Tag: Avon

Release Day Spotlight: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

Posted August 13, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 2 Comments

The third book in Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series releases today and we are so excited to share an excerpt from the book to get you all excited for a brand spankin’ new historical romance adventure. The Wallflower Wager promises all of the romantic entanglements that you’d expect from a heroine who loves and cares for all of the animals and a grumpy hero who needs her help to sell the house he’s flipping next door.

Release Day Spotlight: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa DareThe Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Also in this series: The Duchess Deal , The Duchess Deal, The Governess Game
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

They call him the Duke of Ruin.

To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.

When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.

Not if he ruins her first.

NOTE: Content advisories are available for this book at http://tessadare.com/content-advisories/.

Penny and Gabe’s story is opening to some really great early praise and we couldn’t be more excited for everyone to grab their own copies of this book because it’s so good! Check out the excerpt below for a tiny glimpse into the awesomeness that is Lady Penelope Campion and Gabriel Duke.

Excerpt

She circled back, standing before him. “There now. Better?”

He gave a reluctant nod.

“Can you move your arm in all directions?”

He rolled his shoulder to prove it. “Yes.”

“What about your grip?

“My grip is strong.”

“Perhaps I should wrap the arm in a sling.”

“I do not need a sling.”

“Wait here. I’ll dash upstairs to fetch some linen and—”

“For the love of God, woman. My shoulder is fine.” He took her by the waist and lifted her straight off the floor, until they were eye to eye. “There. Believe me now?”

She nodded, wide-eyed.

“Good.”

In his hands, she was delicate, breakable. Her hair was a golden treasure he should never, ever touch. And oh, how he hungered for those soft, pink lips.

The familiar voice echoed in his ears.

Don’t touch, boy. She’s not for the likes of you.

Put. Her. Down.

But before Gabe could lower those beribboned pink slippers to the floor, she captured his sooty, sweaty face in her hands—

And kissed him on the lips.

About the Author

About Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fourteen historical romance novels and five novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice!) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.


Tagged: , , , , ,

Joint Review: Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson

Posted July 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel GibsonReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
Series: Lovette Texas #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 312
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When Daisy Monroe walked out of Lovett, Texas fifteen years ago, she thought she'd left troublemaker Jackson Lamott Parrish behind her. But some things you can't just leave in the past. Now she's back and she needs to clear the air by confessing to Jackson the reason she left him all those years ago. But Jackson doesn't want to know. When she walked out on him, he vowed he'd never let a woman get close enough to hurt him again.

As Daisy tries to pursue Jackson to tell him the truth, he tries just as hard to stay out of her way. Except, maybe, sometimes, not quite hard enough. One things for sure, the sparks are still flying between them. Will they ever be able to forget their troubled past for long enough to enjoy the present?

Daisy’s Back in Town is an older release by Rachel Gibson that kicks off the Lovette, Texas series. It’s a second chance romance that follows childhood best friends, Jack Parrish and Daisy Lee Brooks, as they find their way together again after fifteen years. Daisy is back in town visiting her family, but she’s also on a mission to fulfill her late husband’s final wish. Daisy has to make things right with Jack Parrish, the best friend that she and her husband left behind after shattering his already shattered world. To her dismay, Jack doesn’t want any part of her reconciliation but old feelings creep on the both of them anyway.

Holly: I’m pretty sure we can’t do this review without spoilers, so..fair warning. Here there be spoilers.

Rowena: I finished this book in a day so that’s a testament to Rachel Gibson’s writing style. It was easy to fall into what was going on in the story and I easily connected with all of the characters in Lovette, but I also really struggled with a lot of what happens in this story as well.

What about you? How did the story hold up for you?

Holly: It’s been years since I read this book. I remember struggling a lot with Daisy’s actions, hating Steven until the bitter end, and loving Jack. I can’t say much has changed. I agree, Gibson’s writing is smooth and easy to read. I fell right into this book.

Rowena: I struggled a lot while reading this book, too. I struggled with Daisy’s actions. I struggled with Steven’s letter that he left for Jack and I struggled with the way that Jack found out about why they left him all those years ago and yet, despite all of that, I didn’t hate this book. I really loved Jack Parrish. I loved seeing him with his family, especially his nieces and then, later on, I really enjoyed seeing him with Nathan.

Holly: I really loved the way Jack and Nathan came to have a relationship. Their sex talks had me cracking up. I loved that Nathan was comfortable going to Jack with things.

Rowena: I guess what I struggled with concerning Daisy’s action was how long it took her to tell Jack the truth. Then when she tells Jack that she loves him but told him that he basically needed to get over her and Steven’s betrayal or he’ll be all alone forever. I wanted to slap that bitch into next year after that. Like, I still want to slap that bitch for that…and I’m happy that Jack finally got his girl.

Holly: I honestly understood why Daisy didn’t tell Jack about his son for all those years. I don’t agree with or condone it, but I got why she didn’t at first, and how it just got harder the longer she waited. What I didn’t understand was why she waited so long to tell him once she came back to town. She had plenty of opportunity and I felt like she squandered it. I agree she was wrong to tell Jack to get over it. I mean, I get what she was trying to say, but she had no right considering how long she kept his son from him. Still, I was able to forgive her. Probably because Jack did.

Rowena: I think I could have gotten over Daisy’s actions if I didn’t feel like Jack was rushed into accepting and getting over the betrayal. He had just found out about Nathan, from Nathan and not Daisy so he’s reeling from the fact that he’s got a fifteen-year-old son that he never knew about, and his two best friends decided that they knew what was best for everyone…for him. So while he’s reeling from that fact, he’s trying to build a relationship with the son he just met, only to have to sit there and be nice to his Mom, who betrayed him and listen to this son call the other person that betrayed him, his father at every turn.

I didn’t feel like Jack was given enough time to really get over everything. Daisy and Nathan knew the truth for years but Jack just found out the truth and immediately had to decide if he was going to be mad or let it go.

Holly: I agree he wasn’t given a lot of time to process or come to terms with everything. Even though I got over it in the end, because I just wanted them all to be happy, a part of me is still really upset on his behalf. How is he supposed to just get over missing out on 15 years of his son’s life? Of listening to his son call another man “dad”? A man who willfully and purposely took that title away from him? I’m conflicted.

I don’t hate Daisy, which is strange. I feel like I SHOULD hate her, but I’ve never been able to.

Rowena: I don’t think I hate Daisy either. I really hate what Daisy did and I don’t even know if I forgive her. But hate her? I don’t think I hate her.

Holly: Steven is the one I wasn’t able to forgive, though. Daisy was young and scared, and easily convinced that Jack didn’t really love her, I think. But Steven knew exactly what he was doing when he took her away..and kept her away. And his letter made me so angry.

Rowena: I do hate Steven. I don’t even care that he was a good Dad to Nathan.

Holly: The difference, I think, is that Steven’s actions were willful. I believe Daisy thought she was doing the right thing for them all by not telling Jack. Steven, on the other hand, knew full well what he was about. He knew he was fucking Jack over.

Rowena: Steven saw a way for him to get what he wanted and he took it. Full stop. He didn’t stop to think of what he was taking from Jack and that is why his betrayal is so much worse. Or if he did stop to think of it…he still went through with it and that makes me hate him so much.

Holly: Exactly this. So much this. He betrayed his best friend because it suited his purposes, and that makes him a total douche. I don’t care how much he loved Nathan or how good a dad he was to him, because that should have been Jack’s job. Jack’s choice. And Steven took that away.

Rowena: Still, even with that drama, this wasn’t a book that I could easily put down. I was invested in these characters and what they were going through. I enjoyed how easy it was to slip into this story, to feel for these characters. Rachel Gibson is good at pulling at your emotions and this book was proof of that. In the end, I was able to be happy for Jack, and for Nathan, and even Daisy. So all in all, I enjoyed this book. I think I’m going to give this one 3.5 out of 5. You?

Holly: Reading this book reminded me why I used to love Gibson so much and why she’s on my keeper shelf. Despite being angry and frustrated with Daisy and Steven for most of the book, I was easily drawn into their story and really pulled for Jack to have his HEA in the end. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5, I think. Because even though Daisy made me angry, I can’t deny I was wrapped up in it from page one.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5

Lovette, Texas

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell

Posted July 22, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One Fine Duke by Lenora BellReviewer: Tracy
One Fine Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #3
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1), For the Duke's Eyes Only (School for Dukes, #2)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Ready.

Raised in the countryside by her overprotective uncle, Miss Mina Penny's dream of a triumphant London season is finally here. She determined her perfect match long ago: Rafe Bentley, the wickedest rake of them all. There's only one very large, very unyielding obstacle: Rafe's brother Andrew, the reclusive Duke of Thorndon.

Aim.

This was supposed to be simple. Duke goes to London. Duke selects suitable bride. Love match? Not a chance. But when Drew meets Mina, she complicates everything. How can a lady armed with such beauty and brains fall for his irresponsible degenerate of a brother? Drew vows to save her from heartbreak and ruin, no matter the cost.

Desire!

But Mina is no damsel in distress. She's daring, intuitive, passionate...and halfway to melting Drew's cold heart. And although Mina thought she knew exactly what she wanted, one breathtakingly seductive kiss from Drew changes everything. Now Mina must decide between long-held dreams and dangerous new desires. Could her true destiny lie in the arms of a duke?

Mina wants nothing more than an adventure.  Her parents were spies but they were killed when she was just 10 years old.  She didn’t really know her parents as they were always gone, but she remembered how glamorous her mother was and wants to be like her. After her parents died Mina lived with her uncle who was incredibly protective.  Her uncle is a spy master and his nemesis had killed Mina’s parents as well as the uncle’s wife and daughter.  Because of this he was really over-protective.  When Mina finally talks her uncle into a Season in London Mina is very excited and wants an adventure.

While Mina just wants to have fun, her uncle has put together something called The Duke Dossier.  It’s info about every available duke currently in London. After talking it out, however, the uncle decides that the only duke that will do for Mina is the Duke of Thorndon.  He is a man who used to be a rake but is now a stodgy man who lives in the country, or so Mina thinks.  Mina is sick of the country and wants to live in London full time – to be a spy of course!  When she finally meets, and dances with, the duke she borders on rude because she wants to put him off as much as possible.  She has no idea it will only pique his interest.

Mina is actually interested in the duke’s brother.  She knows she can have a marriage of convenience with him and since he’s one of her uncle’s spies, she can share that part of his life as well. The duke isn’t thrilled with Mina being interested in his brother, as he wants her for himself.  When Drew, the duke, finds out that his brother is up to something, Mina and Drew decide to figure out what it is.  Drew to help his brother and Mina because she knows it has something to do with her uncle’s nemesis.  She wants the nemesis dead and plans to kill him herself.  As much time as the duke and Mina spend together, they couldn’t help but fall in love, but how can they be together when they want different things in life.

This was a cute book.  I thought at first that Mina was going to annoy me with all of her thoughts of adventure and spies and that she was going to be TSTL.  Fortunately that wasn’t the case.  While I didn’t adore Mina, I thought she was level-headed and intelligent.  I liked the romance between her and Drew and could definitely see them together.

I was a little put off by the author having Mina be ridiculously foolish when it came to facing the bad guy.  I mean there’s bravery and there’s sheer recklessness.  The author went too far in her rah-rah for girl-power. Don’t get me wrong, I would have rolled my eyes if it was a man being that reckless as well.

Overall I liked the book and thought it was cute.   A pleasant way to spend a bit of time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

School for Dukes

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean

Posted July 21, 2019 by Rowena in Features | 11 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. 🙂

Brazen and the Beast is the second book in Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series and it promises to be just as bomb as the first book was. I really enjoyed Wicked and the Wallflower so I’m really looking forward to jumping into this book to see what magic Sarah MacLean brings for Hattie and Whit.

Sunday Spotlight: Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLeanBrazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #2
Also in this series: Wicked and the Wallflower
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The Lady’s Plan

When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.

The Bastard’s Proposal

When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.

An Unexpected Passion

Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.

I’m super excited to be featuring this book on this week’s Sunday Spotlight, so check out a sneak peak into Brazen and the Beast, which comes out next week!

Excerpt

Chapter One

September 1837
Mayfair

In twenty-eight years and three hundred sixty-four days, Lady Henrietta Sedley liked to think that she’d learned a few things.

She’d learned, for example, that if a lady could not get away with wearing trousers (an unfortunate reality for the daughter of an earl, even one who had begun life without title or fortune), then she should absolutely ensure that her skirts included pockets. A woman never knew when she might require a bit of rope, or a knife to cut it, after all.

She’d also learned that any decent escape from her Mayfair home required the cover of darkness and a carriage driven by an ally. Coachmen tended to talk a fine game when it came to keeping secrets, but were ultimately beholden to those who paid their salaries. An important addendum to that particular lesson was this: The best of allies was often the best of friends.

And perhaps first on the list of things she had learned in her lifetime was how to tie a Bosun knot. She’d been able to do that for as long as she could remember.

With such an obscure and uncommon collection of knowledge, one might imagine that Henrietta Sedley would have known precisely what to do in the likelihood she discovered a human male bound and unconscious in her carriage.

One would be incorrect.

In point of fact, Henrietta Sedley would never have described such a scenario as a likelihood. After all, she might have been more comfortable on London’s docks than in its ballrooms, but Hattie’s impressive collection of life experience lacked anything close to a criminal element.

And yet, here she was, pockets full, dearest friend at her side, standing in the pitch dark on the night before her twenty-ninth birthday, about to steal away from Mayfair for a night of best-laid plans, and…

Lady Eleanora Madewell whistled, low and unladylike at Hattie’s ear. Daughter of a duke and the Irish actress he loved so much he’d made her a duchess, Nora had the kind of brashness that was allowed in those with impervious titles and scads of money. “There’s a bloke in the gig, Hattie.”

Hattie did not look away from the bloke in question. “Yes, I see that.”

“There wasn’t a bloke in the gig when we hitched the horses.”

“No, there wasn’t.” They’d left the hitched—and most definitely empty—carriage in the dark rear drive of Sedley House not three-quarters of an hour earlier, before hiking upstairs to exchange carriage-hitching dresses for attire more appropriate for their evening plans.

At some point between corset and kohl, someone had left her an extraordinarily unwelcome package.

“Seems we would’ve noticed a bloke in the gig,”

“I should think we would have,” came Hattie’s distracted reply. “This is really just awful timing.”

Nora cut her a look. “Is there a good time for a man to be bound in one’s carriage?”

Hattie imagined there wasn’t, but, “He could have selected a different evening. What a terrible birthday gift.” She squinted into the dark interior of the carriage. “Do you think he’s dead?”
Please, don’t let him be dead.

Silence. Then, a thoughtful, “Does one store dead men in carriages?” Nora reached forward, her coachman’s coat pulling tight over her shoulders, and poked the dead man in question. He did not move. “He’s not moving,” she added. “Could be dead.”

Hattie sighed, removing a glove and leaning into the carriage to place two fingers to the man’s neck. “I’m sure he’s not dead.”

“What are you doing?” Nora whispered, urgently. “If he’s not dead, you’ll wake him!”

“That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Hattie pointed out. “Then we could ask him to kindly exit our conveyance and we could be on our way.”

“Oh, yes. This brute seems like precisely the kind of man who would immediately do just that and not immediately take his revenge. He’d no doubt doff his cap and wish us a fine good evening.”

“He’s not wearing a cap,” Hattie pointed out, unable to refute any of the rest of the assessment of the mysterious, possibly dead man. He was very broad, and very solid, and even in the darkness she could tell that this wasn’t a man with whom one took a turn about a ballroom.

This was the kind of man who ransacked a ballroom.

“What do you feel?” Nora pressed.

“No pulse.” Though she wasn’t precisely certain of the location one would find a pulse. “But he’s—”

Warm.

Dead men were not warm, and this man was very warm. Like a fire in winter. The kind of warm that made someone realize how cold she might be.

Ignoring the silly thought, Hattie moved her fingers down the column of his neck, to the place where it disappeared beneath the collar of his shirt, where the curve of his shoulder and the slope of…the rest of him… met in a fascinating indentation.

“Anything now?”

“Quiet.” Hattie held her breath. Nothing. She shook her head.

“Christ.” It wasn’t a prayer.

Hattie couldn’t have agreed more. But then…

There. A small flutter. She pressed a touch more firmly. The flutter became firm. Slow. Even. “I feel it. She said. “He’s alive.” She repeated herself. “He’s alive.” She exhaled, long and relieved. “He’s not dead.”

“Excellent. But it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unconscious in the carriage, and you have somewhere to be.” She paused. “We should leave him and take the curricle.”

Hattie had been planning for this particular excursion on this particular night for a full three months. This was the night that would begin her twenty-ninth year. The year her life would become her own. The year she would become her own. And she had a very specific plan for a very specific location at a very specific hour, for which she had donned a very specific frock. And yet, as she stared at the man in her carriage, specifics seemed not at all important.

What seemed important was seeing his face.

Clinging to the handle at the edge of the door, Hattie collected the lantern from the upper rear corner of the carriage before swinging back out to face Nora, whose gaze flickered immediately to the unlit container.

Nora tilted her head. “Hattie. Leave him. Let’s take the curricle.”

“Just a peek,” Hattie replied.

The tilt became a shake. “If you peek, you’ll regret it.”

“I have to peek,” Hattie insisted, casting about for a decent reason—ignoring the odd fact that she was unable to tell her friend the truth. “I have to untie him.”

“Not necessarily,” Nora pointed out. “Someone thought he was best left tied up, and who are we to disagree?” Hattie was already reaching into the pocket of the carriage door for a flint. “What of your plans?”

There was plenty of time for her plans. “Just a peek,” she repeated, the oil in the lantern catching fire. She closed the door and turned to face the carriage, lifting the light high, casting a lovely golden glow over—

“Oh, my,” she said.

Nora choked back a laugh. “Not such a bad gift after all, perhaps.”

The man had the most beautiful face Hattie had ever seen. The most beautiful face anyone had ever seen, she imagined. She leaned closer, taking in his warm, bronze skin, the high cheekbones, the long, straight nose, the dark slashes of his brows and the impossibly long lashes that lay like feathers against his cheeks.

“What kind of man…” she trailed off. Shook her head.

What kind of man looked like this?

What kind of man looked like this and somehow landed in the carriage of Hattie?

The Bareknuckle Bastards

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: July 2019

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 Sarah MacLean

"Romance novelist Sarah MacLean has reignited the genre with a bolder edge." - The New Yorker

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

A columnist for The Washington Post, Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


Tagged: , , , , ,

Review: The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Posted July 5, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Right Swipe by Alisha RaiReviewer: Rowena
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Series: Modern Love #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

- Nude pics are by invitation only

- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

- Protect your heart

Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.

Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

The Right Swipe is the first book in Alisha Rai’s Modern Love series but if you’ve read her Forbidden Hearts series then you’ll remember our heroine, Rhiannon, as she is the sister of the hero in Hurts to Love You.

Rhiannon Hunter is raking in the big bucks as founder and CEO of the dating app, Crush. She works really hard to stay on top and though she’s not all that interested in a relationship, she’s not above using her app to find hookups wherever she might be. When she hooks up with Samson Lima, she knows that it’s a night she’ll never forget. They have chemistry in spades and their night together was explosive so when he wants to see her again, she agrees even though she doesn’t usually go back for seconds. But then Samson ghosts her and her pride gets kicked in the teeth. She’s not expecting to see Samson ever again (and not willing to go there again with him anyway) but when she runs into him at a conference and finds out that he’s working for the company she’s hoping to purchase, her life gets all kinds of complicated.

Samson Lima can’t believe his luck when he comes across the woman that he spent a memorable night with. He didn’t mean to disappear on her and when he tried to fix things, she had already moved on and trying to find her proved to be impossible. Seeing Rhiannon again is a stroke of luck that Samson is not going to mess up again. After retiring from football in a most abrupt manner, Samson spent most of his time caring for his sick uncle and now he’s back at work, helping his Aunt with her dating company. Helping his Aunt by being the face of her company has brought Rhiannon back into his life and he’s happy about that but trying to get her to give him another chance is proving to be a tad bit difficult.

This book was a little slow to pick up for me. I wanted to like it from the jump but I found it hard to connect with both Rhiannon and Samson early on. I will say that I loved that they were both diverse characters without race being a plot point of their romance. I absolutely ADORED that Samson was Samoan because I haven’t had a bunch of luck finding romances featuring Polynesian characters. I’d love to see more of my peeps get their happily ever afters told. I’ve tried reading some and couldn’t really get into them so that’s been a bummer for me and I’m always on the lookout for more.

While I understood Rhiannon’s hesitance in giving Samson another shot, there were times when I wanted to hit her with the, “Either you’re in and you have to get over all of the other shit or you’re not and you need to let this guy go” speech because I felt like Samson kept paying for the same mistake over and over again. I also felt like he was paying for shit he had absolutely nothing to do with (mostly the shit with her ex) and though I know that’s not really something Rhiannon could control, I still wasn’t a big fan of it. Then on the flip side, I wanted to smack some sense into Samson too. I felt like he was far too passive where Rhiannon was concerned. I felt like far too often, he let Rhiannon get away with shit because he felt like he had to redeem himself for ghosting her. His character felt like a bit of a pushover and I wasn’t a fan of that.

Overall, I did enjoy the story and I see the promise that’s there for future books. I will definitely be reading more from Alisha Rai because I’m trying to read more diversely and she’s written some pretty solid romances so far but this one wasn’t one of my favorites by her. Still, I’d definitely recommend giving this one a try since most of the stuff that I didn’t care for are personal things. Alisha Rai is a promising talent and shouldn’t be missed.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,