Tag: Lauren Blakely

Audiobook Review: Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: Trophy Husband by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love, #3) by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Samara Naeymi
Series: Caught Up in Love #3
Also in this series: Caught Up in Us
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 232
Length: 5 hours and 58 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Previous edition for this ASIN found here

Sometimes you can't help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite...Successful fashion blogger McKenna Bell has spent far too long protecting herself after the way her ex-fiancé left her at the altar for a college chick he met the night of his bachelor party. Loving again, trusting again, well, that's just not in the cards. Especially now that her ex is back in town with his new woman, demanding custody of McKenna's favorite creature in the whole world--her dog. No effing way. McKenna's had enough of him, and she decides to even the score by finding her own hot young thing -- a Trophy Husband. Sure, she's only twenty-seven, but doesn't that make it even more fun -- and infuriating to her ex -- to pursue a younger man? When she declares her intentions on her daily blog, her quest quickly skyrockets in popularity, and that's when Chris enters the picture, and he's got all the assets. He's handsome, successful, and turns her inside out with a kiss to end all kisses, the kind that makes you feel like a shooting star. But loving again could mean losing again, and it's so much easier to focus on getting even, isn't it? Unless, you just can't help falling in love. Which means McKenna will have to come face to face with what she really wants in life -- protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sexy romance, falling in love)

**TROPHY HUSBAND is the third book in the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling CAUGHT UP IN LOVE series. Each book can be read as a standalone, though you will likely enjoy the other books in the series.**

THE CAUGHT UP IN LOVE SERIES:

BOOK 1: CAUGHT UP IN US (Bryan & Kat's story) BOOK 2: PRETENDING HE'S MINE (Reeve & Sutton's story) BOOK 3: TROPHY HUSBAND (Chris & McKenna's story) BOOK 4: STARS IN THEIR EYES (William & Jess' story)

When McKenna Bell’s fiance leaves her a voicemail the night before their wedding telling her he married someone he just met in Vegas during his bachelor party because he can’t imagine having kids with her, she’s devastated. She still hasn’t fully recovered a year later when she runs into him and his new wife. Now he’s claiming her favorite restaurant as his own, naming his brand-new kid the name she picked out and, even worse, demanding joint custody of her dog. Fed up with feeling like her life isn’t her own, McKenna decides to take back control by searching for her own Trophy Husband. Why can’t women act like men do, and choose a spouse just because he’s young, fit and looking for someone to support him? The answer is they can, and she’s going to.

When she makes an announcement on her daily blog, the search for a Trophy Husband turns into a full-on sweepstakes. That should be great, since that’s what she said she wanted. The problem? She’s met someone…. Someone who completely lights her up in all the right ways, and who seems to want her just as much. Unfortunately, that someone doesn’t qualify as a Trophy Husband. What’s a girl to do when she’s made a promise to herself and her friends that she’ll see this thing through, but her heart is no longer in it?

This was a fun read. Nothing super heavy or dark, just a light contemporary romance. I really like the underlying theme of women empowerment and how well women were portrayed overall. Even the dreaded ex’s new wife was unexpectedly lovely. I laughed out loud several times while reading. I also really liked the way the romance developed. McKenna and Chris had great chemistry. I loved watching them get to know one another, and skirt around her search for a trophy husband.

Another solid story from Blakely.

4 out of 5

Caught Up in Love

three-half-stars


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Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 19, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Shane East, Grace Grant
Series: Part Time Lover #2
Also in this series: Wanderlust
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 314
Length: 7 hours and 21 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely!I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression.When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations. Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…As long as no one gets hurt…As long as no one falls in love…


But our ending was one I never saw coming.

We first met Elise and Christian in Wanderlust. There were hints of a history/relationship with them and I was anxious for more. I’m so glad I discovered this book. Though they’re mentioned in Wanderlust, the book stands alone well.

Elise and Christian had a chance meeting in Denmark. They had an obvious connection, but it didn’t work out. A year later another chance meeting brings them together in Paris. This time, they both want to explore their chemistry, but neither is looking for something long-term. They settle on a casual fling, until Christian needs to produce a wife in order to help his brother save their family company. Elise sees this as an opportunity to offer help to a friend and suggests they get married. They know the score – this is a marriage of convenience only. Though convincing their hearts may prove difficult..

This was a sweet story. I enjoyed the slow-burn romance and the way Elise and Christian’s relationship developed. The witty banter had me laughing and I thought their friendship was believable. The narrators both did an excellent job. I was pulled into the story right away and couldn’t stop listening. I loved both Elise and Christian. They were well settled into their lives and careers and knew what they wanted from both. They were both a bit gun-shy about falling in love, but based on their pasts I felt it was believable. I loved how they worked together and were so open and honest with each other right from the start.

Another stellar novel from Blakely. I just can’t get enough.

4.25 out of 5

Part Time Lover

four-stars


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Joint Audiobook Review: Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

Posted September 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Audiobook Review: Wanderlust by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Grace Grant, Richard Armitage
Series: Part Time Lover #1
Publisher: Self-Published, Lauren Blakely
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 338
Length: 8 hours and 46 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

From #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely comes a sexy new standalone romance!

The first time I met him, his sexy British accent almost talked me into giving him my number on the spot. The second time, he nearly charmed the panties off me with his wit. Then I learned he's the key to success in my new job in Paris. The man who tempts me into fling-worthy dirty daydreams has turned out to be my personal translator, and his accent is the hottest thing I've ever heard.My mantra is simple -- Don't mix business with pleasure. I do my best to resist him as he teaches me how to converse with my co-workers, navigate the metro and order the perfect bottle of wine at dinner. But I also figure out how to tell the charming and clever man what I most want to say -- that I want him to take me back to his flat -- tonight. Except there's a catch...

***One more assignment before I take off on my big adventure...

And it involves the toughest work ever -- resisting the fetching American woman I spend all my days with. But you know what they say about best intentions. Soon, we're spending our nights tangled together, and I don’t want to let her go. The trouble is, my wanderlust is calling to me, and before we know it I'll be traveling the globe to fulfill a promise I made long ago.

What could possibly go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nothing...unless one of you is leaving.

Holly: Rowena and I are both relatively new to listening to audiobooks. Personally, I prefer to listen only when I’m unable to read, i.e., in the car, at work, etc. This month Rowena suggested we listen to a full audio for our Joint Review and we settled on Wanderlust because Richard Armitage narrates the hero’s POV. Let me just say, he was worth it. ::dreamy sigh:: Grace Grant narrates for the heroine, and she did a great job as well.

I feel like we need to talk about Richard Armitage first. Because holy mama, his voice is so effing sexy.

Rowena: This was the first book that I listened to from beginning to end without any lengthy breaks and Richard Armitage was the reason. He did a fabulous job as Griffin and made the listening experience such a pleasure. Man, that accent. swoon

Holly: Right? Lord, every time his voice came up I was all melty. Joy, the heroine of the book, says something in the beginning about how devastating British accents are to her. I didn’t totally agree until RA started talking. Whew.

Rowena: Same. I didn’t know I had a thing like that for a British accent but I do now…haha.

Holly: Anyway, the story. Joy is ready for some major changes in her life, so when her company offers her a year-long position in France, she jumps at the chance to get out of Texas and expand her horizons. Her first day on her own in Paris she runs into the sexiest man she’s ever met…and he just happens to be British, her personal accent kryptonite. He turns out to be witty and funny and she really wants to get to know him better. When they run into each other again, she knows it’s kismet…except it turns out he’s actually her new translator at work. She can’t risk mixing business and pleasure, so she resolves to remain just friends.

Griffin is working as a translator in Paris while saving up for his next big adventure – running a marathon in Bali, then continuing to travel the world. He isn’t in a place to settle into a relationship with anyone, but the hot American he meets at a pastry shop sure does tempt him. Joy is right to put that on hold since they’ll be working together, but staying away from each other is hard when they spend all their time together and their chemistry is off the charts.

I thought this was a really cute story. I loved the premise and the way their friendship developed over time.

Rowena: Great recap of the story. I thought this was a cute story, too. The flirty sparks, in the beginning, were too cute and I really liked seeing Griffin and Joy’s friendship that just continued to grow with each passing day. The narrators were fantastic and it was super easy to fall into the story with them. I think of all the narrators that I’ve listened to so far, they’re both my favorites.

Holly: The main conflict, aside from the fact that Griffin is Joy’s translator at work, is that Griffin has plans to travel the world and Joy is pretty grounded in Paris for at least a year. I thought it worked pretty well. Watching their friendship grow and deepen, I kept wondering how they were going to work it out. I thought Griffin was so sweet, wanting to see Joy succeed. I also thought it was great that Joy didn’t want to hold Griffin back from achieving his dreams.

Rowena: I felt the same way. I really enjoyed seeing their friendship blossom. I mean, sure, they were hella attracted to each other but they didn’t let them get in the way of their working relationship and they genuinely cared for each other. I really dug that. I wasn’t sure how Blakely was going to make everything okay without one of them giving something important to them up but I thought she handled their situation well.

Holly: I also really liked the friendships they had outside each other. Griffin hung out with his mate, Christian, and Joy spent time with her girl, Elise. They didn’t have to be in each other’s pockets all the time. They wanted to spend time together, yes, but they also had interests away from each other. This felt like a mature, adult romance. I loved it.

Rowena: This was definitely one of those straight up contemporary romances where there wasn’t any of that annoying drama that seem to plague younger characters and I liked that. I liked that two consenting adults got to know each other, enjoyed each other, fell in love and then tried to figure out how to be together. I loved that they were each going through something, had decisions to make and were genuine in their feelings for themselves, those around them and each other. This was just a sweet romance all around.

Holly: Exactly. It was two adults figuring out how to have a relationship as adults. I loved it.

Rowena: And their sexual chemistry was off the charts. Griffin put it down in bed and with Richard’s accent, I had to keep fanning myself because damn boy!!!

Holly: OMG, his accent during their sex scenes had me all kinds of warm. At one point he says something like “I have orgasms to give you” and I was like, “you sure do!”

Rowena: LOL, yep. If I was Joy, I never would have left the bed. We would have permanently worked from home.

Is this the first book that you’ve read by Blakely?

Holly: This is my first book by Blakely, but it won’t be the last. I already have two more in my TBB list. What about you?

Rowena: I read one other book by Blakely but feel like I have plenty of her older releases in my TBR pile. I will definitely be checking them out.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, what about you?

Holly: I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 as well. Though I think I might have to give Richard Armitage 5 out of 5 for his narration. Because, damn son.

Rowena: Yes, Richard Armitage gets 5 out of 5 stars!!

Holly’s Grade: 4 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4 out of 5

Part Time Lover

four-stars


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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


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Cover Reveal: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 9, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 4 Comments

Cover Reveal

Lauren Blakely has a new book coming out in the summer and today, we are fortunate enough to share the cover reveal for you lovely readers. You guys know how much I love contemporary romances and this one, The Real Deal, sounds like my cup of tea. I’m pretty stoked about it.

Check out the cover and blurb.

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely
Series: N/A
Releases on July 10, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Sophie Kinsella meets Jennifer Crusie in 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?

I’m loving the colors, the picture and the font used so all in all, I’m a big fan of this cover. I’m stoked about this release.

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || GOOGLE || KOBO

About the Author

Lauren Blakely

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In October, she’ll release HARD WOOD, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

laurenblakely.com/newsletter


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