Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

Posted August 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Real Deal by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Rowena
The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn't been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn't even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can't handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she's ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I'm the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He's this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He's no gigolo. Please. He's something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April's new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents' inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn't expect to have the time of his life at her parent's home.

They didn't plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

This is the first book that I’ve read by Lauren Blakley and it was a good one. Her writing style was comfortable and easy to follow along with and her characters charmed me right out of my socks, especially Theo.

So April and Theo meet when April hires Theo to be her boyfriend for her family reunion. She loves her family but their matchmaking shenanigans are driving her crazy so she figures if she brings a boyfriend to the family reunion, everyone will lay off. They mean well but they want her to move back home to their small town but she loves being in the big city and she loves the job that they don’t understand so she brings a buffer who ends up being way more than she thought.

Theo has bills to pay and his bill-collector is breathing down his neck so he bartends and does a lot of odds and ends jobs to keep everything together. This next job of pretending to be the bad boy boyfriend at a family reunion will make him enough to finally get over this hump he’s been and he’s eager to get started. He was expecting to play nice and he was expecting to be whatever the client needed but he wasn’t expecting to be so attracted to his client but when he meets April, he keeps forgetting that she’s a client. They’re so in tune with each other that their relationship feels real from the very beginning.

Overall, this story was sweet and I enjoyed getting to know both Theo and April. April’s personality really shined and I thought she was a great heroine. I adored Theo as well and wanted very much to hear his sexy voice. LOL. This book was a lot of fun and if I had a gripe, it would be that their romance never felt fake. Right up at the beginning when they showed up at the family reunion, sparks flew and they just fell in line with their story but even in the privacy of their bedroom, they acted like a real couple. They slept in the same bed like it wasn’t a big deal like it didn’t register with either of them that they were strangers. It was all, good night sweetie, I call first dibs on the shower in the morning. I was able to get over that (I do enjoy a fake romance story) because I was enjoying the chemistry and just them as people so it ended up not being a big deal but still…

This was a solid romance and I enjoyed it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , ,

What Are You Reading? (+ Paranormal Giveaway)

Posted February 16, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 11 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’ve had a pretty good reading month so far. Well, compared to the past two month. I finished Blood Fury by JRW, which I really enjoyed. I am finally reading Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh. I can’t believe this book got buried so far down in my TBR pile. I am not ashamed to admit that the Guild Hunter series is my favorite series by Nalini. I usually devour everything she releases right when it comes out, but I missed this one somehow. I am really enjoying Venom and Holly’s story.

Next up is either Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti or Kato: The Stone Warriors by D.B. Reynolds. I haven’t decided yet.

Holly: I had a book hangover from The Others series this week. Nothing I picked up after them really appealed, so I ended up going back and re-reading the series. I feel like I really zipped through them the first time, so it was good to go back and take my time with the stories. I also re-read Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews for a joint review with Rowena.

I’m currently reading The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen (which is fabulous so far) and listening to Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Rowena: This week was for reading The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. I heard so many good things about it and I really zipped through the book the first time that I read it because there were things that annoyed me in that read that I didn’t think were a big deal until I started writing down my thoughts for my review. The things that annoyed me became much bigger and so I had to read it again, slowly to figure my mind out about it. In the end, I didn’t like it. There were parts that showed promise but overall? It wasn’t for me.

After reading The Wedding Date, I started and finished Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and loved the hell out of that book. Gage and Ellie entertained the socks right off of me and I was wearing socks because it was cold that night. That was such a great book. I enjoyed it so much more than I enjoyed the first book in the series, Ready to Run. After that, I jumped into Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews and I’m finishing that up today so that I can jump into Living Out Loud by Staci Hart.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Paranormal Giveaway)Thanks Fur Last Night by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, Kate Baxter
Series: Fur #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Bearing His Sin
Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.

Bought by the Bear
Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That's it. There's no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter's mate so he can assure his grandmother he's settled down. There's no reason to stay at his place so they learn "more about each other." And there's definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that's hired her.
Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what's a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander's not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


Tagged: , , , ,

Guest Review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Posted April 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Twist by Kylie ScottReviewer: Tracy
Twist by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #2
Also in this series: Dirty, Dirty
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Format: eARC
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets... apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

Alex Parks works from home in Seattle.  She signed up on an online dating site and has been emailing back and forth with a super-hot guy named Eric.  She’s knows it’s his birthday and that he’ll have a get-together with friends and family at Dive Bar, where he is part owner.  Alex hadn’t heard from Eric for a few weeks so decides to fly to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to surprise him.  Eric’s incredibly surprised when she arrives because he has absolutely no idea who she is.  It turns out that Alex had been getting catfished by Eric’s brother, Joe.

Joe had helped Eric sign up for the dating site but Eric quickly lost interest.  Joe planned on shutting Eric’s account down but when he saw a message from Alex he answered her…as Eric.  Six months had gone by and Joe still hadn’t come clean about the fact that he wasn’t who he said he was.  When he sees Alex he’s more than freaked out that she’s in Dive Bar but truly wants to talk to he and get to know her.  She’s mad at both Joe for being an idiot and herself for falling for someone online.  Joe is persistent and doesn’t give up trying with Alex.  Eventually Alex decides to hear him out but instead of heading home to Seattle after their talk, she gets the flu.  She’s miserable but Joe is there to help her.  As the two get to know each other they become friends for real and then so much more.

This was a great book.  I really loved both Alex and Joe and together they made me laugh, a lot.  They worked together so well and played off each other’s strengths.  Alex was a snarky woman and I loved that.  The fact that Joe could not only keep up but give it back to her made me like them even more.

The friends to lovers aspect of the book was done well, I thought, especially in light of Joe’s catfishing.  Once they became lovers I thought nothing could break them apart but of course the author proved me wrong.  Fortunately they got their HEA and I was quite pleased with the outcome of the book.

If you haven’t read either Dirty or Twist, you really need to as they’re darned good books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Oh, and this cover? Yum. 🙂

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Dirty by Kylie Scott

Posted May 10, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dirty by Kylie ScottReviewer: Rowena
Dirty by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #1
Also in this series: Dirty, Twist
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she'd marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong-maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

This is the first book in a new Dive Bar series by Kylie Scott and it was also my first book read by Scott. I’ve read nothing but good things about her Stage Dive series and I’ve been meaning to read those books but never got around to it. That didn’t stop me from jumping into this book and I’m glad that I did give this book a shot because it was an enjoyable read.

Lydia Greene thought she was marrying Chris but when she sees a video of her fiance getting down and dirty with his best man, she jumps the fence and hides out in the neighbors bathtub. She’s so lost in thought that she doesn’t hear anyone come into the house until the guy is in the bathroom, taking a leak and turning the shower on with her still in the tub.

Vaughan Hewson’s band broke up, he’s broke and he’s back in his hometown. He needs to hit the reset button, get a plan together and then make it happen. He was expecting to get some grief from his sister for not visiting often, for not keeping in contact but what he was not expecting was a woman sitting in his bathtub in a wedding dress. He also wasn’t expecting all the drama that would follow that woman on his first day home. But the woman needs someone in her corner and before Vaughan knows what’s what, he finds himself in her corner.

Nobody is more surprised than both Vaughan and Lydia at how quickly they get close. The chemistry between them sizzles and I found their romance completely charming.

Vaughan was a solid hero whose tattoos I wanted to lick at the same time that I wanted to hug him close and tell him that everything would work itself out. I loved the easy way that he was with Lydia but also with everyone in his circle of friends and his family. There’s a wealth of love between all of the characters in this series and I felt it. I’m pretty anxious to see who gets their story told next. I think it’s too soon for Nell and Pat (they are going to get their story told, right?) but I wouldn’t be mad about Eric getting his book next.

There’s a Mal sighting in this book and even though I don’t know who he is (haven’t read his book), I remember Holly reading and loving him so I’m pretty anxious to dig into his series. This was a great start to a new series and I enjoyed this book enough to be thirsty for the next book.

4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Dirty by Kylie Scott

Posted April 18, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Dirty by Kylie ScottReviewer: Tracy
Dirty by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #1
Also in this series: Dirty, Twist
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Format: eARC
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Love—on the rocks....

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a brokenhearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.

Lydia Green doesn't know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together.

Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she's normally drawn to. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia's already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong--maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

Dirty is the first book in the Dive Bar series from bestselling author Kylie Scott.

Lydia is quite upset, to say the least, when she is getting ready to walk down the aisle, literally, and she’s sent a video showing her bridegroom having sex with his best man.  She makes an instant decision to run rather than face her fiance’s snobbish and judgmental family.  She heads out the back door, crosses the lawn and climbs over the back fence.  She finds the yard she’s fallen into has a house with an open window.  She climbs in – gets into the tub and cries her eyes out.  Yes, she’s distraught about the wedding but when she thinks about it there were clues to this and she ignored them.

A while later the homeowner, Vaughan Hewson, arrives and starts the shower.  When he pulls back the curtain and finds Lydia he’s shocked but handles it well.  After hearing her story he ends up taking care of her a bit and even eventually offers her a place to stay while she finds a place to stay.

Vaughan is recovering from a band tour that ended with his band breaking up.  He’s trying to get a new one back together so that he can continue his music career but needs the money from the sale of the house to support himself.  Lydia being a real estate agent helps him and they both end up helping his sister in her bar/restaurant, The Dive Bar. While Vaughan and Lydia are getting back on their feet their finding themselves crazy about each other but both with the thought that what they’ve started will end soon as she’ll be moving and he’ll be back in LA with a new band.  Neither of them are thrilled with that thought but they know that it will happen eventually.

Meanwhile, Nell, Vaughan’s sister, has her own share of problems.  She’s separated from her husband but he owns a third of The Dive Bar along with her friend Eric.  She wants to buy him out but doesn’t have the money.  She’s slept with the third owner, Eric, and that’s made both Vaughan and Nell’s husband, Pat (yes, they’re still technically married) pissed off. Then there’s co-worker and friend Joe who’s got something up his sleeve but we never find out what that is.

The story is fun and funny as well as heart-wrenching in places.  Vaughan’s parents had died and he had never come to terms with it all.  He was avoiding dealing with it emotionally as it was just too hard for him.  That was one of the things that Lydia helped him with and I loved seeing her bluntness with him about it.  It was what he needed to hear as everyone else had just beat around the bush and avoided the subject with him.

The relationship with Lydia and Vaughan happens very quickly.  Major life decisions are made on the basis of knowing each other for a week.  While you would think that it couldn’t happen – it really did – and Kylie Scott made me believe that it could.  The story ended with what most would say was an HEA but I liked to think of it more of a HFN with a definite HEA on the horizon.  The pair knew where they were going and planned it together but they knew that life wasn’t easy and there were be obstacles.  They just planned on tackling them together.

Dirty is a great book and while I did have a few questions about Lydia that were never answered, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,