Publisher: Montlake Romance

Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs

Posted January 24, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Marriage Code by Brooke BurroughsThe Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: January 1, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 379
Add It: Goodreads
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In Brooke Burroughs’s endearing debut novel set in vibrant India, enemies turned allies encounter obstacles in an unexpected multicultural romance only to discover that in the end, love is love.

Emma has always lived her life according to a plan. But after turning down her boyfriend’s proposal, everything starts to crumble. In an effort to save the one thing she cares about—her job—she must recruit her colleague, Rishi, to be on her development team…only she may or may not have received the position he was promised. (She did.)

Rishi cannot believe that he got passed over for promotion. To make matters worse, not only does his job require him to return home to Bangalore with his nemesis, Emma, but his parents now expect him to choose a bride and get married. So, when Emma makes him an offer—join her team, and she’ll write an algorithm to find him the perfect bride—he reluctantly accepts.

Neither of them expect her marriage code to work so well—or to fall for one another—which leads Emma and Rishi to wonder if leaving fate up to formulas is really an equation for lasting love.

Exclusive Excerpt

The Marriage Code by Brooke Burroughs

After a few beats of silence where they both ate a few bites of food and smiled at each other, Emma said, “Rishi. There’s something I want to say to you.” She took a drink of beer and leaned forward. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for how things happened. With the transfer to the US not working out, and you not leading the project. I know it was disappointing for you, and you must have resented me, but I’m really glad you’re on the team and that we’ve gotten to know each other.”

Something seemed to crack inside Rishi’s chest. Or maybe soften was a better word. “I don’t think it was your fault, though. You don’t need to apologize.”

She nodded. “I know. It just really sucked for you. And you’re so great at your job. If you weren’t on the project, I don’t know what I would do.”

“Suffer with Kaushik as your lead dev?”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh my God, can you imagine?”

“Actually, no, I can’t. I mean, I can imagine the bodies that you’d leave behind in the wake of the Kaushik-Emma Armageddon, but . . .”

Emma laughed. “That’s totally what it would be. Rishi, what would I do without you?” Her hand crawled over to his and gave it a squeeze. He looked down at it and squeezed it back. A perilous squeeze. The most dangerous squeeze in history. Did she think that too? Because her fingers crumpled up and retracted, slinking back into her lap.

He wanted to say, Nothing. Don’t do anything without me. Let’s find out what this is. Let’s see where this goes. Who cares if it’s wrong or impossible or stupid? But he couldn’t. He couldn’t risk it. What if Emma was just joking? What if this was just how she was with everyone once they broke down her frosty exoskeleton? What if this wasn’t special, and he said or did something that would ruin the project or their relationship or his job?

Instead, he just downed the rest of his beer.

After dinner, they walked through the lamplit streets on the way back to their hotel. Rishi was acutely aware of his proximity to her. Their hands would accidentally graze as he leaned over to point out a church or some other architecture, and he craved the feel of her hand in his again. Trouble. That’s all this was.

Rishi held the door open for her when they arrived at the hotel. They stepped into the elevator and both stood against the wall, staring at the door. Was it hot in here? Had they turned off the AC in the elevator? Sweat broke out on his brow. The vision he’d had earlier of thrusting her up against the elevator wall and confessing his attraction sneaked up.

Or what would happen if he pulled her into his room and kissed her, his hands exploring what his eyes had imagined? What would she do if he pushed her against the corridor wall and let his mouth roam the expanse of her throat? He stared straight at the elevator door, not knowing what to do.

Time was running out. He’d never have this chance again.

His body was radiating heat like the sun to Mercury. Nine thousand watts per square meter. He needed her to rid his body of the excruciating warmth.

The tiny ding announced they had arrived at their floor. Rishi stood aside so Emma could get past. His thoughts fumbled as she walked toward her hotel door. He only had thirty seconds to plot his seduction, thirty seconds to concoct a plan. Or thirty seconds to do absolutely nothing. And wonder. For the rest of his life: What if?

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: January 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Brooke Burroughs

Brooke Burroughs headshot

Brooke Burroughs has worked in the IT industry for over ten years and lived in India—where she met her husband—for three. Burroughs has experience navigating the feeling of being an outsider in a traditional, orthodox family. Luckily, she and her in-laws get along well now, but maybe it’s because she agreed to a small South Indian wedding (with almost a thousand people in attendance) and already happened to be a vegetarian with an Indian food–takeout obsession.


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Guest Review: A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting

Posted March 4, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Lie for a Lie by Helena HuntingReviewer: Tracy
A Lie for a Lie by Helena Hunting
Series: All In #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 285
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series comes a romantic comedy about instant attraction, second chances, and not-so-little white lies.

Sometimes I need an escape from the demands, the puck bunnies, and the notoriety that come with being an NHL team captain. I just want to be a normal guy for a few weeks. So when I leave Chicago for some peace and quiet, the last thing I expect is for a gorgeous woman to literally fall into my lap on a flight to Alaska. Even better, she has absolutely no idea who I am.

Lainey is the perfect escape from my life. My plan for seclusion becomes a monthlong sex fest punctuated with domestic bliss. But it ends just as abruptly as it began. When I’m called away on a family emergency, I realize too late that I have no way to contact Lainey.

A year later, a chance encounter throws Lainey and me together again. But I still have a lie hanging over my head, and Lainey’s keeping secrets of her own. With more than lust at stake, the truth may be our game changer.

Rook has a tradition of going on a fishing trip in Alaska with his brother and his father every year.  His father passed a few years ago and now he just goes with his brother.  It makes him sad that his father’s not there, but he loves to get away from his celebrity as a famous NHL player.  When Rook gets to Alaska he hears from his brother that he can’t go either because his wife was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  Since their father died from diabetes, this is a big deal.  Rook decides to stay on in Alaska and have some peace and quiet.

On the plane Rook meets Lainey.  She doesn’t follow sports at all and wouldn’t know who Rook was, even if he decided to tell her what he did for a living.  Every time she asks, he changes the subject or misdirects.  Frustrating.  He tells her that he was raised on an alpaca farm in New York.  When asked if that’s what he does now, he tells her that that’s what he grew up doing.  Yeah, not what she asked, dumbass. Lol

Once in Alaska Lainey discovers that her rental is a complete POS and she ends up staying with Rook whose house is down the street.  They end up spending the summer together, falling into bed in love.  When Rook is called away because of his brother’s wife, Rook has every intention of reconnecting with Lainey, but a series of mistakes separates the two for the next year.

When Lainey and Rook run into each other again the truth comes out about Rook’s job and Lainey’s pissed.  It’s discovered that there are secrets on both sides and the getting-to-know you period is extended.  The pair manage to find their way but not before some serious soul-searching is done.

This was a cute book.  I liked a lot about it – especially the first part of the story.  They way they meet and come together (even though it’s pretty convoluted) was cute.  The couple’s entire time in Alaska was good even though the whole lying about his career pissed me off. The chemistry between the couple as well as the fun times they had made me smile despite Rook’s huge mistake.

Unfortunately the second part of the book wasn’t as good for me.  Meeting up again and finding out secrets was a bit anti-climactic.  Getting to know the family, etc., just wasn’t all that thrilling.  Good, but not great.

Overall a cute story but a little slow in the second half.

Rating: 3.25/3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright

Posted August 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Untamed Delights by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Untamed Delights by Suzanne Wright
Series: The Phoenix Pack #8
Also in this series: Wild Hunger, Wild Hunger , Carnal Secrets
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 381
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Return to the sensual and feral stirrings of the Phoenix Pack as a woman who’s already bound to one man is tempted by a wolf who’s bound only to his nightly desires.

Cat shifter Mila Devereaux can’t help but see it as a betrayal. That her one true mate imprinted himself on another female was hard enough to accept. Struggling to be at peace with her loveless fate, she doesn’t fight the suggestion of entering an arranged mating. Then she meets Dominic, a pack enforcer with a notorious reputation. It’s in his very scent. This irresistible playboy—and delicious badass wolf—is making Mila’s fantasies come alive again.

Alarming, compelling, and heady with sensual energy, Dominic is an expert at making women shed their inhibitions. Now everything about him—his killer smile, his perfectly sculpted body, and his smooth-as-honey voice—is drawing in a captivating new catch. But for the first time in his life, Dominic is feeling more than a fling. He finds himself tantalized by a female who makes him think of forever. He wants all of Mila and won’t be satisfied until he has it.

As the passion grows wild, so does the risk. They’re falling in love in the shadows and secrets of their pasts. And it’s threatening to destroy everything Mila and Dominic are fighting for. And are destined for.

Untamed Delights is the final book in Suzanne Wright’s Phoenix Pack series. I’m sad to see the end of it, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next from Wright.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Dom’s book. He’s the one who constantly tossed cheesy lines at all the women in previous books, but you could tell there was more to him.

Mila Devereaux, a Pallas cat, knows who her True Mate is, and she and her cat are salty because he imprinted on someone else. She wouldn’t accept him now even if he did come for her, because she feels he betrayed and abandoned her by choosing someone else. She wants him to be happy, but that doesn’t lesson the feelings of betrayal. She’s having a hard time living as part of her Pride, since she’s in constant contact with her True Mate and the shifter he chose. Dominic isn’t interested in finding his True Mate. He wants a partner, and he’d rather do the choosing than have fate choose for him. He’s wanted Mila for years, but after they spend a little more time together he knows he has to have her. He sets out to win her and her cat over.

I really liked the way he and Mila chose each other, though I did struggle with the whole fated mates aspect. Dominic choosing to be with her, despite knowing he has a True Mate somewhere in the world was sweet, but I was mildly bothered by the fact that Mila was just okay with it. As someone who felt betrayed by her True Mate choosing someone else, I thought she should have felt some kind of way about doing that to someone else.

That aside, I liked their relationship and watching them come together. I liked watching Dominic fall for her, and go all in. They had great banter and a lot of chemistry. It was also great seeing some of my favorite past characters, though I could have done without Greta and her constant sniping. That was funny 15 books ago. Now, not so much.

I didn’t care for the “villains”, but then I rarely do when it comes to SW’s books. Still, Wright always gets me wrapped up in her world, and this book was no exception.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Phoenix Pack

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted August 20, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Huge Deal by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 19 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

This is the second book that Rowena chose for both Holly and I for our Summer Reading Challenge. While this book was Rowena’s favorite in the series, it comes in second for me.

Kate Henley is Kennedy Dawson’s executive assistant. She keeps his life running smoothly, both professionally and personally. It’s been years since Kate first came to work for the three best friends. Years since Kate fell in love with Kennedy Dawson. After years of not being noticed and then overhearing Kennedy say that she’s not appealing in the least, Kate works on getting over Kennedy. Which she does.

Kennedy Dawson is very old-fashioned. He likes his life well-ordered and boring. After years of being single, he’s dating a model which is out of the norm for Kennedy. Everything is going along exactly how Kennedy planned, which involves no messy emotions and certainly not love. Then he starts seeing Kate in a way that he’s never seen her before.

Kate doesn’t want Kennedy to notice her. She got over her crush on him years ago and she’s not looking to go back and pine for him. Kennedy ends up being more persistent than she ever expected and pursues her with a single-minded focus that she’s only ever seen in him.

I really did enjoy this book. I expected Kate to be love sick over Kennedy, but that was not the case at all. She was a very strong woman, which I always appreciate. Kennedy was very likable as well. I really enjoyed their story. I feel that this was a good conclusion to the 21 Wall Street series.

I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hard Sell by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Huge Deal
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 243
Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Matt Cannon and Sabrina Cross have a non-conventional relationship. The day they met, Matt took Sabrina to bed. Then he said something to her that cut deep. Since that night they have a love-hate relationship. They love to hate each other, but they can’t quit each other. They both know that their unhealthy relationship has to end, but neither is willing to put an end to it. Their relationship changes when Matt is photographed at a party in Vegas. His image at Wolfe Investments takes a dive. His bosses want him to “change”. The only person that he can go to for help is Sabrina.

Sabrina is a fixer. She fixes problems for people. She’s in the know for just about everything in New York. If you want something done, Sabrina is your girl. When Matt comes to her telling her that he needs to change his image in order to keep his job, she doesn’t want to help. Matt isn’t asking her to help him from the sidelines. He’s asking her to be his pretend girlfriend for a month. Sabrina has long been in love with Matt even though he destroyed her with his words during their first night together.

Both Matt and Sabrina find it too easy being a couple. They just have something together. Matt decides he’s not going to let it go. Until, like an idiot, he fucks it up. He thought that they wanted the same thing, but the woman who seemed so grounded in reality now wants to marry for love instead of a simple partnership. After growing up with unhappy parents, Matt wants nothing to do with “love”.

I loved this book. It was my favorite in the series. Matt and Sabrina were fire. I loved their banter, I loved how they both pretended like they only wanted their relationship to be pretend. Their relationship wasn’t easy for sure, but it was a pleasure to read. The only thing that confused me was when Jarod Lanham, Matt’s potential client showed up. I didn’t understand why he wanted to be involved in their situation. He stirred shit up and I still don’t understand why he was even a character. It was strange and it took me out of the story a little bit.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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