn – she knows she should go to the queen to tell her of the plot but if she does but is scared.

Will knows he should stay away from Rose but he finds himself falling in love with her anyway.  He knows he can’t be with her or marry her but when it comes down to doing his job or saving Rose, which will he choose?

Bound to a Spy was a lovely story of secrets and intrigue, love and romance.  I truly enjoyed reading about Rose and Will’s meeting and falling in love.  Though they both knew it was wrong to fall in love with the other they still could not stay away from each other.

Will had had a childhood with no love.  His parents had resided in London while he had lived on their country estate raised by nannies and governesses.  He knew he’d never get married nor fall in love as he didn’t believe he knew how to love someone.  It was sad to know he thought this way about himself.  He was a good man who ended up taking such good care of Rose.

Rose was a wild little thing who was clearly out of her element in the palace.  She wanted to be outside in the fresh air and not stuck sitting around doing embroidery (that she wasn’t good at). Rose may have been an outdoor girl but she still had grace and refinement and I liked the dueling parts of her personality.  When it came to Will she was a goner from the get-go.  Truly smitten from minute one and it only grew from there.

This romance flowed so nicely within the story and blended well with the intrigue aspect of it.  Cullen once again did a fantastic job of bringing us the story of Elizabeth’s spies and the love stories.  I can’t wait to read the next one as it looks to be just as good as this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve Greyson

Posted September 20, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve GreysonReviewer: Tracy
Sadie's Highlander by Maeve Greyson
Series: Highland Protector #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Time Travel
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Highland warrior Alec MacDara and his brothers traveled forward in time to protect the sacred Heartsone. Their cover? Owners and operators of a theme park called Highland Life and Legends. As the chairman, Alec has been fending off requests to film at the breathtaking property. It’s only because of the charming correspondence from an enterprising production assistant that he agrees to a meeting at all. That’s when Alec meets a woman whose lush curves make him forget, for the first time, all about tenth-century Scotland.

A lowly assistant for her sister’s motion picture company, wannabe screenwriter Sadie Williams is shocked when Alec agrees to let them film at the park upon one condition: that she report to him daily. Sadie’s sister always told her that their parents only adopted her because they felt sorry for the ugly little stray. But Alec looks at Sadie like she’s the most tempting creature in the world. And with his gleaming, musclebound body stripped down to nothing but a hip-hugging kilt and boots, Alec clearly knows a little something about temptation.

Alec MacDara and his family are druids in charge of the Heartstone.  The Heartstone is the item that brings hope, love and creativity to the world.  The MacDara family were brought forward in time by goddesses from the 10th century to modern day North Carolina to protect the Heartstone, and the family.  They began and have run Highland Life and Legends theme park for many years.

Sadie Williams’ sister owns a film company and wants to film at Highland Life and Legends.  Sadie emails Alec thinking that an assistant of some sort would be reading the emails.  Alec actually reads them and is so enthralled with the sender that he agrees to an interview.  The film company gets the right to film at HL&L but Alec has the stipulation that Sadie must stay at his home with his family the full six weeks for filming.

While Sadie is at the MacDara household she gets closer with Alec and soon they fall in love.  Unfortunately Sadie’s sister, the evil beast that she is, ruins everything and soon Sadie is on her own once again.

Right after I received an eARC from NetGalley I opened this book up as I was pretty excited to read it.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t very far into it when I put it back down.  Alec seemed creepy and I wasn’t sure about him at all.  When the book title came up in my schedule again I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish it but I actually started from the beginning once again and gave it a fair shot.  I think it might have been my state of mind that had previously made him seem creepy – he wasn’t.  That said he was completely smitten by Sadie even before he met her and once they’d met he was like a puppy with a bone he couldn’t put down.  They fell in love extremely quickly – like in a couple of days and that didn’t feel right to me.  Sadie kept vacillating back and forth and that drove me nuts.  They got engaged within days and yeah…that just doesn’t happen. (OK, I’m sure it does but extremely rarely IRL.)

The part that had to do with Sadie’s sister was ridiculous, imho.  I guess Sadie had been conditioned by her sister to accept blame for everything the sister did, but I think Sadie took it to the nth degree and that was just too far.  She put her relationship with Alec on the line because of something her sister did and it just didn’t ring true.

I’d love to say that what Alec did to win Sadie back to wonderfully romantic but I just didn’t think so.  I wanted him to just talk to her instead of coming up with this incredible ruse – like that’s what he needed to convince her to be with him.  IDK, seemed far-fetched to me.

Overall the story was decent but there was enough in there that bothered me that I’m not sure I can recommend this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted September 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Arm Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #2
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1)
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy.

Davis:

I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace—the tattoos? the nose ring?—makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.

Grace:

I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down, except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie—if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home . . . until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.

Arm Candy is the second book in the Real Love series by Jessica Lemmon. It’s also Davis’ book. Davis Price, the best friend of the hero from Book 1. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the little bits we got from Davis in Eye Candy. He was a good friend to both Vince and Jackie and I was looking forward to getting to know him better. There were little nuggets that we learn about Davis in the first book and I was looking forward to delving into all of that stuff and I’m happy to say that Jessica Lemmon did a fabulous job of writing Davis’ story, IMO.

Davis works from home so he likes to unwind at his favorite neighborhood bar and he really likes exchanging barbs with his favorite bartender, Grace. The attraction between the two of them is strong but neither of them act on it until Grace throws down the gauntlet in the form of a wager and Davis jumps on it. The bet? That Davis will ask the first non-blonde out that he sees and he jumps in and asks her out. Grace is a redhead and though she wasn’t talking about herself when she placed the bet, she’s not one to walk away from a dare so she agrees to go out with him.

One date ends up in bed and they keep ending up in bed so they spend some time together. They get to know each other outside of the bar and the more they get to know, the more they like each other. I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love with each other because they’re both flawed characters who have been burned by one thing or another and don’t have that much faith in relationships but seeing them take a chance on each other warmed my heart. Sure, things weren’t perfect and they fumbled their way to get to that happy ending but I really enjoyed their emotional ride.

Davis was just as great as I hoped he’d be. He did a lot of growing throughout the book and I really connected with his character. He learned a great deal about himself, about love and about what he wanted out of life. He was a grown man who handled his business and did whatever he felt needed to be done and I loved how honest he was. With Grace. With himself. With everyone. He wasn’t the most perfect of characters but he was real. He was a good person who realized his worth and loved with all he had. I appreciated that and I adored him. He was such a good character.

Gracie Lou was a great match for Davis. She came with her own baggage and she was dealing with them as best as she could. She fumbled a lot and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her but she doesn’t stay down for long. She was adult enough to acknowledge when she was wrong and in the end, all was well.

This was a great read from beginning to end. I loved the romance that blossomed between Davis and Grace and I adored seeing Vince and Jackie again, all loved up and happy. I’m looking forward to getting to know Dax, though it would have been nice to get a little more of him in this book so that I could have an idea of what’s to come in his book but that’s a really minor gripe. I enjoyed this one and can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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